Sunburn can be an uncomfortable experience, but there are ways to minimize its pain and redness.
1. Keep Your Skin Hydrated
As the name implies, sunburned skin is dry and itchy – leading to itching. To combat this, drink plenty of water and snack on fruits and vegetables that contain more water than usual in your diet.
2. Treat Your Sunburn With Cool Compresses
One of the most effective ways to relieve a burn is applying cold compresses. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, pouring cool water onto a clean cloth and placing it over the affected area several times daily for 10-15 minutes can provide significant relief from sunburn symptoms.
3. Aloe vera Gel
Aloe vera (in gel form or from the plant) is an age-old sunburn healer with cooling properties and proven to promote wound healing, according to Jaber. So slather some on your burned skin several times a day or apply an aloe vera-infused compress as soon as you get out of the shower, she suggests.
4. Soaking Cucumbers in Cool Water
Cool cucumbers can be used as a washcloth or soaked in cool water to reduce inflammation and itching, according to Goldenberg. He adds that this fruit is an antioxidant and natural analgesic, helping alleviate pain and itching.
5. Apply Hydrocortisone Cream
If you’re experiencing itching or other signs of a sunburn, Dr. Chon suggests trying 1% hydrocortisone cream as a treatment for various skin conditions such as rashes and allergic reactions. He also suggests applying it directly onto the burned area for added comfort and moisture.
6. Take a Cool Shower or Bath
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), taking a cool shower or bath can help relieve itching and swelling. Afterward, pat yourself dry and apply moisturizer for extra hydration; the AAD suggests.
7. Try Freezing a Serum Popsicle
If your skin is feeling sensitive, dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD suggests creating a frozen serum popsicle to glide over the area. Start by freezing hydrating or soothing serums in an ice cube tray before applying them directly on your skin, she advises.
8. Use a Soy-Based Moisturizer
A moisturizing skin-care lotion that contains glycerin and soy extract may help your skin retain more of its own moisture, which will be important during recovery. Dr. Sherber suggests looking for these ingredients in skin-care products such as moisturizers and after-sun lotions; one example being Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra S.O.S Intense Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum which contains soy.
9. Consider Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
If you’re suffering from itching or other symptoms associated with a sunburn, take over-the-counter medications available at any drugstore or health food store to reduce itching and discomfort. However, Gonzalez cautions that these should only be used occasionally for short durations of time.