Sunburns are the worst. They’re painful, and they can lead to severe health conditions (like skin cancer). It’s possible to have fun in the sun without getting a sunburn. But if you do happen to soak up too much sun, you’ll want to heal that sunburn as fast as possible. Here’s how to get rid of a sunburn.
How to Get Rid of a Sunburn
Nobody wants to deal with a sunburn. Mild sunburns usually heal in three to five days, but more severe burns can take a few weeks. Healing time depends on your genetics, age, and health. There are things you can do to speed up the healing process and minimize long-term damage.
11 Ways to Get Rid of a Sunburn
- If you’re still in the sun, cover up. It’s best to wear loose sun-protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. Stay out of the sun (as much as possible) until your burn heals.
- Head to a shaded area if there’s one available.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Burned skin pulls water away from the rest of your body to nourish itself, so it’s easy to become dehydrated.
- Take a cool bath to calm the burn, but don’t linger too long as it can dry out your skin even more. Pat yourself dry, leaving the skin damp.
- While your skin is damp, apply a light moisturizer or after-sun gel (like aloe vera) to the affected areas. Avoid greasy creams, petroleum jelly, or oil-based products; they can trap heat and prolong healing.
- Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (like Ibuprofen or Naproxen) to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Apply a cold compress throughout the day to reduce swelling.
- For severe cases, you can use a hydrocortisone cream (like Cortizone 10) to ease itching and discomfort.
- Get plenty of sleep so your body can activate its natural healing process.
- If you have a second-degree burn with blisters, carefully treat them. Don’t pop or drain them unless necessary. Clean the blisters with soap and water, cover them with a bandage, and avoid putting pressure on the affected areas.
- If you have blisters, a fever, or signs of infection, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Avoid Sunburns by Wearing a Hat
One idea to help prevent a painful sunburn is to wear a hat that shades your face (some of the most sensitive skin on your body). Here are two excellent options from Banner & Oak.
- The Oasis hat. The low crown shape and soft buttery twill guarantee all-day comfort in the sun. It features a moisture-wicking sweatband and an adjustable closure for a custom fit. The Oasis comes in black and olive.
- The Bankside hat. Perfect for the ladies, this hat features a low crown and an unstructured front panel. The silky twill feels great against your skin. And the adjustable tuck closure promises comfort. The Bankside comes in gray and tan.
If you spend any time outside, you’ll need to know how to prevent sun damage or how to get rid of a sunburn. Follow these eleven steps to make sure your sunburn heals quickly. And if you have more serious symptoms, talk to a medical professional.