The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating a Sunburn

It happened. You were enjoying a great day out under the sun and the next thing you know, your skin is burnt. You swear you applied sunscreen and sought shade, but your skin is red, irradiated, and painful to touch. It happens to the best of us.

There’s no use debating what caused the sunburn, now is the time to focus on making it feel better and go away. Luckily, there are many ways to soothe the pain of a burn. Unfortunately, there are also many ways to make a sunburn even worse.

Follow these do’s and don’ts for treating sunburns to assure you address your burn in the best way possible.

Do stay hydrated.

Sunburns draw fluids to the skin’s surface leading to dehydration. It is important to drink a lot of water and electrolyte-rich liquids if you are sunburnt. This will help replenish body fluids and help your burn heal faster.

Don’t spend more time out under the sun.

It is important to avoid any additional sun exposure to already burnt skin. Sunburnt skin is extremely sensitive and will continue to develop damage if not covered up and treated properly.

Do cool down the burnt area

It’s crucial to cool down your burn and stop further damage from occurring. Taking a cold bath or shower can provide temporary relief from a sunburn. You can also apply a cool compress to a burnt area to achieve similar results.

Don’t soak in water for prolonged periods of time.

Spending long periods of time in water can dry out skin which may make sunburns more irritating. It is also important to avoid putting soap or perfumes in bath water after a sunburn as these can further dry out already dry and sunburned skin.

Do moisturize skin after a burn.

Apply a water-based moisturizing lotion to skin after bathing to reduce sunburn irritation. A water-based moisturizer will help reduce the itchiness cases from dried, burnt skin. It will also help your skin retain moisture which reduces dehydration.

Don’t use oil-based moisturizers.

Oil-based moisturizers should never be applied to sunburnt skin. These moisturizers trap heat in the skin, prolonging inflammation and slowing down the healing process of the burn.

Do apply vitamin E to burnt skin.

Use antioxidant vitamin E to help decrease inflammation caused by sunburn. Rub Vitamin E oil directly on the skin, or take a regular dose of the supplement.

Don’t (ever) pop blisters caused from severe sunburns.

If your skin blisters due to a sunburn, allow the blisters to heal.You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.

Do talk to your Doc.

Medical attention should be sought If you develop severe blistering, especially over large areas, from a sunburn. You should also always visit a doctor if you feel woozy, feverish, or develop chills after a sunburn.