Treating sunburn caused by improper sun exposure and unsuitable protection

Your skin may burn if it is overexposed to sun without proper protection from sunscreen and clothing. In such an event, you should start treating the sunburn as soon as you notice it.

  1. The first thing you should do is get out of the sun – preferably indoors.

  2. Place a cold, wet cloth on your skin. Repeat this after 10 or 15 minutes several times and several days if necessary. This will help get rid of part of the heat in your skin. Frequent cold baths or showers also help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin.

  3. Then, apply a cream/gel to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness and tingling. Do not use lotions or creams containing petroleum jelly, benzocaine or lidocaine. Products with petroleum retain the heat, while benzocaine and lidocaine may irritate the skin.

  4. * If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, consult a pharmacist or a doctor.

  5. If the sunburns are painful, consider taking ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.

  6. Drink a lot of water. Sunburn makes you dehydrated, so you should drink extra water.

  7. Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors.

  8. Tightly-woven fabrics work best for protection of sunburnt skin.
    How to check which fabric is tightly woven? When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

  9. If your skin blisters, this means it is a matter of more serious sunburn so you should consult a doctor/dermatologist.