How to Treat Sunburn

How to Treat SunburnSunburn damages the outer layers of your skin. It is an inflammatory response to receiving too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It can cause redness, inflammation and, in extreme cases, blisters and peeling. Peeling signifies that your body is trying to shed its damaged skin cells.

The skin can burn if it gets too much sun without proper protection from clothing and sunscreen. It's essential to start treating the sunburn as soon as you notice it to help heal and soothe the stinging skin.

What Causes Sunburn?

Sunburn causes by overexposure to UV radiation. You can develop sunburn when UV exposure overwhelms melanin's ability to protect the skin. If you have light skin, you may get sunburn within 15 minutes of sun exposure. People with fair skin can tolerate sunlight for hours without getting sunburned.

Home Remedies to Treat Sunburn

Below are some remedies you can use at home to take care of sunburned skin. Although these home remedies can use for minor sunburns, you need to contact your healthcare professional and get help if you have a severe form of sunburn.

1. Cold Water

Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin. A simple way to treat inflammation is to cool the affected area. An effective way to help sunburn quickly, even outdoors, is to jump in the water, whether it's a lake, ocean, or stream.

Soaking in and out throughout the day can help prevent sunburn from getting worse. Beware of pools, as chlorinated water can irritate the skin.

You should also avoid applying ice directly. While this may sound appealing to your sunburned skin, it can cause even more damage to your extra sensitive, sunburned skin. You can also try hopping to help calm and soothe your skin.

2. Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to sunburned skin for 10 minutes several times a day can help reduce irritation. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water to make a cold compress and place it on the affected area. 

Additionally, you can buy a reusable cold compress and store it in the freezer for instant cooling but don't apply ice directly to sunburned skin. Wrap in a washcloth first.

3. Use a Moisturizer

If your skin is not painful to the touch, you can apply a good moisturizer to the affected area. Using a moisturizer containing aloe vera can help soothe sunburned skin. Moisturizer will help to increase the moisture of the skin. 

These are the 10 best remedies to make your skin moisture. Avoid using butter on sunburned skin. Using butter, petroleum jelly, or any other oil-based product on the affected skin can clog the skin pores and lead to infection.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is an effective remedy for sunburn. The gel inside this cactus plant relieves pain, accelerates healing, and moisturizes the skin. Either split a plant leaf and apply the juice directly to the skin or purchase pure aloe vera gel at your local drugstore.

Note that some children are allergic to aloe, so you may want to avoid using it if unsure. You can also try it on a small patch of skin first.

5. Honey

Honey is known for its antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. For mild sunburns, apply a small amount of medicinal-grade honey to the affected area to help manage the wound. It can also help in the growth of new skin cells.

6. Stay Hydrated

To stay hydrated, you must drink more water while dealing with sunburn. A sunburn draws water from the body to the surface of the skin, leaving a person dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help you prevent dehydration caused by the sun.

7. Oatmeal

You can find oatmeal as the main ingredient in many skin care products, from lotions and soaps to masks and scrubs. According to research, colloidal oatmeal has antioxidant properties that can improve dryness and reduce the severity of itching in various skin conditions, including burns.

Take an oatmeal bath by adding 1 cup of finely ground oats to cold or lukewarm bath water. Mix oats in water with your hand and soak the affected area for at least 15 minutes.

8. Witch Hazel

Moisten a washcloth or cotton gauze with this astringent and apply it on the skin for 20 minutes. Reapply three or four times daily (or as needed) to reduce pain and itching. You can thank witch hazel's anti-inflammatory tannins for their soothing effects!

9. Plain Yogurt

Plain yogurt contains probiotics and healthy enzymes that can protect you from sunburn when consumed regularly. A study found that dietary intake of Lactobacillus carotenoids helped reduce skin damage caused by UV light. 

Experts suggest mixing curd with chopped cucumber. Yogurt has a cooling effect, and cucumbers help with hydration. Then, wash off the treatment with lukewarm water.

10. Black Tea

Most people have tea in their kitchens. It is a common home remedy used to treat sunburn. You can apply cold black tea directly to sunburned skin. Certain compounds in black tea help remove heat from sunburned skin. Black tea can help repair skin damage and prevent cancer.

11. Green Tea

Green tea has good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps to deal with adverse reactions on the skin, such as sunburn after UV exposure. It can help reduce skin damage and skin redness. Green tea can apply to the sunburned area to heal skin damage.

12. Coconut Oil

Some experts recommend using cold-pressed, organic coconut oil to combat dryness and irritation. However, you should only apply coconut oil after the skin has cooled and the blisters have subsided because the thick substance can trap heat and worsen symptoms.

Once your skin is ready, which can take a few days, use coconut oil as a natural sunburn treatment.

13. Baking Soda

Soaking a few tablespoons of baking soda in a bath tub filled with cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes can help reduce sun damage. You can add a cup of oats to the bath also soothes irritation. It retains its natural moisture on skin.

Do not rub your skin after showering or getting out. Dry yourself with a towel - don't rub.

14. Vinegar

Opinions are different on the use of vinegar for sunburn relief. Some say that adding two cups of vinegar to a cold bath can help relieve the sting of the burn, while others say that the acidity in the vinegar only makes things worse.

If you haven't used this treatment on minor, mild sunburn before, it's best not to try it on a more significant, more severe burn.

15. Wear Loose Clothing

As your skin heals itself, make sure to wear clothes that don't stick to your skin. Your skin is the body's largest organ, so it's best to give it room to breathe as it recovers from a major traumatic event like sunburn. Natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo, provide excellent after-sun coverage.

16. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a popular ingredient and is found in many sunscreen products. Tea tree oil can help manage sunburn by improving blood flow to the skin's blood vessels, bringing essential nutrients to damaged skin.

To use tea tree oil, dilute it with some carrier oil such as coconut, almond, or olive. Avoid using pure tea tree oil on the affected skin.

17. More Information to Treat Sunburn 

Stay hydrated, calm, and take ibuprofen if the sunburn is too painful. It would help if you also covered up the next time you go out, so you don't get too sunburned. Call a doctor if you develop a fever from the sun or show dehydration signs.


Sunburn damages the skin caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Depending on the severity of the sunburn, it may take a few days to a few weeks to heal completely. 

People can treat sunburn at home. You can use some home remedies to relieve sunburn and its symptoms. For example, ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and tea tree oil can use to ease sunburn.

If your sunburn is minor, which is first-degree sunburn, it may heal on its own after some time. In case of severe sunburn, you need to contact your healthcare provider and get timely treatment.

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