Not only are sunburns painful, they also increase your chances of getting melanoma-the potentially deadly type of skin cancer. But sometimes, we can forget to reapply, miss a few hard-to-reach places, or even dismiss the need to for sunscreen altogether (which you should never do!). Although there is no magic cure for sunburn, here are a few things you can do to soothe the pain:
- Aspirin: Sunburn is the result of inflammation. Use aspirin to help reduce redness and ease some of the pain. It’s important to take it prior to or immediately after sun exposure.
- Cortisone creams: This method require supervision and a prescription from a doctor, however, when applied within six hours of the sunburn, prescription cortisone creams can help provide some relief.
- Pure aloe vera gel: Never use an aloe product made with topical anesthetic ingredients like benzocaine or lidocaine which can cause an allergic skin rash. Pure aloe vera gel helps cool down your skin and subdues some of the pain.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure: Avoid long periods of direct sun exposure for a few weeks while your skin heals. Most sunburns take three weeks to heal.
- Cool cucumber paste: Chill and blend cucumber slices to create a cool paste that can apply to your skin. It will help relieve pain and naturally reduce inflammation.
- Ice: In sunburned skin, the capillaries are wide open and can cause pain and inflammation. Apply an ice pack (not ice directly on the skin), to cool your skin and constrict your capillaries.
- Avoid hot water: Until the redness is reduced, take cool water showers and baths.
- Moisturize: Use hydrating lotions within three minutes after drying off from a shower or bath. Do not use lotions with alcohol in them.
- Don’t use harsh products: Don’t use any products with harsh chemicals in them. This means staying away from acne medications and anti-aging products.
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