Sunburns not only harm your skin and can lead to damaging issues such as heatstroke, sun poisoning, skin cancer, blisters, damaged nerve endings, but they are definitely painful to experience and deal with. Unfortunately, there is no magical treatment for immediate relief of sunburns, but there are some helpful tips to help ease the pain, and speed up your skin’s recovery.
First, there are some things you should know. Depending on your skin type, you might run the risk of burning more easily. Typically people with fair skin, freckles, and naturally blonde or red hair, sunburn easily. A sunburn might be more severe if you are outside and exposed to sun during the 10am to 4pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Keep in mind that even if the sky is overcast or full of clouds, you can still get sunburned. This is a common misconception, or rather, something that people sometimes don’t consider. When they look outside and see that it is cloudy outside, rather than bright and sunny, they decide not to apply sunblock. The truth is, that the sun’s harmful UV rays can come right through those clouds, and they are still quite capable of giving you a sun burn, and damaging your skin. (Sunburns are caused by UV rays, not by heat.) Remember that if you are hanging out nearby, on or in the water (such as a pool, the ocean, or a lake) you are at a higher risk of getting burned, as these surfaces reflect sun rays.
If your sunburn is harsher than a typical first-degree burn where the skin is not just red, but you have blisters, you should seek the immediate assistance of a doctor, to ensure that you get the appropriate treatment.
Tips to relieving sunburn pain:
- Sunburn pain can be relieved by hydrating the skin. To do this, try applying products such as aloe vera (you can find aloe vera gel at your local drugstore), and/or Vitamin E.
- Vinegar is a common remedy to help reduce the stinging of a burn. Create a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Soak a washcloth in this mixture, and carefully apply to burned areas.
- Ice packs and cold compresses can be used in small increments to help reduce swelling and reduce the length of the burn’s redness.
- Take lukewarm baths, rather than hot or cold baths. Showers should be avoided, as the water pressure can further hurt and irritate skin.
- Drink lots and lots of water to keep your body hydrated and to avoid the body from overheating and getting a fever.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken to help reduce inflammation and harsh pain you may have.
- A mixture of half milk and half cool water can also be applied with a washcloth to help sooth skin.
- Wear loose fitting clothing to avoid irritating the skin.
Of course, to avoid sunburn at all, be sure to apply a sunblock with at least an SPF level of 30. For the face, BioElements has their great SPF50 FaceScreen, which is a moisturizing sunscreen that provides maximum SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection. It protects against the sun’s harmful effects including wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and pigmented brown spots.