Sunburns happen. Despite all the warnings, education and encouragement about sun protection, covering up with sun protective clothing and sunscreen, people still get pink. The truth is, over 37% of adults reported getting a sunburn in 2010, with younger adults more commonly reported being burned. The Center for Disease Control also reports over 5 out of 10 high school boys and over 6 out of 10 high school girls got burned in 2017. While hindsight is always 20/20, and we can all say what we should have done, getting a sunburn doesn’t have to mean suffering. The best way to treat a sunburn is nursing the skin back to recovery.
Get The Pink Out
- Cool yourself. Cool compresses, cool bathes and even ice packs can decrease the swelling and burning associated with your suburn and make you feel more comfortable. Avene Thermal Spring Water is a nice way to cool and soothe the skin.
- Don’t wait, Hydrate. When the skin gets burned, it draws water out of the body and you can quickly become dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water is essential. Locking in skin moisture by applying a hydrating moisturizer will also help replenish your skin. I prefer moisturizing creams with aloe and calamine as they can further soothe the skin. Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Body Lotion, Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother, and Sun Bum Cool Down After Sun Hydrating Gel are products that contain aloe and other ani-inflammatory ingredients. One skin tip to remember is to keep your moisturizer in the fridge – your skin will thank you.
- Peel but don’t exfoliate! Put your brushes, masks and peels away. Do not pop any blisters or pull off peeling skin. Allow the skin to heal and turn over on its own.
- It’s OK to medicate. Anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen, Aleve and Naprosen can help with pain and swelling. Cortisone creams and topical anesthetics can further decrease inflammation and discomfort, respectively (although be careful of benzocaine containing products – these can further irritate your burn).
- Don’t kick yourself when you’re down. The last thing you need when you have a sunburn is more sun. Protect yourself with sunscreen and cover up with sun protective clothing. Apply a zinc-based sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 if you’re going to be outside. EltaMD UV Pure is great for kids and one of my favorite post burn.