Top Tips for Treating Sunburn

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Spending a lot of time outside this summer? Sunburns can cause long-term skin damage and increase a person’s risk for developing skin cancer. You should always apply sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing, but if you do still manage to get burned, there are a few things you can do to help relieve pain and discomfort:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling or discomfort.
  • Apply a moisturizer or gel with aloe vera to help soothe the affected area. (Bonus tip: store the aloe vera in the refrigerator to make it even more cooling when applied to skin!)
  • Take a cool bath or shower or apply cold compresses to help cool the skin.
  • Drink plenty of water to help prevent dehydration.
  • If your sunburned skin forms blisters, allow them to heal on their own. Blisters protect you from infection, so don’t pop them!
  • Applying a hydrocortisone cream may help ease pain in more severe sunburns.
  • Protect your skin from further damage by staying out of the sun or wearing protective clothing. It’s very important to avoid all sun exposure to sunburned skin.

Most sunburns will heal on their own in a few days, but you may see your doctor if your burn is especially severe. Signs of a severe sunburn include fever, chills and a large body surface area affected. To schedule an appointment with an Ochsner dermatologist, click here or call 1-866-624-7637.

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