beauty

The One Thing You Should Do As Soon As You Start To Feel Your Skin Getting Sunburned

July 6, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

You know the feeling: one minute you’re hanging at the beach or on a sunny rooftop with a friend and then the next, your friend leans in to examine you a little closer and announces that you’re looking a little red. What she meant to say was lobster-like.

Your first instinct may be to apply more sunscreen or to run for a shady patch of land to stop that sunburn in its tracks before it gets worse, but once and for all, here’s the best course of action:

“If you’re near a cold pool, lake or ocean, take a quick dip to cool your skin, but only for a few seconds so you don’t prolong your exposure,” says Zondra Wilson, president and CEO of Blu Skin Care. “Then cover up and get out of the sun immediately. Continue to cool the burn with cold compresses. You can use ice to make ice water for a cold compress, but don’t apply ice directly to the sunburn. Or take a cool shower or bath, but not for too long because it can be drying, and avoid harsh soap, which might irritate the skin even more.” After cooling your skin, be sure to apply a gentle moisturizing lotion while your skin is still and repeat this process to keep burned or peeling skin moist over the next few days. One note of caution: avoid petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse.

If your sunburn is so bad that you’re skin is broken, see a doctor immediately. “The only lotion that should ever be applied to broken or blistered skin is an antibiotic ointment,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Kally Papantoniou.

If your skin is still feeling dry and sore after cooling it down and applying a hydrating moisturizer, consider these treatments:

1. Decrease the inflammation. At the first sign of sunburn, taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin, can help with discomfort and inflammation. “You can continue with the NSAIDs as directed until the burn feels better,” Wilson says. “You can also use a 1% over-the-counter cortisone cream as directed for a few days to help calm redness and swelling. Aloe vera may also soothe mild burns and is generally considered safe. Wear loose, soft, breathable clothing to avoid further skin irritation, and stay out of the sun.”

2. Replenish your fluids. Drink up! Keeping hydrated will help your sunburn heal and keep you from getting sick. “Burns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, so you may become dehydrated,” Wilson says. “It’s important to rehydrate by drinking extra liquids, including water and sports drinks that help to replenish electrolytes, immediately and while your skin heals.”

3. Consider natural remedies. There’s a good chance you already have everything you need in your fridge and pantry to help soothe your sunburn. A mixture of skim milk 1:4 parts water can be applied with cloths to soothe sunburned skin and is a remedy that can be very calming, Papantoniou says. Other great natural ingredients include oatmeal, which can be blended together with water or a milk and water paste that is applied to the skin, cucumbers (simply slice and apply directly to a sunburn), and chamomile, which should be cooled first and applied with tea cloths.

4. Seek medical treatment if necessary. If you really lost track of time and are now truly suffering from a horrendous sunburn, you may need to visit your doctor. “You should seek medical help if you or a child has severe blistering over a large portion of the body, has a fever and chills, or is woozy or confused,” Wilson says. “Don’t scratch or pop blisters, which can lead to infection. Signs of infection include red streaks or oozing.”

For more beauty news and tips, check out the right way to apply sunscreen and how to check your moles before going to a dermatologist.

Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

beauty

The $24 Anti-Aging Serum Celebrities Swear By For Wrinkle-Free Skin

June 20, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Wait, it's only $24?!

beauty

4 Foundation Mistakes You’re Making That Are Ruining Your Skin

June 20, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
Avoid these!

beauty

4 Life-Changing Hacks To Fix A Bad Spray Tan That Every Woman Needs To Know

June 19, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
It happens to the best of us.

beauty

5 Night Creams That Work Better Than Botox

June 19, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
They're THAT good!

beauty

We Found The World’s Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer At Target

June 19, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
You'll definitely want to stock up on this!

beauty

This Thinning Hair Serum Works SO Fast It Keeps Selling Out At Sephora

June 19, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Your hair will thank you for this!

beauty

4 Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Eyeshadow Dupes, Just In Case It Sells Out Again

June 18, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
Get the look for half the price.

beauty

This Is The *Right* Order To Apply Your Skincare Products

June 18, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
Follow these steps!

beauty

We Found The Best Dupes For Fenty Beauty By Rihanna’s Sold Out Body Lava

June 18, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
Get your glow on.

beauty

The $7 Product Meghan Markle ALWAYS Wears, According To Her Makeup Artist

June 18, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Stock up on it now before it sells out!

beauty

6 Sunscreens Every Woman Over 40 Should Be Using

June 18, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
You won't even notice you're wearing it!

beauty

This New Anti-Aging Product Is SO Good It's Already Selling Out At Sephora

June 18, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's out of this world!

beauty

These Hair Vitamins Works SO Fast They Keep Selling Out At Sephora

June 17, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
They work like magic!

beauty

This Anti-Aging Eye Cream Works SO Well It Has A 5-Star Rating On Sephora

June 16, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Your skin will never be the same!

beauty

This Face Mask Has Over 15,000 Reviews On Amazon--& It's Only $8!

June 16, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's THAT Good!

beauty

This New Dark Spot Product Works SO Fast It Keeps Selling Out At Sephora

June 16, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Everyone should be using this!
LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS