Health Advice Best Ways To Treat A Bad Sunburn


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Avoiding sunburn is the best medicine. However, if you cannot avoid it, there are ways to treat it.

Sunburn is a hazard that can occur even on overcast days, and even if you apply sunscreen conscientiously. If you end up with a burn despite taking precautions, the following will help keep you more comfortable and speed the healing process:Â

-Drink plenty of water. Over exposure to the sun can significantly increase the risk of dehydration. Drinking alcohol is not advisable as it further increases the risk.

-Apply a topical pain relieving spray or a lotion that contains lidocaine, to lessen discomfort. Do not use spray near eyes.

-Moisturizers and cold creams help retain moisture in the skin, and feel wonderful if chilled before use.

-Aloe vera is frequently recommended for the treatment of burns, including sunburn. The sticky, jelly-like substance found in the leaf of the plant contains naturally occurring analgesics, and is the most soothing form to use. Simply break open the leaf and gently apply the jelly to the affected area. If you purchase an aloe vera preparation, make sure it has a high concentration of aloe. Aloe vera should be listed first or at least near the top of the list of ingredients. A product containing more water than aloe will not be very helpful. Also, be sure to check the expiration date, as aloe can lose some of its healing properties over time.

-Never use butter or petroleum based salves. Greasy products actually tend to keep heat in and can cause infection.

-You may take over the counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory preparations to help ease pain, but these products should be avoided if the burn is so severe that it is accompanied by nausea or dizziness.

-Take a cool bath or shower to lower skin temperature and reduce discomfort. Lukewarm to cool water is best. If the water is very cold it can lower your body temperature too quickly and cause chills and shivering. Also, a bath may be more suitable than being pelted by water from the shower head, depending on how tender the affected area is. When showering or bathing, simply rinse with water, but do not use soap. Soap will remove essential body oils that can aid in healing. Pat dry gently with a soft towel and dress in loose comfortable clothing.

-Apply calamine lotion to help avoid itch that often accompanies sunburn and peeling.

-Never pop open blisters, as doing so can cause infection. Apply your preferred preparation to the area, and cover lightly with gauze to keep clean.

-Stay out of the sun while healing from sunburn, to avoid creating further and possibly serious damage.


-Apply a milk and bread compress. Soak slices of white bread in cold milk and apply to the affected area. The cold milk will draw heat from the area to cool the skin. Whole milk is best, as the fat in the milk is said to lubricate the skin and help it retain moisture.

-Add vinegar to a cool bath, or sponge the affected area with a mixture of one part vinegar, one part water. Vinegar will cool the skin and may help prevent infection.

-Green tea has antioxidant properties, which are believed to combat disease. Green tea also works as an anti-inflammatory and helps prevent infection. Add green tea to the bath or drink at least three cups. The cooled tea bags can be placed over closed eyes.


Sunburn can be just as serious as other burns and may require medical treatment. A severe case can result in first-degree burns. If you experience extreme swelling or blistering combined with intense pain, nausea, and fever, please consult a medical professional.

Written by Sherry Holetzky

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