Sunburn is a painful consequence of ultraviolent ray’s damage and can leave you wondering what sunburn treatment option is best suited to relieve you of the symptoms and promote faster healing. This article will highlight everything you need to know about treatment of sunburned skin.
Vinegar Sunburn Treatment
One of the most common concerns online is, “Can I use vinegar for sunburn?” Well, vinegar is one of the most common and effective home remedies for sunburn.
Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to relieve the itching and inflammation commonly associated with sunburn. Vinegar also helps to cool the skin as it evaporates from its surface and restores the pH of the skin which then helps to fasten the healing process.
White vinegar is often helpful, but apple cider vinegar is regarded the best treatment option for sunburn.
There are basically two approaches to using vinegar for sunburn treatment. The first is to apply vinegar using a small washcloth that has been soaked in it and the second is to add a couple cups of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar if it is what you have) into a lukewarm water bath.
Sunburn Treatment at Home
Getting rid of heat, hydration, management of symptoms of sunburn, and prevention of further UV ray’s damage are the overarching objectives of sunburn treatment. Here is a sunburn treatment regime that you can use at home:
Get out of the sun: Your first intervention measure should be to prevent further damage to skin cells by getting out of the sun. If you have to go outdoors wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF15 or more. The closer the product gets to SPF30, the better it is.
Stay cool: Once you are out of the sun, it is time to keep the skin cooled as sunburn is usually associated with a buildup of heat that does no good to your skin. Place a damp washcloth on the sunburned area of skin for 15-30 minutes, re-soaking it as frequent as it is needed if it gets warm.
Alternatively, you can take a cool shower or bath from time to time. You should never use hot water or ice on sunburned skin until it has healed.
Add moisture: Sunburn typically leaves the skin dehydrated and restoring skin moisture does marvel to the healing skin.
Hydrating the skin is as easy as applying a good moisturizing lotion such as Cetaphil or Aquaphor. Petroleum based products, such as Vaseline, are not recommended for treatment of sunburn. They often clog skin pores and prevent the loss of heat which can then exacerbate the burn.
If your skin is blistered as a result of the sunburn however, moisturizing with lotions or creams is not recommended. Applying an antibiotic cream should help.
Soothe with Aloe vera: Aloe vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties which helps to soothe skin cells damaged by sunburn. Aloe vera gel products are available over-the-counter in most local drugstores, but a fresh Aloe vera juice from an aloe plant leaf is equally effective in sunburn treatment.
Tea: Tea contains tannic acid which helps to soothe sunburns by drawing out heat. Simply prepare a pot of tea and allow it cool before rinsing the sunburned area of the skin with it.
Milk: Placing a washcloth soaked in milk on the skin also helps to relieve sunburn symptoms and promote healing. According to the Medicinenet.com website, applying milk provides the skin with a thin film of protein which is beneficial to sunburn.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: In case of pain, taking OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help.
Sunburn Treatment for Kids
Sunburn treatment for kids is largely the same as the treatment for adults. In a nutshell, it revolves around protecting your kid from further sun exposure and damage, keeping her skin cool and hydrated, and soothing the symptoms commonly associated with sunburns.
An important point to note however is that aspirin is not recommended for children as it can trigger a fatal, but rare condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Remember also that sunscreen is also not recommended for use on babies aged below 6 months (protection from the sun is). As a matter of fact, you should call your doctor urgently if your six months old gets sunburned.
Sunburn Rash Treatment
Sunburn rash typically begin as a mole-like spot or a small patch of reddened or pink skin that then starts to spread out, sometimes covering as huge areas as the whole back. It appears within 12and 24 hours of UV exposure and can be particularly worse if taking certain medications e.g. Doxycycline.
Sunburn rash treatment can be broken down into protection of further damage (getting out of the sun), cooling the skin (cool compresses), hydration (applying lotion), and soothing of symptoms (aloe vera, anti-inflammatory medicine etc). These are discussed in more details in another section of the article.
Extreme Sunburn Treatment
Although mild cases – and some severe cases – of sunburn usually respond well to home treatment using the above listed interventions, extreme sunburns warrant the attention of your doctor.
You should see your doctor immediately if sunburn is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, nausea, chills, or general malaise (feeling weak), and if blisters suddenly starts oozing pus.
Second Degree Sunburn Treatment- 2nd Degree Sunburn Treatment
Second degree sunburn is majorly distinguished for having blisters on the affected parts of the skin. In addition, the skin may get swollen and get particularly painful.
So, what is the best second degree sunburn treatment, you ask. Well, there is the common temptation to pop the blisters out, but this does more harm than good; this can set the path to a serious infection.
Your first line of action should be to keep the skin cool by taking frequent showers. For arms and legs, you can soak them in cool water for 15 to 30 minutes, otherwise take a shower every now and then for other parts of the body.
Applying an antibiotic cream is also helpful in prevention of infections. After the shower, pat the skin dry with a clean gauze or cloth and dab some antibiotic cream such as Polysporin or Bacitracin.
If the blisters burst, remove the fragments of skin with clean hands and dab an antibiotic cream before dressing the affected area with a non-stick bandage. Avoid dressing the affected area too tight as this can exert undue pressure.
Sunburn with Blisters Treatment
I have developed painful blisters on my back after sunbathing on the beach last weekend. What is the best way to treat the blisters?” This is a question recently asked by one of our valued readers in the comment section of another article.
As we have already mentioned in a previous section of this article, the best treatment for sunburn with blisters is to just keep the skin cool and protected with an antibiotic cream such as Bacitracin.
You should also watch out for signs of bacterial infection such as fever, chills, pus discharge, and increasing swelling and pain. If such symptoms are observed, see your doctor urgently.