Painful sunburn? Then you have come to the right place. Continue reading to discover some of the best sunburn pain relief remedies.
Sunburn Pain Relief or How to Relieve Sunburn Pain
Sunburns usually cause significant pain. But with a wide array of treatment options available to offer sunburn pain relief while promoting speedy healing, you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Here are some of the options available to relieve sunburn pain:
Anti-inflammatory pills: Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or aspirin helps to not only relieve pain but also swelling.
Francesca Fusco, MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, NY recommends taking some pain relievers as soon as possible. This helps to reduce the extent of skin redness.
Aspirin should not be given to children aged below 16 years. It can trigger a fatal condition known as Reye’s syndrome.
The WebMD website recommends taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) if you are pregnant, but on the downside, it only relieves pain but doesn’t lessen inflammation.
Topical steroids: Applying a 1% hydrocortisone cream may also offer sunburn pain relief and reduce inflammation. The WebMD website however recommends against such creams on children who are under the age of 2 years unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
You should as well never use steroid creams in the vaginal and rectal area in children aged below 12 years without your doctor’s consent.
What to do for headaches
Sunburn can cause headache and a mild fever. If that happens, lie down in a cool and quiet room and get plenty of water since dehydration is often to blame for headaches.
Best Pain Relief for Sunburn
The other day, one of our readers asked, “What is the best pain relief for sunburn?” Well, painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin etc) or aspirin is a good bet and so are potato slices or paste. 1% hydrocortisone cream may also help. Aloe vera is a good option too.
Severe Sunburn Pain Relief
“I have severe sunburn pain, what should I do to relieve it?” Alicia
That is also an inquiry sent to use by one of our readers via email. For severe sunburn pain, your first course of action should be to use anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen while soothing the skin frequently with cool compresses, aloe vera, and moisturizing lotions.
If that doesn’t seem to offer relief, get a 1% hydrocortisone cream at your local pharmacy (or drugstore). If all fails, seek medical attention.
Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief or Homemade Sunburn Relief or DIY Sunburn Relief
There exist many home remedies that offer relief from sunburn symptoms and promote healing. These include:
Wear appropriate clothing: Those skinny jeans may be fashionable but they will not do your sunburned skin any favor. They will only irritate your skin further and worsen the symptoms of sunburn e.g. itching and peeling. Instead wear some loose-fitting clothing made from natural fiber such as cotton or linen.
Cool down: Keeping the skin cool also helps to soothe it and promote faster healing. For small areas of skin, apply a cold compress (that is a washcloth soaked in cold water) three times or more daily. Press the washcloth on the sunburned skin until it doesn’t feel cool anymore.
As for larger areas of skin, getting a cool shower or bath every now and then can help. Use a mild soap such s Aveeno Bar or Dove and do away with that sponge.
Milk: Applying cool skim milk is also beneficial to sunburned skin. According to Dr. Fusco, the coolness in the milk and the protein film created on the skin help to offer relief from sunburn.
Green tea: Cool green tea also ranks among the best home remedies for sunburn relief. Tea helps to protect the skin from further ultraviolet radiation damage while lessening inflammation. This is owed to the tannic acid in tea which helps to take heat out of the sunburned skin.
Cool chamomile tea is also helpful.
Moisturize: Keeping the skin moisturized do wonders to sunburns. It will not only offer relief for pain and itching but also minimize the extent of skin flaking and peeling. Go for the richest water-based moisturizer you can get your hands on. Dr. Fusco recommends Lubriderm or Eucerin.
You should however stay away from moisturizers that contain anti-aging chemicals such as hydroxyl acids and retinol or alcohol as these can dry the skin and exacerbate itching and redness.
There are also numerous brands of aftersun creams out there that you may want to try. Available at pharmacies (drugstores), aftersun creams usually help to cool your skin while moisturizing it.
If you can get your hands on a calamine lotion, it can help to relieve itching and pain.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a superb remedy when it comes to treatment of burns including sunburns. With anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, aloe vera has been scientifically proven to aid in faster hassling of burns and is indeed used in some hospitals to treat burns.
An easy but effective way to use this remedy is to cut an aloe vera plant leaf along the length and then apply its juice directly on the sunburned areas of skin. Alternatively, you can use an aloe vera gel – available in drugstores – or apply a moisturizer that contains aloe vera.
Extra tips for sunburn relief:
- Cut raw potato into thin slices (or blend) and apply them on the skin to relieve pain.
- Mash two chilled cucumbers and apply the paste on the skin and once dry, wash it off with cool water.
- Add ½ cup of oatmeal or baking soda to bath water to offer relief from itching
- To prevent chafing, apply a light powder on the areas of skin that are rubbed against clothing e.g. along bra straps or bikini line
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep cool and replenish body fluids
- Avoid drinking alcohol to prevent further dehydration
- Eat a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, lean meat and fruits
- Take vitamin E supplements or look for products with vitamin E
- Stay away from the sun and other UV sources such as tanning beds
Sunburn Redness Relief
Skin redness is one of the first symptoms of sunburn. It usually starts as a small pinkish patch or mole-like spot and then spread out over larger areas of skin. According to Dr. Fusco, using over-the-counter pain relieving pills early on – and keeping it up for the nest 48 hours – helps to reduce redness.
Although redness clears away as the skin heals from the sunburn, you can offer sunburn redness relief by soothing the skin with aloe vera, moisturizing the skin, and applying over-the-counter steroid creams (e.g. 1% hydrocortisone cream). It is also important that you avoid any further irritation by wearing loose-fitting cotton or linen clothing.