The sun’s rays are stronger than ever these days, and as diligent as people are about putting on sunscreen, there may come a time when you forget. If you find yourself with red, dry, aching, sunburned skin, you can do several things to speed the healing process and get your skin back to normal.
#1 – Avoid the Sun
The last thing you want to do is expose your skin to the same UV rays that caused the damage in the first place. The best course of action involves staying out of the sun altogether, but if you absolutely must go out, wear light long-sleeve shirts, trade your shorts for pants, wear a hat with a wide brim, and make sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed part of your body – including your hands.
#2 – Treat the Burns with Soothing Aloe
Although there are dozens of products on the market today designed to treat and soothe a sunburn, nothing works better than traditional aloe vera. If you have a plant at home, simply snap off one of the “branches”, squeeze out the gel inside, and apply this to the burned areas of your body. For even more relief, sit in front of a fan and allow the cool air to blow over you. If you do not have an aloe plant, then you can purchase cooling gel that contains aloe at your local drug or department store.
#3 – Avoid Hot Showers and Baths
When you have a sunburn, even the slightest amount of heat not only hurts, but it also does even more damage. For this reason, avoid taking hot showers and baths until you heal. Cool water is incredibly soothing, too, so this is a great choice for treating sunburn pain. Remember: if the water hurts your skin, it is too hot and you need to dial back the temperature.
#4 – Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin, whether or not you have a sunburn. However, since sunburn can cause dehydration, you may need to drink more water than usual while you recover. You may experience headaches and even a mild fever, and if this is the case, simply drink a tall glass of water and lie down in a cool room until these feelings subside.
#5 – Care for the Blisters
If your sunburn is so severe that you develop blisters, do not pop them. Leave them alone to avoid infection; your body will heal them on its own. Once the blisters burst, you can use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, and then cover the area with a very light gauze. A basic triple antibiotic cream works great for this, and some even include pain relieving components.
Sunburns range from mild to severe in nature, so if you have a significant number of blisters on a large area of your body, if you have a fever that climbs higher than 101 degrees, or if you feel especially ill, be sure to contact your doctor. Sometimes, medical intervention is necessary.