Time is of the essence when treating sunburn and the quicker you can attend to it, the faster you can get relief. Sunburns can be very uncomfortable and irritating, but what’s more frustrating is if you keep on receiving false information on how to cure it. It’s sad to know that some of the so-called cures we often receive are no treatment at all. In fact, some of them can make sunburn even worse. Fortunately, there are also others that are proven truly effective.
Here’s a list of the things you should and shouldn’t do if you have sunburn:
1. Don’t use the shower. The pressure of the water from a shower can prove to be painful to skin that is affected by sunburn. Instead of giving you relief, it will only increase the pain.
Do take a bath using a dipper. Using a dipper when taking a bath will give you complete control on the pressure of the water that’s hitting your skin. You can also soak yourself in a bathtub for a more relaxed bath time.
2. Don’t use ice cold water. Whether you’re taking a bath or applying cold compress to your sunburn, avoid using ice cold water or placing ice directly on your skin. Ice can stick to your wound and cause severe pain. It can also cause some damage to your skin’s nerve.
Do use lukewarm or cool water. Cool or lukewarm water is gentler to the skin. Also, wrap ice with towel when applying cold compress so that you can cool your sunburn without adding damage to your skin.
3. Don’t peel blisters. Sun burnt skin usually peels naturally so peeling them off when they’re not yet ripe will only produce more wounds and worse, infection.
Do drain them. Severe blisters needs to be drained especially those that do not break by themselves. However, you don’t want to drain them yourself to avoid infection, but instead take them to a doctor and have them drained safely.
4. Don’t apply apple cider vinegar. Applying vinegar as relief to sunburn is a common misconception by a lot of people. First of all, vinegar is sour and putting it on your wound is just like putting acid on it.
Do apply aloe vera gel. Most people consider aloe vera as a great sunburn relief. It contains healing properties that both cools and soothes sunburn. You can either take an aloe vera plant from your garden and extract the juice or purchase a bottle of aloe vera gel from the local pharmacy.
5. Don’t apply petroleum jelly. Greasy products such as petroleum jelly or butter can clog skin pores and trap heat causing more pain and infection.
Do apply cortisone ointment. Always use ointment as sunburn cure. Cortisone ointment most especially is an anti-inflammatory salve that can reduce swelling and soothe the burning sensation caused by sunburn.
6. Don’t wear tight clothing. Sunburn is skin wound and any contact with any object can increase pain and swelling.
Do wear loose clothing, preferably silk material. Wear loose shirt and pajamas especially when going to bed so that you minimize contact with your skin. If possible, wear clothing made of silk since silk doesn’t easily stick to wounds.
7. Don’t go out until you’re totally healed. Obviously, exposing yourself to the sun after getting a severe sunburn will only worsen your condition. The sun’s rays can reflect on any object outside like the sand, a wall, or the ocean, so even if you’re not directly under the heat of the sun, sunlight can still hit your skin and aggravate your sunburn. What’s more, having repeated sunburns can lead to more serious skin conditions like skin cancer.
Do stay inside the house and get rest as much as possible. Prevention is better than cure so stay home and avoid sun exposure as much as you can to prevent the harmful rays of the skin ever touching your skin. While doing so, get as much needed rest combined with a healthy diet of nutritious foods and a lot of water to keep your skin hydrated.
There’s no need for you to get confused anymore with some home remedies that do not work. The next time you acquire sunburn, go through this list and follow each step very carefully for your relief.