What helps sunburn? Is milk helpful to sunburned skin? These are some of the questions we keep getting from our esteemed readers. This article will seek to answer these questions and give you a break down of everything you need to know about helping sunburns.
What Helps Sunburn – How to Sunburn Help
Has a tanning session or summer holiday gone wrong left you wondering what to do to help such sunburn? Don’t worry, you are not alone. According to the WebMD website, as much as 70 percent of children and one-third of the adult population have been afflicted with sunburn at some point in their life.
Luckily, there are many products and ingredients available to help sunburn and as you will soon realize they all work by either relieving the pain, inflammation or itching that is commonly associated with sunburn or by keeping the skin moisturized in order to restore the lost body fluids.
There are also several remedies that work by balancing the pH of the skin in order to ensure faster healing.
With that in mind here is how to sunburn help – as one of our readers likes to put it.
Aloe vera: This is the first remedy that pops to my mind every time asks me what helps sunburn or other related question. The idea is to apply a thin film of pure aloe vera to the affected area of skin, using either an aloe vera gel (available in drugstores) or a fresh leaf from the plant.
Vinegar: The acetic acid in vinegar is often helpful for sunburn. It helps to not only relieve itching but also the inflammation and pain often associated with sunburns. Simply soak a small washcloth into vinegar and pat it gently (not rub) all across the affected areas of skin.
Cool soaks: Take a washcloth soaked in cool water (not ice-cold water) and compress it against the sunburned area of skin. For larger areas, you can as well get a cold shower or bath for 15 minutes to help relief pain, inflammation and itching.
Other ways to help sunburn are:
– Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil)
– Milk: Apply some cool milk on the sunburn affected area of skin
– Topical steroid creams: Apply a 1% hydrocortisone cream on the skin as directed by the pharmacist to relieve inflammation and itching
– Hydration: keep the sunburned skin moisturized using a lotion or cream e.g. Cetaphil
– Black tea: Apply some cool freshly prepared tea on the affected area
– Cucumber: Apply some mashed cucumber or rub sliced cucumber on the sunburn
– Vitamin E: Apply vitamin E oil on the sunburned skin
What Helps Sunburn Pain
In addition to redness, pain is one of the most common symptoms of sunburn. The pain is particularly intense when the affected area of skin is touched.
The options available for relieving of sunburn pain range from over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) to cool compresses and soaks, black tea, and 1% hydrocortisone creams.
Does Milk Help Sunburn
One of the questions that keep popping up in online health and skin care forums is, “Does milk help sunburn”. Well, according to the Medicinenet.com website, milk helps to soothe sunburn by forming a thin film of protein which then helps to ease the discomfort.
An important point to note however that only cool milk is is recommended for use on sunburns, not hot, nor chilled. In fact, chilled liquids – including ice – are generally not recommended for sunburns as they worsen the situation rather than improve it as the US National Library of Medicine says.
On that note, the right answer to the question, does milk help sunburn, is “yes, cool milk helps sunburn”.
Does Aloe Vera Help Sunburn
It is a superstar home remedy that you will find recommended for most skin conditions which might then leave you wondering “does aloe vera help sunburn?’
Well, the answer to this question is, yes, aloe vera works great in soothing sunburned skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. You can apply it as a fresh sap or a preserved gel (available over-the-counter in most drugstores), or even go for an aloe-vera containing lotion or cream.
What Helps Sunburn Itch
Sunburn itch can make you pretty uncomfortable and impact on your productivity. It is not advisable to scratch the sunburned area as this can cause bacterial infection especially if there are blisters, signifying second degree sunburn.
Therefore, what helps sunburn itch, you may ask. Well, applying a moisturizing lotion or cream is often helpful but if that doesn’t seem to improve the itching, you may want to get the oatmeal soak described in another section of this article.
Applying a 1% hydrocortisone cream can also help to reduce sunburn itching.
How to Help A Sunburn Heal Faster
A sunburn is often so irritating and sitting back to wait for as long as 7 days – the average higher end number of days it takes a first degree sunburn (with 3 days constituting the average number on the lower end) may be out of question for you which might then interest you to learn how to help a sunburn heal faster.
Hastening the sunburn healing process revolves around keeping the skin moisturized and reducing the inflammation typically associated with sunburn.
Getting a cool compress every now and then, applying a lotion, and applying a 1% hydrocortisone cream are some of the options you may want to consider. Using aloe vera sap or gel is also a fabulous approach to it and so is the application of vitamin E, cucumber, or milk, all of which have been discussed in another section of this article.
For a blistering sunburn (second degree sunburn), application of an antibiotic cream e.g. Neosporin (Bacitracin) followed by dressing with a nonstick dressing is recommended.
Best Way to Help Sunburn
So what are the best ways to help sunburn, you ask. Well, that would depend on the nature of the sunburn e.g. itching or not, inflamed or not etc.
Cool soaks and compresses are however a fantastic options and are easily your best bet. Aloe vera is also a force to reckon with. As for pain, your best option would be an OTC pain reliever such as acetaminophen.