How to Help with Sunburn

Summer fun can sometimes come with an unpleasant consequence: sunburn.

If you’ve ever suffered from the painful effects of too much time in the sun, you know how miserable it can be.

Sunburn can not only be uncomfortable, but it can also increase the risk for skin cancer and premature aging.

So, what can you do when you or a loved one experiences sunburn?

In this article, we’ll explore some soothing remedies and relief tips to help ease the pain and discomfort of sunburn.

Causes and Symptoms of Sunburn

Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, which damages the skin cells.

The main symptoms of sunburn include redness, pain, and skin that feels hot to the touch.

It can also cause itching, swelling, blisters, and peeling skin.

Sunburn can happen quickly, sometimes within just 15 minutes of being in the sun, and the severity of the burn depends on factors such as skin type, the intensity of the sun’s rays, and the amount of time spent in the sun.

Sunburns can also cause dehydration, fever, chills, and nausea in severe cases.

It’s important to take precautions to avoid sunburn by staying out of the sun during peak hours, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to exposed skin every two hours.

Preventative Measures

Sunburn is an uncomfortable and often painful skin condition caused by overexposure to the sun.

Fortunately, there are several preventative measures that can be taken to avoid sunburn altogether.

One of the most important recommendations is to apply a high SPF sunscreen to exposed skin at least 30 minutes before going outside.

Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

It is also advisable to stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.

If you do need to be outside during these times, seek shade under a tree, umbrella, or other cover.

Wearing protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants can also help prevent sunburn.

It is especially important to protect young children, as their skin is particularly sensitive to the sun’s rays.

By following these preventative measures, you can reduce your risk of developing sunburn and keep your skin healthy and protected.

Soothing Remedies

Sunburn can be a miserable experience, leaving skin red, painful, and tender to the touch.

Fortunately, there are several soothing remedies that can help alleviate the discomfort and promote healing.

Natural remedies like aloe vera, which can be found at your local drugstore, are a staple for treating sunburn.

Aloe vera has natural cooling properties and is an anti-inflammatory, which can relieve pain and reduce redness.

Applying a cool compress or taking an oatmeal bath offers additional relief by further reducing inflammation.

Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

However, it’s important to read the label first to avoid any allergic reactions.

Drinking plenty of water can also help soothe sunburn, as staying hydrated ensures that your skin and body have what they need to heal.

When treating sunburn it is important to avoid using ice or very cold water as it can damage the skin.

Instead, use lukewarm water to shower or bathe and avoid scrubbing the burned areas as it can cause more irritation and pain.

While these remedies can help soothe a sunburn, it is important to remember to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever you’re outside to avoid getting burned in the first place.

Additionally, if your sunburn is severe, blistering, or accompanied by fever or chills, it’s best to seek medical attention.

Relief Tips

Sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable, but there are many relief tips that you can use to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with it.

One of the most important things you can do is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, juices, or other fluids.

This helps to replenish fluids lost through sun exposure and sweat.

You can also take cool showers or baths to help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

Wearing loose clothing can also help to avoid friction and irritation, allowing the skin to heal more quickly.

Additionally, you can apply aloe vera gel, which has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, to the affected area.

Other remedies you can try include applying cold compresses, taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and avoiding further exposure to the sun until the burn has healed.

By following these relief tips, you can minimize the pain and discomfort of sunburn and help your skin heal more quickly and effectively.

When to See a Doctor

Sunburn is a common problem that can cause redness, irritation, and pain on the skin exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.

While mild sunburn can be treated with some home remedies and relief tips, severe sunburn needs medical attention.

The general guidelines on when it is necessary to see a doctor for sunburn include severe blistering, extreme pain or swelling, high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and general weakness.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical help immediately.

Severe sunburn can lead to complications such as skin infections, dehydration, and even skin cancer, which can be life-threatening.

However, early treatment and prevention of sunburn can help keep your skin healthy and maintain its natural glow.

Taking preventive measures such as applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and staying in the shade during peak hours can significantly reduce your risk of getting sunburned.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to sunburn.


In conclusion, sunburn prevention and management are crucial for maintaining healthy skin.

The first and most important step is to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

This can be done by wearing protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, and by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

It is also important to avoid the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

If you do get sunburned, there are several soothing remedies and relief tips that can help.

Applying a cool compress or taking a cool bath can provide relief from the pain and itching.

Aloe vera gel and creams containing hydrocortisone can also help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

It’s important to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated to prevent peeling and promote healing.

Drinking plenty of water and applying moisturizer regularly can also help heal sunburned skin.

In severe cases, it’s important to seek medical attention to avoid complications.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to sunburn.

Taking the necessary precautions and protecting your skin from the sun can help prevent painful and damaging sunburns.

Always remember to apply sunscreen regularly and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours.

By following these tips, you can keep your skin healthy and prevent the damaging effects of sunburn.


How long does it take for a sunburn to heal?

The healing time for a sunburn varies depending on the severity of the burn. Mild sunburns usually heal within a few days to a week, while more severe burns can take up to two weeks or more to heal completely.

Can sunburn cause permanent damage to the skin?

Yes, severe sunburns can cause permanent damage to the skin, as well as increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. It is important to protect your skin from the sun and take proper precautions to prevent sunburn.

What are the best ways to relieve sunburn pain?

Applying a cool compress, taking a cool shower or bath, using aloe vera, drinking water, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and moisturizing the affected area are some of the best ways to relieve sunburn pain.

Is it safe to use home remedies for sunburn?

Home remedies can be safe to use for sunburn, but it’s important to note that not all remedies are created equal and some can actually make things worse. It’s important to do proper research and consult with a medical professional before trying any home remedies.

What are some natural remedies for sunburn?

Some natural remedies for sunburn include aloe vera gel or juice, cold compresses with milk or green tea, applying honey, using chamomile oil or tea bags, taking a cool oatmeal bath, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

How can I prevent sunburn in the future?

One of the most effective ways to prevent sunburn is to always wear sunscreen with a high SPF. Additionally, it’s important to wear protective clothing such as a hat and sunglasses, seek shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak hours of 10am-4pm.

Can sunburn increase the risk of skin cancer?

Yes, sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer. Getting repeated sunburns can cause damage to the DNA in skin cells, which increases the risk of developing skin cancer. It is important to protect your skin from the sun and avoid getting sunburned.

When is it necessary to see a doctor for sunburn?

It is necessary to see a doctor for sunburn if the sunburn is severe, covers a large area of the body, blisters, is accompanied by a fever or chills, or if you experience symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or dehydration.

Is it safe to use over-the-counter sunburn remedies?

Yes, it is generally safe to use over-the-counter sunburn remedies such as aloe vera gel and moisturizing lotions. However, it is important to read and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any potential risks or adverse reactions. If you have any concerns or questions, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Can sunburn cause fever and chills?

In severe cases, sunburn can cause fever, chills, and nausea, as it indicates that there is an inflammation in the body due to the damaged skin. It is essential to rest and rehydrate to lower the temperature and reduce the inflammation. If the symptoms persist, seek medical attention immediately.

What are some common misconceptions about sunburn?

One common misconception is that only people with fair skin can get sunburned. In reality, anyone can get sunburned regardless of their skin tone. Another misconception is that a base tan can protect against sunburns, but the reality is that a base tan provides very minimal protection against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.