How Long Does It Take for Sunburn to Go Away

Have you ever spent a day outside, only to find yourself with a painful, bright red sunburn the next morning?

It’s not an uncommon experience, and one that can leave you wondering just how long it will take for your skin to heal.

Sunburn is more than just a temporary discomfort - it carries the risk of infection, skin cancer, and premature aging.

So, how long does it take for sunburn to go away?

The answer might surprise you.

Symptoms of Sunburn

Sunburn is a common skin condition that occurs due to excessive sun exposure.

The symptoms of sunburn are usually evident within a few hours of exposure, and they can take several days or even weeks to go away completely.

The most common signs of sunburn include redness, pain, and peeling of the skin.

The affected area may become warm to the touch, and it may also feel tender and itchy.

In severe cases, blisters may form on the skin.

Some people may also experience flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and fatigue.

The severity of the symptoms will depend on the intensity and duration of sun exposure.

Mild sunburn can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and cool compresses.

However, if the sunburn is severe, it is important to seek medical attention as it may lead to complications like dehydration, infection, and permanent skin damage.

In order to prevent sunburn, it is recommended to wear protective clothing, use sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun especially during peak hours.

Factors Affecting Sunburn Recovery Time

Sunburn is a common summer skin condition that can be painful and irritating.

The duration and recovery time of sunburn can vary depending on several factors.

The severity of the burn is a significant factor that impacts the recovery period.

Mild sunburns can take two to three days to heal, whereas more severe burns can take up to a week or more to recover.

The skin type and immune system of the individual can also affect the recovery time.

Fair-skinned people with light-colored eyes are more susceptible to sunburn and require more time to recover than those with darker skin tones.

Individuals with weaker immune systems or underlying health conditions may experience longer recovery periods.

The treatment method used can also impact recovery time.

Sunburns can be treated with over-the-counter creams, aloe vera, or prescribed ointments and medications.

The application of these treatments can lead to faster and more effective healing.

In conclusion, several factors can impact the duration and recovery time of sunburns.

It is crucial to take preventative measures to avoid sunburn and care for your skin properly after exposure to the sun to ensure a speedy recovery.

Tips for Preventing Sunburn

Sunburn can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience, and for many people, it can take days or even weeks to fully heal.

Prevention is key, and there are several tips that everyone should keep in mind to avoid getting sunburned in the first place.

First and foremost, wearing sunscreen is essential.

Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and make sure to apply it generously and frequently.

It’s also a good idea to wear protective clothing, such as lightweight long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.

Avoiding the sun during peak hours, typically between 10 a.m.

and 4 p.m.,

can also help reduce the risk of sunburn.

If you do end up getting sunburned, the severity will typically depend on a number of factors, including your skin type, the amount of exposure you had, and whether or not you were wearing protective clothing.

Mild cases of sunburn often go away within a few days, while more severe cases can take upwards of a week or longer to heal.

While there is no cure for sunburn, there are several things you can do to ease the discomfort and speed up the healing process.

Drinking plenty of water, applying aloe vera gel or other lotions, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can all help alleviate the symptoms of sunburn.

Finally, it’s important to remember that prevention is always the best course of action, so make sure to take the necessary steps to protect your skin whenever you’re planning to spend time in the sun.


Sunburn can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to fully heal, depending on the severity of the burn.

Mild sunburns typically start to heal within 3-5 days, while more severe burns can take up to 10-14 days to fully heal.

In addition to the duration of the burn, the healing process can also vary depending on factors such as skin type, amount of sun exposure, and overall health.

For individuals who have experienced sunburn, there are several key points to keep in mind to help promote healing and prevent further damage.

Firstly, it is important to stay out of the sun while the skin is healing.

This means wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure.

It is also important to keep the affected area moisturized with a soothing lotion or aloe vera gel to help reduce inflammation and promote skin repair.

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is also crucial, as sunburn can dehydrate the body.

Finally, if the burn is severe or accompanied by symptoms such as fever or chills, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure proper care.


How long does it take for sunburn to go away?

It usually takes around 3-5 days for mild sunburns to heal, while severe sunburns can require up to 2 weeks or more for complete recovery.

What are the symptoms of sunburn?

Symptoms of sunburn include redness and tenderness of the skin, irritation, pain, blisters, peeling, and fever in severe cases.

What causes sunburn?

Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or other sources such as tanning beds. UV radiation can damage skin cells and the body’s immune system reacts to this damage by producing inflammation which causes redness, swelling, and pain.

How can I prevent sunburn?

To prevent sunburn, it’s important to limit your exposure to the sun during peak hours (10am to 4pm), seek shade whenever possible, wear protective clothing such as hats and long-sleeve shirts, and apply sunscreen with a high SPF (30 or above) regularly and generously to all exposed skin.

How do I treat sunburn?

There are a few things you can do to treat sunburn, including drinking plenty of water, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, applying aloe vera or other soothing creams, taking cool baths or showers, and avoiding further exposure to the sun until the sunburn has healed.

How soon after getting sunburned should I start treating it?

It’s best to begin treating sunburn as soon as you notice it. The longer you wait to begin treating it, the more severe it can become and the longer it may take to heal.

Can sunburn cause long-term damage to my skin?

Yes, sunburn can cause long-term damage to your skin. Repeated and prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause premature aging, wrinkles, sun spots, and an increased risk for skin cancer. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, seeking shade, and covering up with clothing and a hat.

When should I see a doctor for sunburn?

You should see a doctor for sunburn if it covers a large area of your body, blisters, or is accompanied by fever, chills, nausea, or confusion. Also, if you have severe pain and are unable to perform daily activities, seek medical attention.

What are some over-the-counter treatments for sunburn?

Some over-the-counter treatments for sunburn include aloe vera gel, hydrocortisone cream, aspirin or ibuprofen for pain relief, and moisturizing lotions or creams to prevent peeling.

Can I make my own remedies for sunburn?

Yes, you can make your own remedies for sunburn. Natural remedies like aloe vera, oatmeal, and cool compresses made with chamomile tea and apple cider vinegar can be effective in relieving pain and inflammation. However, it’s important to note that homemade remedies may not be as effective as commercial products, so if your sunburn is severe or if you have any concerns, it’s best to consult a doctor.

Will aloe vera help sunburn?

Aloe vera is a natural remedy that can help soothe sunburned skin. Its cooling effect can provide relief from pain and reduce inflammation. Applying aloe vera gel to sunburned skin multiple times a day can expedite the healing process and alleviate discomfort.

Can I still go outside with sunburn?

It is generally recommended to avoid sun exposure until the sunburn has healed. Exposing sunburned skin to additional sunlight can further damage the skin and increase the risk of developing other complications such as skin cancer.

How long should I wait to go back out in the sun after getting sunburned?

It is recommended to wait until your sunburn has fully healed and your skin has returned to its normal color before going back out in the sun. This typically takes about a week, but can vary depending on the severity of the burn.

Is it possible to get sunburned while wearing sunscreen?

Yes, it is possible to get sunburned while wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen can rub off or wear off over time, or it may not be applied properly. Additionally, sunscreen may not provide full protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and some types of UV radiation may still penetrate the skin and cause damage.