How to Get Rid of Sunburn: Natural Remedies, Products, and Prevention Strategies


Sunburn occurs when the skin is overexposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can damage the skin cells and cause redness, pain, and inflammation. Although most cases of sunburn can be treated at home, severe cases may require medical attention. This article will provide an overview of the best home remedies, over-the-counter products, and prevention strategies for treating sunburn.

Sunburn Home Remedies

Natural remedies can be effective for treating sunburn because they can soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Some popular natural remedies include:

  • Cucumber: Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cucumber can reduce swelling and promote healing. Simply slice a cucumber and place the slices on your sunburned skin for 10-15 minutes.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is known for its cooling and soothing properties, and it can help reduce inflammation and promote skin healing. Apply aloe vera gel directly to your sunburned skin, or use a lotion that contains aloe vera.
  • Green Tea: Green tea contains compounds that can reduce inflammation and protect against sun damage. Brew a cup of green tea and allow it to cool. Then, soak a cloth in the tea and apply it to your sunburned skin for 15-20 minutes.

These natural remedies work by reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain. To use them effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Clean your skin: Before applying any remedy, clean your skin with cool water and a gentle soap or cleanser.
  2. Apply the remedy: Apply the remedy to your sunburned skin, using a gentle, circular motion to avoid further irritation.
  3. Leave it on: Allow the remedy to sit on your skin for at least 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse off: Rinse the remedy off your skin with cool water.
  5. Repeat as necessary: You can repeat these steps as often as you’d like to relieve your symptoms.

Over-the-Counter Products

Over-the-counter (OTC) products can also be effective for treating sunburn. Some popular products include:

  • Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel contains soothing compounds that can reduce inflammation and promote healing. Apply it directly to your sunburned skin as often as needed.
  • Lidocaine spray: Lidocaine spray can provide relief from pain and itching caused by sunburn. Apply it to your sunburned skin as directed.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: Hydrocortisone cream can reduce swelling and itching caused by sunburn. Apply it to your sunburned skin as directed, taking care not to use too much.

While OTC products can be effective, they can also have side effects and may not be suitable for everyone. Follow these guidelines for using OTC products:

  • Read the label: Always read the label before using an OTC product, and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Don’t use too much: Using too much of an OTC product can cause further irritation and may delay healing.
  • Avoid certain ingredients: Some OTC products may contain ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, check the label and talk to your doctor before using an OTC product.

Diet and Hydration

What you eat and drink can also have an impact on sunburn relief. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Drink plenty of water: Hydration is key for healing from sunburn. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and promote healing.
  • Eat foods high in antioxidants: Antioxidants can help protect your skin from further damage and promote healing. Eat foods such as blueberries, cherries, leafy greens, and nuts.
  • Use natural remedies: Many natural remedies (such as cucumber and aloe vera) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help soothe your sunburned skin.

Here are some recipes and specific suggestions for sunburn relief:

  • Cucumber and Mint Water: Slice a cucumber and add it to a pitcher of water along with a handful of fresh mint leaves. Chill in the fridge and drink throughout the day.
  • Green Tea and Honey: Brew a cup of green tea and add a teaspoon of honey. Allow to cool and apply to your sunburned skin using a cotton ball.
  • Avocado and Coconut Oil Mask: Mash a ripe avocado with a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to your sunburned skin. Leave on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.

Soothing Techniques

In addition to natural remedies and products, there are several techniques you can use to soothe your sunburned skin:

  • Take a cool shower: A cool shower can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Avoid hot water, as it can further irritate your skin.
  • Use wet compresses: Soak a cloth in cool water and apply it to your sunburned skin for 15-20 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
  • Avoid tight clothing: Wearing tight clothing can further irritate your sunburned skin. Wear loose, breathable clothing instead.

When using soothing techniques, be sure to follow these tips:

  • Avoid further irritation: Don’t rub or scratch your sunburned skin, as this can cause further irritation.
  • Be gentle: Use a gentle touch when applying wet compresses or other soothing techniques.
  • Avoid heat: Avoid heat sources (such as hot tubs or saunas) until your sunburn heals.

Topical Applications

Several topical solutions can be used to treat sunburn. Here are some options:

  • Milk Baths: Adding milk to a cool bath can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. Use 2-4 cups of milk per bath.
  • Oatmeal Paste: Mix a cup of uncooked oatmeal with enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your sunburned skin for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.
  • Baking Soda Bath: Add a cup of baking soda to a cool bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. This can help reduce inflammation and itching.

When using these solutions, keep these tips in mind:

  • Test it first: Before using a new topical solution, test it on a small patch of skin to make sure you’re not allergic or sensitive to it.
  • Avoid further irritation: Be gentle when applying topical solutions, and avoid rubbing or scratching your sunburned skin.
  • Use as directed: Follow the instructions carefully for each topical solution.

Sunburn Prevention Strategies

The best way to treat sunburn is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips for preventing sunburn:

  • Wear a hat: A hat with a wide brim can provide shade for your face and protect your scalp from sunburn.
  • Stay in the shade: Whenever possible, stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants made of light-colored, breathable fabric.
  • Use sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and reapply every two hours.

To ensure adequate sun protection, follow these tips:

  • Apply sunscreen correctly: Apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, and don’t forget your ears, neck, and the tops of your feet.
  • Reapply regularly: Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you’ve been swimming or sweating.
  • Check the expiration date: Make sure your sunscreen hasn’t expired, as expired sunscreen may not be as effective.
  • Seek shade: If you’re spending time outdoors, seek shade under a tree or umbrella.

When to Seek Medical Attention

In most cases, sunburn can be treated at home with natural remedies, products, and other strategies. However, there are some situations in which medical attention may be necessary. Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Severe blistering: If your sunburn causes severe blistering, seek medical attention.
  • Fever or chills: If you experience fever or chills, this may be a sign of a more serious sunburn and requires medical attention.
  • Fainting or dizziness: If you experience fainting or dizziness, seek medical attention immediately.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away. In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medication or provide other treatments to help with symptoms.


Sunburn can be painful and frustrating, but it’s also preventable and treatable. By using natural remedies, products, and other strategies, you can relieve your symptoms and promote healing. Remember to stay safe in the sun by wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, and avoiding the sun’s strongest rays. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to a speedy recovery and sunburn-free skin.

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