down to what’s in the term sunburn: "sun" and
"burn." Simply put, the sun burns your skin. And the
result can be pain, redness, blisters and peeling skin.
is the key," says Dr. Cindy Kermott, a Mayo Clinic
preventive medicine physician. "But if you’ve already
been sunburned, taking a cool shower or bath can be a helpful
says the cool water from a shower, bath or cold compress works
to tame the inflammation that occurs around a sunburn. Taking
an anti-inflammatory medicine can help too. Drinking plenty of
water will help replenish what your body is losing in battling
says to avoid applying topical products to the burned area, as
they can irritate the skin and, in some cases, cause an
allergic reaction. And don’t pop blisters that may form.
fluid that’s underneath the blisters is completely
sterile," says Kermott. "It can only become infected
if it has exposure to the outside world — if it’s
says if blisters break on their own, apply an antibacterial
cream to protect the newly exposed layer of skin.
doctor if the sunburn:
accompanied by a high fever or extreme pain
Blistering covers a large part of your body
Produces yellow drainage or red streaks leading away from
Kermott says to wear loose-fitting cotton clothing over the
burn to limit any further exposure to the sun until the skin
Cover exposed areas with sunscreen.
shade during peak sun hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and the
delicate skin around them.
AND HOME REMEDIES
sunburn occurs, you can’t do much to limit damage to your
skin. But the following tips may reduce your pain and
a pain reliever. If needed, an over-the-counter pain reliever
such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen
sodium (Aleve) may help control the pain and swelling of
sunburn, especially if you take it soon after sun exposure.
Some types of pain relievers may be applied to your skin as
the skin. Apply a compress to the affected skin — such as a
towel dampened with cool tap water. Or take a cool bath or
Apply moisturizer. An aloe vera lotion or gel may be soothing.
break small blisters (no bigger than your little fingernail).
If a blister breaks, gently clean the area with mild soap and
water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a
nonstick gauze bandage.
Treat peeling skin gently. Within a few days, the affected
area may begin to peel. This is your body’s way of getting
rid of the top layer of damaged skin. While your skin is
peeling, continue to moisturize.
Protect your sunburn from further sun exposure. Stay out of
the sun or protect yourself from sunlight when you go outside.
Avoid applying "-caine" products, such as benzocaine.
Such creams may irritate the skin or cause an allergic
reaction. Benzocaine has been linked to a rare but potentially
deadly condition that decreases the amount of oxygen that the
blood can carry (methemoglobinemia).
use benzocaine in children younger than age 2 without
supervision from a health care professional. If you’re an
adult, never use more than the recommended dose and consider
talking with your doctor before using it.