8 Ways to Treat Sunburn at Home
Find quick relief for scorched skin using items around your home.
Home Remedies for Sunburn
Summer’s here, so that means it’s time to head outside and soak up the sun. But along with the all those hours spent outdoors during the summer season, there usually comes one inevitable thing: sunburn. Fortunately for all of us, there are plenty of ways using items around the house to cool the burning, itching, and peeling that come with damage from the sun.
Click “next” to learn about items you have at home that can help heal and soothe your skin.
Sunburn, basically, is inflammation of the skin. One of the easiest ways to treat inflammation is to cool down the affected area. An effective way to immediately help sunburn, even while you’re still outside, is to hop in the water, whether it’s an ocean, lake, or stream. Dipping in and out throughout the day can help keep sunburn from worsening. Be wary of pools, as chlorinated water can irritate skin more.
You can also hop in the bath. Specific bathwater treatments are covered on the next slide.
Baking Soda & Oatmeal
Throwing a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda into a bathtub full of cool water and soak for about 10 minutes to help minimize sun damage. Adding in a cup of oatmeal to the bath also helps the skin retain its natural moisture and soothes irritation.
Don’t scrub your skin, either in the bath or after getting out. Dab yourself dry with a towel; don’t rub.
Aloe Vera Plant
If you don’t have an aloe vera plant in your house, you should get one. The gel inside this succulent plant has been used for centuries for all sorts of ailments, from upset stomachs to kidney infections. It’s also the most sunburn-relief most commonly found at pharmacies and other stores.
Breaking off a chunk of the plant and applying the gel directly to the skin provides immediate, soothing relief from the sting of minor sunburn.
Chamomile tea can be soothing to your spirit, but it also can soothe your sunburned skin. Brew the tea as you normally would and let it cool. When it’s ready, soak a washcloth in it and apply it to the affected area.
If you are allergic to pollen, you don’t want to use this treatment as it may bring out an allergic reaction in your skin.
Opinions are mixed about using vinegar for sunburn relief. Some say adding one-half cup of vinegar in cool bath water can help take the sting out of burn, while others say the high acidity in vinegar only makes things worse. If you haven’t used the treatment before on smaller, lighter sunburns, it’s best not to try it for larger, more serious burns.
Wear Loose Clothing
As your skin is repairing itself, make sure to wear clothing that doesn’t stick to your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s best to give it some room to breathe as it covers from a major traumatic episode like sunburn. Natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo, make for the best post-sunburn coverings.
Drink Lots of Water
As your skin is battling the damage from the sun’s rays, it needs moisture that it lost during your time out in the sun. If you aren’t already drinking your eight glasses of water a day, a nasty sunburn should be reason enough to get you to start doing so.
Don’t Forget the Moisturizer
After the initial treatment, you skin will still need some tender loving care. One of the most important things you can do to prevent skin from peeling—or at least keep it to a minimum—is to regularly apply moisturizer to the affected areas. Use scent- and dye-free moisturizer (marketed as “sensitive skin”) to keep skin irritation to a minimum.
Get More Information
The easiest way to treat sunburn is to avoid it. Check out Healthline’s Sunscreen Buyer’s Guide to see what suits your needs, including sunscreen for babies, sunscreen for kids, for troublesome skin, and more.
Some people are more prone to sunburn, such as those with fair complexions, or those with lupus. Learn more tips for sun protection by clicking here.