How to Treat a Sunburn

Sunburn is extremely common, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Sunburn happens when your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays for too long without protection. You can even get sunburnt on a cloudy or rainy day since the UV rays can get through the gloomy weather. If you’re suffering from a sunburn, try these tips to treat it and make your symptoms more manageable.

AFC Urgent Care Burlington also provides treatment for sunburns that can go beyond at-home remedies. Our providers can conduct a complete examination of the skin and recommend the best treatment.

Home Remedies

There’s no quick cure for sunburn. Your body has to heal and replace the damaged skin, but you can manage the discomfort while your body does the work. Some of the best home remedies for sunburn include:

  • Taking a cool bath or shower to draw out some of the heat
  • Use aloe vera on the burned skin – aloe vera gel is available at most pharmacies. Make sure it’s unscented.
  • Use over the counter anti-inflammatory medication to manage pain
  • Apply an unscented, light moisturizer to the burned skin. Avoid petroleum-based moisturizers that trap heat into the skin as this will delay the healing process.

When to See a Doctor

You can treat your sunburn as home as long as it continues to show signs of improvement. If the sunburn develops blisters or you feel physically ill in correlation with the sunburn, visit a doctor for more intensive treatment. Try to avoid itching or peeling the blisters because it can cause an infection and scarring.

Preventing Sunburn

Just like most other illnesses, prevention is the best medicine for sunburns. Preventing sunburn is a daily process. You should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on a daily basis to protect your skin against sunburn, premature aging and lower your risk of skin cancer. A stronger SPF and more frequent applications will be needed if you’ll be in direct sun for an extended period.

You can also prevent sunburn by covering more of your exposed skin. Wear a long sleeve shirt, sunhat, and sunglasses to minimize the skin exposed and prone to burning. Sunglasses can be used to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.

If you’re suffering from a painful, blistering, or infected sunburn, visit AFC Urgent Care Burlington for same-day care. Don’t forget to stock up on a daily SPF product for every member of your family and reapply every 2 to 3 hours when you’re in the sun.


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

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Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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