So You Got a Sunburn, Now What?

The First Steps to Take When You Get a Sunburn

Sunburns are the worst, not only because they hurt, but also because they severely damage our skin. Even if you wear sunscreen, there's a chance you may forget to reapply it (or maybe didn't apply enough to begin with) and end up with a sunburn. We're not going to lecture you on why sunburns are bad, so instead we're going to share a few tips of what to do when you get a sunburn and how to treat it.

Get Out of the Sun

The moment you notice a sunburn forming, take action. If your skin is red, get out of the sun. A sunburn can take four to six hours to develop so even if you only think your skin is red, it could turn into something worse a few hours later. Also, take ibuprofen, which can reduce swelling and redness.

Take a Cool Shower

Jump into the shower and turn the shower head to a mild cool temperature. Avoid overly perfumed soaps and delicately clean your skin with an unscented, plain soap.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

It's critical that you keep your skin moisturized. After a sunburn, your skin is incredibly thirsty. Moisturizing not only helps your burn heal faster, but it also lessens the severity of skin peeling. Use a moisturizer that has aloe vera in it.

Stay Hydrated

Not only is your skin thirsty, but your entire body is dehydrated after a sunburn. Drink a lot of fluids, especially water and sports drinks.

Heal Naturally

There are a number of natural options for healing a sunburn. For one, try witch hazel for anti-inflammatory relief. Moisten a cloth with it and drape the cloth over your burn for several minutes. Fat-free milk can also help soothe your burn. In the shower, instead of using soap, try vinegar, which is a great astringent.

Once your sunburn heals, don't be afraid to go out in the sun again. Just make sure you are thoroughly protected. If you have a bad habit of not remembering to reapply sunscreen, consider wearing UV wear, which is clothing with UPF in it. This is a great way to protect your skin all day long.

Author: Melissa Darcey

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