Are you feeling the burn from too much sun exposure? Well, it’s your own fault for not wearing sunscreen as recommended (a little tough love might help drive home our sun safety message). Alas, we all make mistakes, so on to the painful matter at hand.
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a “cure” for sunburns. Once you’ve been burned, the damage is done and peeling is inevitable.
But there are some things you can do to make the discomfort more bearable as you await your skin’s healing process.
Keep It Cool
Soak a towel in cool water and lay it over your sunburn, or take a cool bath to draw some of the heat out of your skin.
Sorry, even slathering all the aloe vera in the world onto your sunburn won’t prevent the damaged layer of skin from flaking off. But moisturizing cream can help the healing process. Be sure not to use a product containing alcohol though, as that will cause your skin to dry out.
Don’t Pop Blisters!
It may be tempting, but popping blisters will only slow your healing process and make you more susceptible to infection. Lightly cover them in gauze instead.
Try an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
Aspiring and ibuprofen will help the pain and swelling of a severe burn to subside.
Consult a Doctor If…
…your burn covers a large portion of your body, is accompanied by many blisters, pain, and fever, and doesn’t improve after a few days.
To be sure that your skin is in good health and shows no signs of skin cancer, consult a dermatologist annually for a full-body exam.