Press "Enter" to skip to content

The best ways to treat a sunburn

Sunburn is a nasty fact of life that most people have had to deal with at some point. Even when you have put on sunscreen and tried you best to stay in the shade, sunburns can show up when we least expect them.

Even before the full extent of the sunburn reveals itself people already know they’re going to be lobster-red and stuck with stinging pain. Instead of waiting for it to get worse, get out of the sun right away and follow these simple tips to help minimise the damage to your skin.

Let’s take a look at the top tips for treating sunburn.

The best ways to treat a sunburn

Cool down

If you’re close to a pool or natural body of water then make sure to take a quick dip in to cool your skin down. Make sure to only do this for a few seconds so you don’t give you skin any added exposure to the sun.

Alternatively you can use cold compresses filled with ice water to cool the skin down. Don’t apply ice directly to the skin however.

A cold shower or bath can also help but make sure not to let your skin dry out. You should also avoid using harsh soaps which can make the skin even more irritated.

Gently moisturise

While your skin remains damp use a moisturising lotion over the next few days to keep the skin moist. Do not use oil or petroleum based ointments as they can make the sunburn worse.

Treat the inflammation

After sunburn you should take an anti-inflammatory pill such as aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen. This will help ease the pain and discomfort that settles in with the burn.

You can also use cortisone or aloe vera based creams directly on the skin the ease the inflammation. Make sure that you were loose, breathable clothes so that you don’t cause any further irritation to your skin.

Restore your fluids

Sunburns take fluid up to the skins’ surface and deprive other parts of the body. Make sure that you drink plenty of water to re-hydrate and also try drinking sports drinks to help replenish lost electrolytes.

If you blister, seek a doctor

The best ways to treat a sunburn

If severe blistering occurs after sunburn then you should seek a doctor right away. Do not attempt to scratch or pop blisters as this can lead to infection.