Sunburn is an incredibly painful and inconvenient condition that affects millions of people every year. Spending time outdoors in the sun can be great for your mental and physical health, but if you’re not careful, it can also leave you with a nasty burn that’s hard to get rid of. If this has happened to you or someone you know, don’t worry — there are plenty of things you can do to make sunburn go away quickly.
Before we get into how to treat sunburn, it’s important to understand what causes it in the first place. When your skin is exposed to sunlight for too long without protection, the UV rays from the sun damage your skin cells. Your body responds by sending blood and fluids to the affected area, which causes inflammation and pain.
The severity of your sunburn depends on a variety of factors including:
- Your skin type
- The strength of the UV rays
- How long you were exposed
- Whether or not you wore sunscreen
Regardless of how severe your burn is, there are things you can do to alleviate the pain and speed up healing.
Quick Tips for Treating Sunburn
Here are some quick tips for treating mild-to-moderate sunburn:
Apply Cool Compresses
Cool compresses can help soothe hot skin and reduce inflammation. Simply dampen a soft cloth with cool water and apply it gently over the affected area. Repeat as often as necessary throughout the day.
Take Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce both pain and swelling associated with sunburn. Follow dosing instructions carefully.
Sunburns cause dehydration because they draw fluids from surrounding tissues into inflamed areas of skin. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day so your body stays hydrated.
Sunburns can dry out your skin, causing it to peel and flake. Applying a moisturizing lotion or cream can help alleviate these symptoms.
Natural Remedies for Sunburn
If you prefer more natural remedies, here are some options to consider:
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is a plant with soothing properties that has been used for centuries to treat burns, cuts and other skin ailments. Apply fresh aloe vera gel directly onto the affected area for relief from inflammation and pain. Alternatively, you can purchase over-the-counter products containing aloe vera at most drugstores.
Witch hazel is another natural remedy that may provide relief from sunburn. Its astringent properties help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Simply apply witch hazel extract onto the affected area using a cotton ball or soft cloth.
Taking an oatmeal bath can be incredibly soothing for sunburned skin. Add one cup of colloidal oatmeal to lukewarm bathwater and soak in it for 15-20 minutes.
FAQs About Sunburn Treatment
Here are some frequently asked questions about treating sunburn:
Q: Can I use butter to soothe sunburn?
A: No! Using butter on sunburned skin is an old myth that can actually make the condition worse by trapping heat against the skin surface.
Q: How long will my sunburn last?
A: Mild-to-moderate sunburn usually heals within three to five days when treated properly. More severe burns may take longer.
Q: Do I need to see a doctor if my burn is severe?
A: If you experience swollen blisters, extreme pain or fever in addition to your sunburn symptoms, seek medical attention right away as these could be signs of a more serious condition.
Sunburn can be painful, but with proper treatment, you can make it go away quickly. Remember to stay hydrated, use cool compresses and moisturize your skin as needed. Natural remedies like aloe vera gel and witch hazel extract can also be effective in reducing inflammation and promoting healing. If you have any concerns about the severity of your sunburn or if you experience additional symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical help.
Don’t let sunburn ruin your summer fun! With these simple tips, you’ll be back to enjoying the great outdoors in no time.