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Sunburn (cont.)

Sunburn Home Remedies

Home care begins prior to a sunburn. Prevention is the most important step to avoid short-term consequences of sun exposure (redness, pain, blistering) and the long-term risks for skin damage and skin cancer.

Immediate self-care is aimed at stopping the UV radiation.

  • Get out of the sun
  • Cover exposed skin
  • Do not use tanning beds
  • Use SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher and apply frequently when outdoors.

Relief of the discomfort becomes important, and there are several sunburn remedies.

  • Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) to decrease pain and inflammation are useful, especially when started early.
  • For mild sunburn, cool compresses with equal parts of milk and water may suffice. Cold compresses with Burow's solution may also be used, and can be bought at a drugstore. Dissolve 1 packet in 1 pint of water. Soak gauze or a soft clean cloth in it. Gently wring out the cloth and apply to the sunburned area for 15-20 minutes. Change or refresh the cloth and solution every 2-3 hours.
  • Aloe Vera gel or aloe-based lotions may soothe irritated skin. These can be found in the drugstore.
  • Cool (not ice cold) baths may help. Avoid bath salts, oils, and perfumes because these may produce sensitivity reactions. Avoid scrubbing the skin or shaving the skin. Use soft towels to gently dry the body. Don't rub. Use a light, fragrance-free skin moisturizer.
  • Stay out of the sun while you are sunburned.
  • Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2014

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