Sunburn treatment: What works?

July 1, 2022

If you spend too much time in the sun without proper sun protection or clothes, you are likely to get burnt. Anyone can get a sunburn, regardless of their skin tone, which can lead to premature aging, precancerous lesions, and skin cancer. Once your skin has been burned, there is not much anyone can do to fix the skin itself, however, treatments are available to soothe your symptoms. 

AFC Urgent Care North Bergen provides treatments and recommendations for patients with sunburns or sun poisoning. If you find yourself suffering this season, try one of these at-home recommendations or visit our walk-in center for relief. 

Sunburn Relief Treatments

Cool bath or shower

Frequent cool baths or showers can help soothe irritated skin. Don’t make the water too hot, or it will be painful. When you get out of the water, gently pat your skin dry, and don’t rub. If you leave a bit of water on your skin, you can trap it with a moisturizer to help with dryness.

Aloe vera or soy lotion

Moisturizers with an aloe vera or soy base can help soothe sunburnt skin. Hydrocortisone creams are also available in a pharmacy if the skin is particularly sensitive. Avoid products such as benzocaine, as they may cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

Pain relief

Sunburns are often very painful, and it can be difficult to sleep if the sunburn is on your back, arms, or legs. OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help with inflammation, pain, and redness.

Drink more water

As your sunburn develops, your body pulls water to the sunburnt area and away from other areas. Be sure to drink plenty of water while in the sun and after to avoid dehydration. AFC Urgent Care North Bergen provides dehydration treatment for minor symptoms.

Don’t pick blisters.

It may be tempting to touch or pop any blisters that form on the skin. Do your best to avoid picking at those. If they form, it likely means the sunburn is second-degree. Blisters form as a means of protection from germs and infection.

Take extra care of your skin.

As your sunburn heals, wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid irritation and pain. Be sure to avoid any further sun exposure. In the future, be sure to wear hats, other protective clothing, and plenty of sunscreen.

Sun damage to the skin can become very serious. Temporary sunburns can lead to long-term damage. AFC Urgent Care North Bergen provides prescriptions for sunburns that are seen as severe. Visit with a dermatologist to find the best way to avoid future sun damage. 

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