How to Treat Sunburn at Home

Are you suffering from a painful sunburn? Don’t worry! Here’s a guide to help you alleviate your discomfort and heal your burn quickly. You don’t need to spend money on expensive treatments, just use the home remedies we outline to start feeling better.

Quick facts: Treating Sunburn At Home

  • ✅ Applying a cool compress to the affected area of skin can help reduce sunburn swelling and redness. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can help reduce inflammation and discomfort. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Applying aloe vera gel to the sunburn area can help soothe the skin and prevent peeling. (WebMD)
  • ✅ An oatmeal bath may help alleviate the pain and itching of sunburns. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Sunburns are more frequent among fair-skinned individuals, especially those with red or blond hair. (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • Understanding Sunburn

    Sunburns are a common problem caused by overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Sunburns can range from mild to severe and can cause skin discolouration, itching, swelling and blisters. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of sunburn in order to determine the best course of treatment.

    Let’s take a closer look at sunburn and how to treat it at home:

    Causes of sunburn

    Sunburn is a type of skin damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is primarily emitted by the sun. Sunburn can be both immediate and long-term, damaging the skin in both the short-term and long-term. It is important to understand the potential causes of sunburn in order to help avoid or treat it.

    The most common cause of sunburn is overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. UV radiation breaks down proteins and fats in the skin, resulting in redness, swelling, pain, itching, peeling and blistering. Long-term exposure to UV rays can also cause wrinkles and age spots. Sunscreens with a high SPF rating will prevent most sunburn caused by this source of UV radiation.

    Other sources of UV radiation include certain welding arcs, electric arcs and synthetic sources such as fluorescent lamps (including tanning beds). Additionally, reflective surfaces such as snow can increase exposure as light reflects off these surfaces onto your skin so it’s important to take extra steps for protection when engaging in activities on snow or ice for prolonged periods of time.

    Symptoms of sunburn

    Sunburn occurs after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It is estimated that nearly 5 million cases of sunburn occur in the US every year. Sunburn is identified by its typical physical symptoms, which can include:

    • Redness and pain on the face, neck, arms, or any other exposed area of skin;
    • Small bumps on sunburned skin;
    • Swelling and tenderness;
    • Blisters; and
    • Peeling skin.

    The severity of the burn depends on a variety of factors such as an individual’s skin type, amount of exposure to UV radiation, and whether or not sunscreen was used. Severe cases may cause fever and extreme pain in addition to all other symptoms. It is important to recognize these symptoms as soon as possible in order to reduce discomfort and promote healing.


    Sunburns can be very uncomfortable and can last for days or even weeks. Fortunately, there are some simple treatments that can help reduce the symptoms and alleviate discomfort at home. In this heading, we will discuss the treatment protocols for sunburns and what can be done to help reduce the symptoms:

    • Apply cool compresses or take a cool bath to reduce the discomfort.
    • Apply a moisturizing lotion or aloe vera gel to the affected area.
    • Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and swelling.
    • Avoid further sun exposure until the sunburn has healed.
    • Drink plenty of fluids to replace lost fluids due to sweating.

    Take a cool shower or bath

    Taking a cool shower or bath can be very soothing when dealing with sunburn. It helps to remove sweat, dirt, and other irritants that could be making your sunburn worse. Make sure to avoid soap or shower gels with added fragrances and artificial dyes as these can worsen irritation. Additionally, do not scrub the skin too hard or use loofahs as this could irritate the skin further. After spending some time in cool water, gently pat the burnt area dry with a soft towel rather than rubbing it vigorously.

    Taking a cool shower or bath may help to soothe your sunburn and reduce the amount of discomfort you feel.

    Apply moisturizing lotion

    Applying a moisturizing lotion to the sunburned area is one of the best treatments you can use to relieve the discomfort of a sunburn. Moisturizers help keep your skin hydrated and help to protect it from further damage. Choose a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or shea butter, as these contain soothing properties that can calm the pain and reduce any inflammation you may be experiencing.

    You should immediately apply the lotion after you get out of the sun to start receiving relief from your sunburn. Reapply every few hours throughout the day, especially if you will be outside again in direct sunlight.

    Take ibuprofen

    Taking ibuprofen is one of the most useful treatments for sunburns. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling and pain, as well as relieving the skin from becoming too dry. To help treat sunburn at home, take a single ibuprofen tablet every four to six hours, making sure not to exceed the recommended dosage. It’s also important to be aware of any potential allergies or sensitivities you may have before taking ibuprofen.

    In addition to taking ibuprofen, it’s important to drink plenty of water when you experience a sunburn, as dehydration can worsen the feeling of discomfort or pain that comes with sunburns. The best way to stay hydrated is by:

    • Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day
    • Avoiding alcohol, tea and coffee which can be dehydrating.

    Apply aloe vera

    Aloe vera is a natural remedy that is commonly used to treat sunburns and other minor skin irritations. Aloe vera gel, found in the leaves of the aloe plant, contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and irritation caused by a sunburn. When applied topically to the affected area, aloe vera has been known to provide a cooling sensation and help skin heal quickly.

    When purchasing an aloe vera product for sunburn treatment, make sure it has high levels of aloin and aloesin for the greatest benefits. Aloin and aloesin are active ingredients in the skin of an aloe leaf that can promote fast healing and mitigation of inflammation associated with a sunburn.

    Wear loose clothing

    Wearing loose clothing is one of the best ways to soothe sunburn pain and prevent further injury. Loose clothing helps to prevent your skin from chafing and also allows it to breathe and cool down. If you have a sunburn, wear natural fabrics such as cotton or linen, which offer more breathability than synthetic materials like polyester or acrylic.

    Other forms of protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves can also help prevent sunburns. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Not only will staying hydrated help reduce the severity of your burn but it will also help keep your skin moisturized and healthy.


    Sunburn can be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent getting sunburned. Wearing protective clothing such as hats and long sleeves can protect you from the sun’s UV rays. Additionally, using sunscreen with a high SPF will provide your skin with additional protection.

    Let’s explore other ways to prevent sunburn:

    Wear sunscreen

    When in the sun, it is important to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen, which will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply at least 2 ounces of sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin (1 teaspoon to the face) every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.

    Avoid direct midday sun from 10am – 4pm and seek shade whenever possible. Wear protective clothing such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, as well as sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays when spending time in the sun for extended periods of time.

    Additionally, babies under 6 months should avoid direct sunlight; use stroller covers for shade when outdoors and keep them out of the sun during peak hours.

    Avoid the sun during peak hours

    If you have a sunburn, it is important to avoid the sun during peak hours. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends avoiding the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, as this is when rays are strongest. They also recommend wearing protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, as well as using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

    If possible, try to stay in the shade during peak hours; if not, wear lightweight clothing that covers your skin and use an umbrella for additional protection. It is also important to seek shelter from direct sunlight and stay hydrated throughout the day. Finally, pay attention to your body’s signals—if you begin to feel too hot or feel any pain from the sunburn, find shade immediately.

    Wear protective clothing

    Protecting your skin from the sun is one of the most effective ways to prevent a sunburn. Wearing protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, and pants when outside can help block damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV rays are what cause sunburns and can also increase your risk of skin cancer.

    To further protect against UV rays, you may also want to consider wearing sunglasses that provide complete UV protection.

    If you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, make sure you reapply sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 every two hours or more often after swimming or sweating heavily. Look for sunscreen labels that provide broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.

    Stay hydrated

    One of the most important steps in treating sunburn at home is to stay hydrated. Sunburn can cause dehydration due to increased water loss from the skin, and drinking extra fluids can help restore hydration.

    • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as well as electrolyte-replenishing sports drinks, can help to replace lost fluid.
    • Eating cooling foods such as cucumbers and cold soups, which are high in water content and low in sodium, can also be beneficial for restoring hydration levels more quickly.
    • Additionally, applying a cool compress or taking a cool bath may provide relief from some of the discomfort associated with sunburn.

    FAQs about: Treating Sunburn At Home

    Q: What home remedies can I use to treat sunburn?

    A: The most effective home remedies for sunburn include drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, taking a cool bath or shower, applying a cold compress, aloe vera gel, and over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

    Q: How can I prevent sunburn?

    A: The best way to prevent sunburn is to wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, as well as to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that is applied every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

    Q: How long does it take for sunburn to heal?

    A: It typically takes between three and five days for sunburn to fully heal.

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