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10 Easy Ways to Treat a Sunburn

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Shaunak Patel 90% (123 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Ahmedabad  •  10 years experience
10 Easy Ways to Treat a Sunburn

Spending a day out at the beach or going up on a hike is something most people love to do. What they, however, do not want is the after effects of being out in the sun the sunburn. While sunscreen lotions do help to a large extent, being in the sea can wash off the sunscreen, leaving the skin exposed to the imminent damage. Also, the effect of most sunscreens (know more about sunscreen) wears off with time, thereby, invariably producing some damage to the skin. However, there are simple ways to reduce the damage and in some cases even reverse the damage done by the sunburn.

Listed below simple ways with which you can treat a sunburn:

  1. The minute you realize sunburn has set in, reduce further damage by getting out of the sun.
  2. If you were out in the beach, rinse off with regular water as early as possible to clear the chlorine and sand and salt water. The salt water irritates the skin and aggravate the damage further.
  3. Take a pain-killer which will reduce the inflammation and control the overall effect of swelling and pain. This can also help the mild headache (learn more about headache problem) that can develop because of being out in the sun.
  4. The sun dries the skin and therefore, make sure you make an extra effort and moisturize your skin. Use creams that contain aloe vera, glycerin or hyaluronic acid. Keeping them in the fridge for a while produces an extra-refreshing effect.
  5. Make a compress containing egg white or green tea and skimmed milk. The green tea will reduce inflammation and the egg white will supply the necessary proteins for the skin to recover.
  6. Not just the skin, the sunburn also leaves you dehydrated overall. Ensure the water intake is increased and consume water rich food like watermelon, grapes, and cucumber.
  7. If there are sun blisters as a result of the sunburn, do not touch them. Peeling them can produce scars, which can be permanent.
  8. On spots that are painful after the sunburn, slices of potatoes or cucumber can be used to rub the area. This will produce a cooling effect and also reduce swelling.
  9. Vinegar contains acetic acid and reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation that happens subsequent to a sunburn. Towel soaked in vinegar can be used to wipe the area or vinegar can be added to the water for a bath.
  10. Mint is another wonderful agent to manage sunburn. Include it in tea or add peppermint oil to lukewarm water for that healing drink.

These are some tips to treat a sunburn and reduce the damage (sometimes permanent) that can happen as a result.

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