How to Treat – and Avoid – a Sunburn

Mother applying sun-screen to her daughters face

With summertime around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to treat a sunburn. Although you can get sunburned year-round, you’re likely spending more time in the sun in the summer months, which means you’re more likely to get burned. Let’s talk more about how to treat a sunburn, and, for your safety, we’ll talk about how to avoid a sunburn, too, because it’s best if you avoid getting burned altogether!

How to Treat a Sunburn

The American Academy of Dermatology has provided a few tips that will help expedite the healing process and reduce the discomfort you’re experiencing after a burn. Remember that your unique treatment plan will vary based on the severity of your burn, but here are some dermatologist-provided tips:

  1. Take baths or showers in cool water for pain relief.
  2. Put an aloe vera or soy moisturizer on your sunburned skin.
  3. Give blisters plenty of time to heal.
  4. Keep hydrated and drink more water than you would usually.
  5. And, finally, take pain medication, like aspirin or ibuprofen, if you are swelling or uncomfortable.

How to Prevent a Sunburn

To prevent a sunburn, and, in turn, practice sun exposure safety, be sure to always wear SPF 30 sunscreen or higher—even on days you won’t be in the sun, it’s smart to wear sunscreen! Wearing SPF daily is a great habit to get into, and not only will it help prevent skin cancer and burns, but it will also keep your skin looking youthful for longer. Moreover, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun-protective clothing (clothing with UV protection if you can, but long sleeves/long pants work) and sunglasses. Also, whenever you can, situate yourself in a shady area. We know it isn’t realistic that you never go into the sun, but try your hardest to spend as little time in sunny areas as possible.

Center for Family Medicine Can Answer Your Questions about Sunburns

For you and your family’s health, take precautions to avoid getting sunburned. If you do get sunburned—which can happen sometimes even when you do take precautions—Center for Family Medicine is here to support you. Contact a physician at Center for Family Medicine for more advice on how to treat a sunburn.