How to get rid of sunburn: 10+ of the best solutions

Everybody likes a warm day, relaxing under the sun. However, it is advisable to remember about the consequences as there are always some repercussions in the form of sunburn. Here is a couple of ways of how to get rid of sunburn.

What causes sunburn?

Sunburn is caused by over-exposure of the naked skin to the ultra-violet rays of the sun.

The result of sitting for too long in the sun without the protection of clothes or sunscreen is usually a high level of sensitivity of the skin and a stinging feeling. In cases of light skin, there is usually a change of color, hence the name sunburn. Though not a severe condition, it can be extremely discomforting when left unattended. The first thing a person should do on noticing a sunburn is usually to seek out shade or go indoors. Here are some home remedies for sunburn that provide relief from the pain.

How to get rid of sunburn

How to Get Rid of Sunburn.

The first symptom that you should always strive to rid yourself of is a discomfort of the skin. This can be done through a couple of ways: cold water and lotion with shaving cream.

Cold Water

This is a fast, easy relief to the pain. This method of how to get rid of sunburn can be achieved in several ways. The first is to drink some cold water and rehydrate your skin and body. Another is the cold shower to be taken twice or thrice daily. This helps to dampen the pain receptors in the nerves on the skin.

A cold water towel is also another good instant remedy for how to get rid of sunburn. It is usually the safest alternative to soaking in a bathtub of ice. Putting cold, damp towels on your skin for 30 minutes several times a day provides relief from the pain. The towels can be wet with really cold water for the first treatment to rid the skin of all the accumulated heat. The temperature can slightly increase as the skin gets better. It is good to keep some water cooling in the fridge every time you step out to spend sometime in the sun.

sunburn remedies - cold water

Lotion

There are commercial lotions out there that are specifically made to provide relief. It is a good way of how to get rid of sunburn. The best are usually those that contain Aloe Vera as it has some soothing and pain relief properties. As your skin is highly sensitive at this point, applying the lotion by yourself is the best alternative as it prevents you from getting undue pain as only you can best estimate your pain threshold. Some lotions may have petroleum as an ingredient and these should be completely avoided as they trap heat in the skin rather than release it and as such increase the sensitivity factor. Those that contain benzocaine should also not be used as they cause extra irritation during the process. A good way to go is the hydrocortisone cream that is sold over the counter and offers relief from the irritation and itching. Chilling the lotion in the fridge is also a good trick of how to get rid of sunburn.

sunburn remedies - Lotion

Shaving Cream

This is a rather crude but effective way of how to get rid of sunburn. Shaving creams are packed with some cooling chemicals like methanol that eradicate the heat from your skin giving you instant relief from the sunburn.

All you need to do is to apply some shaving cream on the areas of your skin affected by the sunburn and leave it for a short while till the cooling effect subsides. Then just wash it off with some cool water. Repeating the procedure regularly yields the best results.

sunburn remedies - Shaving Cream

How to get rid of redness and other symptoms

The next thing to look out for is the inflammation, redness and blisters on the skin. The following are a few ways on how to get rid of sunburn that can be done easily at home.

Vitamin E Oils

As vitamin E is an antioxidant, it can be used to decrease the inflammation of the sunburned skin. Regular application on a daily basis can provide fast relief. It is also good to substitute this with the medicine supplements containing the same vitamin to work on the skin cells from the interior layers and ease sensitivity. This is a good way of how to get rid of sunburn.

How to Get Rid of sunburn - Vitamin E

Cucumber Paste

This is an instant relief remedy that uses freshly chilled cucumbers. The analgesic properties of the vegetable help in healing the skin and providing relief from the sunburn. It also reduces the itching and redness due to its antioxidant properties. It can be used in two ways:

The first is to slice up the cucumber into small pieces along its cross section and lay the slices on the skin. The relief should be felt immediately. Flipping should also be done at the moment the cooling effect ceases to the felt.

The second is by chopping up the cucumber and dropping it into a blender. The paste obtained should be applied to the skin gently focusing on the areas with the highest redness. The paste should be allowed to sit until the cooling effect ends and then washed off with cold water. You can prepare the paste and leave it in the fridge to chill even more for use at a later time. Aloe Vera gel can also be added to the solution for a thicker paste and better results on how to get rid of cold sores.

How to Get Rid of sunburn - Cucumber Paste

Apricots

  • Take 3-5 apricots and mash them into a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the areas of the skin most affected by the sunburn.
  • Let the paste stay on the skin for 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash off skin with cool water and allow to dry.

The apricots can be substituted with strawberries. The tannic acid in the fruits will reduce the stinging, irritation and redness that accompanies the sunburn providing instant relief. This method of how to get rid of cold sores helps curb the symptoms, too.

sunburn treatment - apricots

Oatmeal Bath

What you need is simply some cups of rolled oats, uncooked, and a tube sock.

  • The first thing is to fill the tube sock with oatmeal and tie up.
  • Fill a bathtub with cool tepid water.
  • Soak the tube socks in the water for about 30 minutes.
  • Squeeze the tube socks and let the solution mix with the bath water.
  • Soak in the bath as you squeeze the socks every two minutes to make the water cloudier.
  • Leave the bath after some time and allow yourself to air-dry.

It should be noted that the procedure may make your skin feel sickly, this is a sure sign that it is actually working. Also, too long a soak may lead to dry, cracked skin that will be even more sensitive in its sunburn state. This means of how to get rid of cold sores works on the reverse principle of first creating discomfort.

Oatmeal has complex sugars, and polysaccharides, that will rid you of the sunburn by coating the skin and easing the sensitivity. The water in this case will serve the purpose of cooling and hydrating the skin.

sunburn treatment - Oatmeal Bath

Plain Yogurt

This is a direct process of how to get rid of cold sores where all you need is some fresh, plain yogurt.

  • Scoop up some yogurt in your fingers.
  • Apply it on the areas affected by the sunburn.
  • Let it stay for 30 minutes and wash off with cool water.
  • Repeat twice a day for the best results.

It is also recommended to use highly chilled yogurt for the best relief to the skin.

sunburn treatment - Plain Yogurt

Aloe Vera

This is usually the best of all natural alternative of how to get rid of sunburn. It reduces the redness, itching and general inflammation in but a matter of hours. The alternatives for the treatment are usually the aloe plant, for small area burns, and the commercial aloe gel, for large area burns.

In the case of the plant, all you need to do is split the leaves through the middle. Take care not to be harmed by the thorns. Lay the leaves on the burns for relief. In the case of the store bought gel, apply whatever amount you feel comfortable with on the skin and wait for the relief. The gel does not have a limit as it is naturally extracted and the quantity of use depends on the level of discomfort. Either procedure can be repeated two or three times a day for the best results.

aloe for sunburn

Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

  • The first thing you need to do is take a cool shower to wash off any chemicals from the skin.
  • Put water and apple cider vinegar in a bowl in the ratio of 2:1 respectively.
  • Soak your washcloth in the bowl for two minutes.
  • Slightly wring the washcloth and apply it on the sunburn areas while damp.
  • Let it stay on the affected areas for 15-20 minutes.
  • Repeat the procedure continuously until the pain diminishes.

This vinegar solution can also be added on a cool compress. This can be applied on the skin as a method of how to get rid of sunburn.

vinegar for sunburn

Vinegar bath

  • Add a cup or two of vinegar in your cold bath.
  • Stir thoroughly with the hand until evenly mixed.
  • Soak in the bath until the skin feels relief.

This procedure of how to get rid of sunburn should be used with the vinegar already applied on the face. The face cannot be soaked with the rest of the body due to obvious reasons of droning and getting vinegar in the eyes.

How to get rid of sunburn -apple cider vinegar bath

Vinegar and Aloe Vera Body Spray

This method of how to get rid of sunburn requires vinegar, cool water, aloe gel and a clean spray bottle.

  • Mix one part of the vinegar and two parts of water in a bowl.
  • Add three table spoons of aloe gel and stir till perfectly dissolved.
  • Transfer the mixture in a spray bottle and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  • Spray the solution the skin taking care to spray more on the areas affected most.
  • Repeat the spraying three to five times a day for the best results.

The aloe gel added can vary depending on the user. Making it more or less than the other ingredients does not change the solution as its properties are beneficial to the healing process. The alternative is best suited in the case where the burn is so severe washing off becomes an impossibility. It is also good for children that are afraid to have someone come in contact with their skin. This method of how to get rid of sunburn impacts no pain on the skin.

The vinegar treatment is a method of how to get rid of sunburn that provides instant relief. Each course of action taken should be repeated continually until the pain lessens on the affected areas of the skin. It should also be used with caution on the face as it could harm the eyes. Application of pure vinegar on the skin with some cotton is also highly recommended before a cool bath as it boosts the effects of the bath.

sunburn - Vinegar and Aloe Vera

Cool Milk Compress

This is a simple remedy of how to get rid of sunburn that only requires some cotton or gauze and a glass of chilled milk.

  • Pour the milk into a small bowl.
  • Soak the cotton balls or gauze in the milk for five minutes.
  • In case of high temperatures, the bowl can be put in the fridge while soaking takes place.
  • Gently wring excess liquid from the cotton and apply it on the skin.
  • Leave the cotton on the skin till you feel relief.
  • Repeat the process two or three times a day until all the pain is gone and the redness has reduced.

Proteins present coat the burns, calming down their effect and providing relief to the pain.

Cold milk - sunburn treatment

Coconut Oil

  • In a bowl, add some pure coconut oil.
  • Mix with a tablespoon of aloe gel or lavender oil.
  • Rub the mixture on the skin paying more attention to the affected areas. The solution is absorbed and does not need washing off.
  • Allow a few minutes and the effects should kick in, reducing the itching and inflammation considerably.
  • Repeat twice daily to eradicate the redness on the skin.

The lauric acid in the coconut oil has healing properties when brought in contact with sunburned skin. It also reduces the skin irritation. However, it must be noted that this method of how to get rid of sunburn should be immediately applied on skin upon suffering sunburn. A period of one to two days should be allowed before the remedy option is implemented.

Coconut oil - sunburn remedies

Egg White Compress

For this remedy of how to get rid of sunburn, all you need is three to five eggs.

  • Separate the egg whites and beat them into a proper mixture.
  • Using some clean cloth, apply the egg white on the skin.
  • Allow thirty minutes for the solution to dry on the skin.
  • Let it stay on the skin for the whole night.
  • Wash off the next morning with cool water.

The egg white coats the skin and makes sleeping easier. It also prevents further damage to the skin due to friction while you sleep. Using eggs previously in the fridge or cooling the egg white mixture for thirty minutes before application produces even better results.

how to get rid of a sunburn

Cornstarch

The procedure of how to get rid of sunburn requires some cornstarch, a bowl and cold water.

  • Put some cornstarch in a large bowl (enough to cover the better part of your burns).
  • Gently add water while you stir until a paste is formed.
  • Apply the paste gently on the affected areas and leave for 30-50 minutes.
  • The time interval can vary. It can be longer or shorter depending on how soon you feel relief from the pain and the itching reduces.
  • Rinse off the solution completely with cool water.

Cornstarch - how to treat sunburn

Lemon Bath

Lemon is usually good for the skin due to its vitamins and antioxidant properties. It can be used in the bath to get rid of sunburn in two different ways.

The first is blending fresh lemons and adding them to the bathwater. You can then soak in the bathtub for an hour or so and allow yourself to air dry. Relief should be felt instantly.

The second is adding already made lemon juice to the bath and soaking in it. There is also the alternative of applying lemon wedges on the face while you soak in the bath to ensure that your face gets relief as well.

Lemon bath - how to get rid of sunburn fast

Potato paste

What you require for the remedy on how to get rid of sunburn is three potatoes, a knife, a grater or blender and some cotton balls.

  • The first thing you have to do is thoroughly clean the potatoes in flowing water.
  • Grate the potatoes over a bowl or slice them into cubes and blend them into a paste (peeling is not necessary).
  • In the grating bowl, add a small amount of water in case the result appears dry.
  • Soak the cotton balls in the solution for 5 minutes.
  • Using the soaked balls, apply the solution on the skin. You can also choose to soak some gauze and lay it on the skin.
  • Allow it to stay on the skin for 20-30 minutes then wash off with cool water.

potato paste - how to treat a sunburn

Baking soda

What you need is some baking soda, a bowl and some sold water.

  • Add some baking soda into a large bowl.
  • Add some cold water and stir gently until a paste-like consistency is reached.
  • Apply the paste on the skin focusing more on the sunburn areas.
  • Let it stay for 30-40 minutes.
  • Wash off thoroughly with cold water and apply moisturizer on the affected skin.

This remedy on how to get rid of sunburn should be repeated twice daily till the redness, inflammation and irritation are gone.

best sunburn treatment

Honey

Honey can be applied on the skin and face to provide relief from the effects of the sunburn. The use of natural and Manuka honey is highly advisable in this method of how to get rid of sunburn. This is because the processed honey may contain chemicals that could react with the skin.

  • The first thing you need to do is apply honey on the skin evenly.
  • Allow it to stay for about one hour or until relief is felt.
  • Wash off the skin with cool water and repeat process twice daily for optimum results.

Honey for sunburn

Green Tea and Mint

What you require in this remedy of how to get rid of sunburn is some tea bags, hot water and some mint leaves.

  • Boil some water.
  • Rid the tea bags of their tags and strings and put them in a pan. Add the fresh mint leaves then pour in the boiling water.
  • Cover with a lid and let it sit for at least an hour.
  • Strain the contents of the pan and then chill them.
  • Apply the solution on the affected areas using a towel, gauze or some cotton.
  • You can also directly wash the burns with the chilled solution.

The tea is advantageous to the skin as it reduces the inflammations present. This results in a decrease in irritation and itchiness. Black tea can also be used as a substitute as it has the same pros. The mint has the advantage of naturally cooling anything it comes in contact with.

Green Tea and Mint for sunburn

Witch Hazel

The procedure is quite simple as all you have to do is to put some witch hazel extract in a bowl and soak the cotton or gauze. Wring off the excess solution and dab it over the burnt areas. Repeat the procedure twice a day for better relief.

The tannins in the hazel are useful in the healing of the skin, reducing swelling and eliminating redness. It also has some disinfectant qualities.

witch hazel - sunburn treatment

How to Get Rid of Sunburn: Areas to Note

During the sunburn recovery period, it is advisable to avoid soap. The chemicals it contains could cause itchiness, dryness and damage to the burnt skin. Thus, it is advisable to shower with other listed alternatives to soap so as to avoid mitigating the healing progress.

Sometimes a sunburn can be so severe that it results in blisters. It may also be that your skin is delicate and highly sensitive due to genetic reasons and even a slight attempt at tanning results in blisters. In these cases, one should never simply just peel the skin off the blister. It is advisable to gently drain the fluid from the blisters and cover them. This can be simply done by sterilizing a needle or a pin and using it to gently prick the blister. After draining them, they should be left alone to heal. Scratching may result in open wounds, infections and scars on the skin.

sunburn relief

Though difficult due to the sensitivity, rest is advisable during the recovery period. Avoiding straining the elastic limits of the skin can be beneficial to the healing process and enables the body recover faster. A good option is lacing your sheets with talcum powder. This helps to reduce friction during the rest process and eliminates chafing. Elevation of the feet is also a good practice in case by any chance they are swollen or in pain. A mild over the counter anesthetic can also prove useful in this scenario.

In case of severe pain after the home remedies, contact the doctor or visit the nearest hospital if mobility is not an issue.

All in all, prevention is always better than a cure and as such, it is advisable to put on sunscreen on your skin if you intended to spend long hours in the warm sun. In this way, your skin is shielded from the harmful UV rays of the sun and you don’t end up with a sunburn at all.

The best sunscreens are those with the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of between fifteen and thirty as they provide adequate protection to about 97% of all harmful radiation from the sun. For protection from UV A and B rays, sunscreen with avobenzone, zinc oxide and titanium oxide prove quite effective.

home remedy for sunburn

FAQs

Who is most prone to sunburn?

Everyone, both light and dark skin, is prone to sunburn. Though some people can instantaneously produce melanin when exposed to excess levels of UV light, it doesn’t mean that such people don’t suffer the effects of sunburn. The simple fact that your skin does not turn red doesn’t mean that it does not get burned. Redness is but one of the symptoms and one should always be on the lookout for the others like sensitivity, pain and general discomfort. As the skin is the largest body organ, damage to it can have a large impact on the person.

how to heal a sunburn

What are the long term effects of repeated sunburn?

Though a sunburn once in a while is not such a bad thing, it is usually good to remember that the UV rays of the sun are affecting your skin during the procedure. As such, repeated burn is an equivalent to repeated damage to the skin. This means that the end result could be something as bad as skin cancer and a long range of other skin ailments. It is usually good not to overdo a tan or get yourself repeatedly burned in the sun.

what to put on sunburn

When should sunscreen be applied?

The best time to apply the sunscreen on your skin would be at least 30 minutes before prolonged exposure to the sun. Though most people prefer to apply it as they sit under the sun, doing it before is a better practice and achieves better results. Some more sunscreen should be added to the skin in the hours of midday to three o’clock as the sun intensifies and releases stronger radiation.

best thing for sunburn

Conclusion

With summer making up a quarter of the climate of the entire year, it is good to have the freedom to go crazy in the sun and get that tan you have always desired. With our simple remedies, you get the piece of mind to let loose and sunbathe longer as you have some easy tips on how to get rid of sunburn. So go run wild this summer with your friends, we have you covered. However, always keep in mind that too much of something is poisonous.

Watch this recommended video about “How to get rid of sunburn”

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