So even though you took extra precautions, tried to stay in the shade and even lathered yourself in SPF 50–yet you somehow STILL got a sunburn. Or maybe you skipped all of those precautions and now have a painful lesson to learn. No need to beat yourself up over it now–we all make mistakes. The first thing to do is realize what a sunburn is and how to effectively treat it.

What is a sunburn?

  • Reddening, inflammation, and, in severe cases, blistering and peeling of the skin caused by overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
  • It is a burn to living tissue, such as skin, which is produced by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly from the sun‘s rays. Usually, normal symptoms in humans and other animals consist of red or reddish skin that is hot to the touch, general fatigue, and mild dizziness. An excess of UV radiation can be life-threatening in extreme cases because it causes skin cancer.

So, you’ve got all the symptoms and now you just want to know how to make the pain stop!  There are some steps you can take to alleviate the damage and pain. Just follow these tips in the 6-Step Sunburn Rescue Plan and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  1. Wash the burned area with a mild soap and lukewarm water. 
  2. Take Aspirin or Ibuprofen: It reduces the inflammation to ease the irritation and redness. Take it within 24 hours of the burn or the redness could cause permanent damage.
  3. Apply a cold compress to the area.
  4. Apply Aloe Vera Gel or use the following home-remedies:  There are many different options. Some of our Facebook fans gave some suggestions such as putting Aloe or Witch Hazel in the refrigerator, then applying them to the affected area. If you are a college student and can’t afford those–then grab whatever can of light beer you have in the fridge and apply (this was just a suggestions–I have never tried it.) Vinegar in a spray bottle or on a cotton swab can help to soothe the burned area.
  5. Once your skin begins to peel–Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! Use aloe or soy infused lotion to help with the dryness and flaking. You can NEVER over moisturize, but try to avoid lotions with harsh perfumes or chemicals.
  6. Avoid the sun while you’re healing: Further exposure could cause further damage that may require medical attention. “If your skin develops blisters, if the burn is very painful, or is accompanied by a fever and extreme thirst or fatigue, seek medical attention immediately. These may be signs of a more serious medical condition.”