Sunburn Treatment: Relief and Healing for Summer Skin


Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but too much exposure can lead to painful and damaging sunburn. Sunburn occurs when the skin is overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. The skin responds to the damage caused by UV rays by becoming red, hot, and painful. Sunburns can range from mild to severe, and it is important to treat them promptly to prevent long-term damage to the skin.

Basic Sunburn Treatment Options

While prevention is the best way to avoid sunburn, there are several ways to treat sunburn after it occurs. Here are some natural remedies for soothing sunburned skin:

1. Cool compresses

Applying a cool, damp compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain. Soak a clean cloth in cool water and apply it to the sunburned skin for 10-15 minutes.

2. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a well-known natural remedy for sunburn. Apply pure aloe vera gel to the sunburned area to soothe and cool the skin. Look for aloe vera products that do not contain alcohol or additives, as they can further irritate the skin.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to make a paste, and apply it to the sunburned area for 10-15 minutes.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal can help calm the skin and reduce itching. Add colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oatmeal) to a lukewarm bath, and soak for 15-20 minutes.

5. Green tea

Green tea contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Brew green tea and let it cool, then apply it to the sunburned area with a clean cloth.

For those who prefer over-the-counter treatments, there are many popular home remedies for sunburn relief. Aloe vera gel, hydrocortisone cream, and over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can all help alleviate sunburn symptoms. It is important to follow the instructions on the label and avoid using products on damaged or broken skin.

Here are some quick tips to relieve sunburn pain:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Avoid hot showers or baths, as they can further irritate the skin
  • Wear loose clothing to avoid further irritation of the skin
  • Avoid sun exposure until the sunburn has healed
  • Consider using aloe vera or lotion with menthol to soothe the skin
  • Avoid popping blisters or peeling skin, as this can increase the risk of infection and scarring.

Expert Sunburn Treatment Advice

When it comes to treating sunburn, there are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind. Here are some expert tips:

The Dos:

  • Do take frequent cool baths or showers to reduce pain and itching
  • Do use gentle moisturizers to soothe the skin
  • Do drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Do wear loose, comfortable clothing that covers the sunburned area
  • Do seek medical attention if you experience severe blistering, fever, or dizziness
  • Do use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to prevent future damage

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t use petroleum-based products, as they can trap heat in the skin and delay healing
  • Don’t pop blisters or peel damaged skin
  • Don’t use harsh soaps or scrubs on the sunburned area, as this can further irritate the skin
  • Don’t scratch or rub the sunburned area, as this can lead to infection and scarring.

There are many store-bought products that can help alleviate sunburn symptoms. Look for products that contain aloe vera, lidocaine, or hydrocortisone. It is important to read the label carefully and avoid using products on damaged or broken skin.

Nourishing Your Burned Skin

After the initial sunburn has subsided, it is important to nourish and protect the skin to prevent further damage. Here are some DIY after-sun lotion recipes:

Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil Lotion

Combine 1/2 cup of pure aloe vera gel with 1/4 cup of coconut oil and mix well. Apply the lotion to the sunburned area as needed.

Shea Butter and Essential Oil Lotion

Melt 1/4 cup of shea butter in a double boiler, then add 10-15 drops of lavender, tea tree, or peppermint essential oil and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool, then apply it to the sunburned area as needed.

In addition to nourishing the skin with gentle lotions and moisturizers, it is important to keep the skin protected from further sun damage. Wear protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day.

Advanced Sunburn Treatments

While most cases of sunburn can be treated at home, severe sunburns may require medical attention. Here are some signs that you should seek medical attention for sunburn:

  • Severe blistering over a large portion of the body
  • Fever, chills, or nausea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Signs of infection, such as oozing or swelling
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty breathing

Medical treatments for severe sunburn may include prescription-strength pain relief, antibiotics to prevent infection, or intravenous (IV) fluids to prevent dehydration. In rare cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Prevention is key to avoiding future sunburn. Here are some tips to help protect your skin:

  • Avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm, when UV rays are strongest
  • Wear protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day, even on cloudy or overcast days
  • Avoid tanning beds, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Seek shade when you are outdoors for prolonged periods of time


Sunburn can be painful and damaging, but there are many ways to treat and heal sunburned skin. From natural remedies to expert advice, there are many options for relieving sunburn symptoms and promoting healing. Remember to take sunburn prevention seriously, as it is always easier to prevent damage than to repair it after the fact. With careful attention to your skin and proper aftercare, you can keep your skin healthy and protected all summer long.

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