5 Ways To Treat a Painful Sunburn

While you may have looked forward to days in the sun – especially now that they are sparse – excess exposure will put you at risk of getting a (potentially painful) sunburn.

The sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) rays can burn you which not only has short term side effects but has long term effects on your health as well.

The short term effects that have likely been experienced by many could be as simple as an irritation, redness or allergic reaction.

However, the long term effects can be quite traumatic – they include eye problems (such as cataracts), skin wrinkling and premature aging, and even skin cancer. This is why it is so important to treat a sunburn quickly as well as follow tips to limit adverse long term effects and reactions.

Take a look at some of our best advice to avoid damage below:

Stay Clear Of The Sun:

The simplest way to avoid exposure to UV rays is to get out of the sun as soon as you notice the signs of a sunburn. If you are spending your summer exposed to the sun at the beach, you should consider going to a shady area immediately or wear more protective clothing such as – hats, long sleeve shirts, pants, etc. – before your skin starts to redden further.


Sunburn dries your skin and every effort should be made to keep your body hydrated. Consequently, you should drink lots of water in addition to consuming fruits that have hydrating capabilities.

Consume plenty of watermelon which, in addition to helping you hydrate, nourishes your body with lycophene – an antioxidant that helps protect against cancer. Other hydrating fruits to go for include beets, honeydew and cantaloupe.

Overall, make sure that you are nourishing your body with a balanced diet. But the benefits of this reach way farther than treating a sunburn but can keep the lymphatic system and the skin healthy overall.

Cool The Skin:

Since your sunburn has been caused by exposure to the sun, you could remedy this by using simple homemade remedies to help keep your skin cool. You should consider taking a cold shower or sponging the affected areas of your skin with cold water. In addition you should wear protective clothing when you are out in the sun. In addition to applying sunscreen on your skin, wear long-sleeved shirts, a protective hat and a pair of sunglasses – as mentioned earlier.

Soothe Affected Skin With Moisturizers

There are plenty of sunburn lotions that you can access with the recommendation of a General Practitioner as well as over the counter.

Over-the-counter (OTC) creams that you can use include hydrocortisone and Neosporin. If you would like to take a more holistic approach to your sunburn, you can also treat it with aloe vera. So long as your skin is not allergic to aloe vera, you may treat the affected area by simply applying the juice from the aloe vera leaf to the affected area.

There are also plenty of anesthetics that you could apply to relieve the pain and irritation that comes from sunburns. These include anesthetics containing lidocaine and benzocaine.

Get Expert Help

While you can treat most sunburns on your own, there are situations when the help of a medical professional becomes necessary. You should consider seeing your GP when your sunburn causes fever, severe itching, nausea or leads to blistering. You should especially be on the lookout when a sunburned area of your skin starts to spread even after you have moved away from the sun.

For more Skin features, take a look at our articles here.


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