Sunburn Care

So You Have a Sunburn? No Judgement Here, Just Relief.

'You forgot to reapply your sunscreen or you didn't apply enough, now you have a sunburn.

It is important to treat a sunburn as soon as you notice it.

The first thing you should do if you feel you have or are getting a sunburn is get out of the sun, preferably go indoors. Once indoors, these tips can help relieve the discomfort:

  • Frequent cool baths or showers can ease the pain.  Gently pat skin dry, with a little dampness left on the skin apply a moisturizer ‘cream or ointment”, preferably not a “lotion”.  The moisturizer will help trap the water in your skin and help ease the dryness. You can also place the cream or ointment in the refrigerator for extra coolness.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera to help soothe sunburned skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply an over the counter hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
  • Consider taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  • If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.  Once the blisters open you can apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent an infection.
  • Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

If you have fever, chills, headache or any questions about your sunburn please call our office to schedule an appointment. Although it may seem like a temporary condition, sunburn is a result of skin receiving too much exposure from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. This damage increases a person’s risk for getting skin cancer.