Once you get a sunburn, there is little you can do except treat the symptoms. The main symptoms are pain, red inflamed skin, possible blisters, body aches and sometimes a headache. Once you have a sunburn, the damage is done; there is no reversal of the effects, instant cure or quick fix.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter mild pain analgesics, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, are good at reducing some of the sunburn pain to the skin, the headache and body aches you may experience along with the sunburn, and may be able to help you rest comfortably while your skin heals from the damages of the overexposure to the sun’s UV rays.
At Home Treatments
Some of the most common sunburn treatments are cool to tepid baths and cool showers. These are popular methods and for good reason--they work. Allow the skin to air dry for the first couple of days of trying this method because drying the body with a towel may cause painful irritation. To enhance this form of treatment, you can either:
- Add 2 cups of vinegar to your cool or tepid bath water
- Add 5 cups of already brewed Green or Black tea
- Add 2 cups of baking soda to your running bath water
Cool compresses can be added to the skin and allowed to dry. Then, reapply with a newly moistened compress. You can also use the below mixtures in a spray bottle and mist the areas of the body that are sunburned. Sitting near a fan will help cool the painful burn of a sunburn.
- Lettuce Juice Compress. Simply chop a head of lettuce, add a cup of water and bring water to a boil. Discard the lettuce and add the lettuce juice to a bowl of cool water and then apply the moistened compresses to the affected areas of your body
- Add a half a cup of vinegar to a bowl of cool water
- Add one cup of skim milk to a bowl of water and the apply the gauze to your body with the mixture
Try to get some rest as well. Sleep allows the body to work on its own to repair the damages done. While you sleep, your body is able to focus on the areas of your mind and body that need the most help or reconstruction. So, don’t be surprised if you find you sleep for a long period while you have a sunburn. This is your body’s natural reaction and is a natural process of the body to repair itself.
Enjoy this time because while you sleep, your brain is not actively focusing on the pain of the burn. So, in essence, you are getting a break from the sunburn pain while your body works to rejuvenate itself. Resting is actually one of the best sunburn treatments because your body knows what it needs to do to reconstruct the damaged parts of your skin.