Does Vaseline help sunburn

Aloe vera, cucumber, teabags and the simple cold shower – most people afflicted with sunburn have a remedy passed down from their parents and their parents’ parents to relieve the pain at home.

With a heatwave sweeping eastern Australia, obviously the best, most effective, and least cancer-inducing strategy is not to get sunburnt in the first place. But with the Cancer Council estimating that 1.9 million Australians are sunburnt every year, it’s not ridiculous to have the treatments on hand.

University of Sydney associate professor Saxon Smith, a dermatologist who also works at the Royal North Shore hospital, says most people’s home remedies do work – but by coincidence rather than any inherent superior curing properties in aloe vera or teabags.

“I hear lots of stories of what people try to do at home to alleviate sunburn,” he said. “Some of the things they use can be done in an easier way.”

The first step is to get the heat out – the longer the heat remains in a burn the more damage and sorer it is going to be. A cold shower or pouring cold water directly on the sunburn is the easiest way to relieve the burn of heat.

The next step is to cool the skin. “It’s not so much the tomatoes or teabags , it’s that there’s liquid in them and it’s the liquid cooling the skin,” Smith said.

“Depending on the severity you can use any type of moisturiser that doesn’t have fragarances in them – fragrance can irritate the skin. There’s always good old-fashioned sorbolene.”

The fact that the moisturiser evaporates within minutes does not mean it isn’t doing the job, according to Smith: skin is desperate to cool down and is absorbing any moisture. If the burn is quite severe it will need something thicker than liquid moisturiser.

“It used to be Vaseline was quite useful for hot-water burns, as a barrier after cooling it down,” he said. “You could use it for sunburn but the difficulty is people don’t want to put Vaseline on their skin.”

Smith said tea tree oil, used in hospitals to treat severe burns, was good for the skin but it didn’t matter if tea tree or another type of oil was applied. “It’s an oil form, it’s moisturising,” he said. “Some people use olive oil – again it’s a moisturising effect on the skin.

“There are healing properties associated with aloe vera and tea tree, particuarly tea tree has an antiobiotic effect, so it’s good for people with more serious burns but people can be allergic.”

He added: “In the early days go simple as possible, and use lots of it,” he said. His best advice for treating sunburn? Don’t get burnt in the first place.

The Cancer Council Australia has warned that sunscreen should be people’s last defence against sun damage after a slew of complaints from people about getting burnt while wearing it.

But the predominant problem was the way people applied sunscreen, said the council’s chief executive, Prof Sanchia Aranda.

“People see it as a suit of armour,” she said. “But when you see someone wearing a bikini and out in sun for six hours one would expect to get burned, even with sunscreen on. It’s against every recommendation we would make.

“Sunscreen should be a last line of defence and used with a rashie, sunglasses, a hat and people should also stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunscreen should be used on top of these measures and applied sensibly, every two hours.”

• Guardian Australia cannot provide medical advice and the suggestions given here are no substitute for it


Editor—We would like to draw attention to the inappropriate use of Vaseline as a first aid measure in burns.

A 3 year old Nigerian boy sustained a 15% scald to his back and perineum in a hot water bath. The mother removed him from the bath and applied Vaseline immediately to all the burnt areas (figure, top). When questioned as to why she had done this, she reported that it is common practice in Nigeria and that it is recommended on the container (figure, bottom).

Front (top) and back (bottom) of Vaseline container

This is not the only case we have encountered in which Vaseline was used as a first aid measure for a scald in a child. We examined the containers for Vaseline manufactured in this country and in Nigeria, and both recommend its use for minor burns. This information is misleading as the initial aim in first aid burn treatment is to reduce the latent heat of the burn, thereby reducing skin damage by immersing the burnt area in cold water.

Grease should never be applied to a fresh burn where the superficial part of the skin is missing. In addition to being occlusive, it is non-sterile, promotes bacterial proliferation on the surface of the wound, and may lead to infection.1,2 We propose that the manufacturers change their labelling system, to clearly state that Vaseline is not to be used as an immediate first aid measure for burns, but can be used as a subsequent dressing for minor burns.

6 Home Remedies to Soothe a Sunburn

With summer upon us, it is a wonderful opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of taking sun-smart measures, which include wearing sunscreen and protective clothing and seeking shade during peak hours. But if you find yourself nursing a sunburn, you don’t need to head to the drugstore for relief. Here are six home remedies for sunburn to help soothe your symptoms:

1. Cool It Down

Minimize pain by taking cool baths or putting a cool, wet cloth on the affected area several times a day. Make sure the water is not too cold and avoid extreme temperatures. When sunburned, the skin’s ability to control temperature is compromised, making it easy to for you to get overheated or too cold.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to replace fluid loss and to prevent dehydration and dizziness. Try to avoid drinks that can dehydrate you even more, like soda, coffee, and alcoholic beverages.

3. Apply Moisturizer Immediately and Frequently

Look for creams and ointments like Lubriderm, Aquaphor, Eucerin, or Vaseline rather than lotions. Apply the moisturizer when the skin is wet (after bathing or soaking with cool compresses) as the moisturizer will serve as a moisture-blocking wall, trapping that water in your skin and helping it heal faster. Some moisturizers, such as Cerave or Cetaphil Restoraderm, contain the good fats called ceramides that form the cement that holds the top layer of the skin, or stratum corneum, together.

4. Reach for Healing Superfoods

Some foods help heal and protect your skin further damage. These are foods rich in antioxidants, such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, prunes, artichokes, beans, and pecans. Free radicals are formed from sun exposure and are the root of the problem, damaging the membrane of skin cells, and ultimately causing damage to DNA. The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits and vegetables can protect the cells by quenching the high energy of these unstable radicals, so there is less chance for damage.

5. Protect — Don’t Pick At! — Blistered Skin

Blisters can serve as a natural bandage for healing raw skin underneath. Let them open on their own. When this happens, apply petroleum jelly two or three times a day to keep the wound moist, and cover it with a bandage. If you’re unsure how severe your blisters are or have concerns about infection, check with your healthcare provider. Signs of infection include increased redness or pain and thick yellow discharge. One blistering sunburn doubles your risk for developing melanoma later in life, so if you have a history of one or more blistering sunburns, make sure to tell your dermatologist and be diligent about having your skin checked each year.

6. Stay Out of the Sun

Sunburned skin is even more susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation than skin that has never or rarely been sunburned. Make sure to take extra precautions when going outdoors, including applying sunscreen and wearing sun-protective clothing.

Photo Credit: Ralf Nau/Getty Images

Exactly What To Put On Sunburnt Skin, According To A Dermatologist

By now, it’s a given that we should all know the ‘slip, slop, slap’ message inside out (and back to front). But even the most adamant of us can slip up when it comes to sun protection.

Whether it was because of the medication we were on or just that we waited too long to reapply, sunburn happens.

“A burn signals that there is not just DNA damage but actual development of skin cell death. UV rays directly damage the DNA inside the skin cells, as well as generating free radicals. This then increases inflammation and cellular damage in the skin,” explains dermatologist, Dr Natasha Cook.

Slip, slop, slap, repeat. Image: iStockSource:Whimn

So, now what? We asked Cook how to treat the burn and start healing your skin, ASAP.

1.Anti-inflammatories are your friend

“Oral anti-inflammatories (like Nurofen) are a must. This can minimise the degree of inflammation and damage, especially if taken in the first few hours of sun exposure.”

2. Keep your cool

“Put your moisturiser in the fridge so it is cool when applied to the skin. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera can be helpful. Topical anti-inflammatory ointments containing 1% hydrocortisone can be applied over the top to further minimise damage.”

3. Dose up on B vitamins

“Oral vitamin B in the form of B3 (known as niacinamide) is shown to reduce skin cancers and sun spots when taken regularly. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, helps DNA repair as well as reboot the skin’s immune system, which gets depleted when in the sun. I recommend patients take 1000mg daily as well as use it in a serum or cream on the skin.”

4. Create a barrier

“Get a moisturiser that forms a good barrier, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment (petrolatum base) or a similar emulsifying formula. These ointment type preparations provide a protective barrier that helps skin heal. This also helps prevent further dehydration by holding moisture in.”

5. Don’t delay treatment

“Hydrating the skin is vital. A sunburn draws extra fluid into the skin so drinking extra water is helpful to prevent dehydration. Starting on anti-inflammatories early, using aloe vera and moisturiser may minimise peeling (which occurs to remove the irreparably damaged skin cells. The skin cells are dead, so they exfoliate off.)”

Scientists create a cream to create a real tan without the sun

Scientists create a cream to create a real tan without the sun

Ashleigh Austen is’s lifestyle editor and writes about everything from way-out wellness trends and workouts to genius beauty hacks and bang-on fashion buys. Fuelled by soy cappuccinos and carrots, she can quote nearly every episode from The Simpsons. Follow her for non-stop serious journalism (lol) on Instagram and Twitter.

Sunburn & Your Skin

For Adults: 5 Ways to Treat a Sunburn

1. Act Fast to Cool It Down

If you’re near a cold pool, lake or ocean, take a quick dip to cool your skin, but only for a few seconds so you don’t prolong your exposure. Then cover up and get out of the sun immediately. Continue to cool the burn with cold compresses. You can use ice to make ice water for a cold compress, but don’t apply ice directly to the sunburn. Or take a cool shower or bath, but not for too long, which can be drying, and avoid harsh soap, which might irritate the skin even more.

2. Moisturize While Skin Is Damp

While skin is still damp, use a gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse). Repeat to keep burned or peeling skin moist over the next few days.

3. Decrease the Inflammation

If it is safe for you to do so, take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin at the first sign of sunburn to help with discomfort and inflammation, says Dr. Brackeen, who practices at the Skin Cancer Institute in Lubbock, Texas. You can continue with the NSAIDs as directed on the label until the burn feels better. You can also use an over-the-counter 1 percent cortisone cream as directed for a few days to help calm redness and swelling. Aloe vera may also soothe mild burns and is generally considered safe. Continue with cool compresses to help discomfort, wear loose, soft, breathable clothing to avoid further skin irritation and stay out of the sun entirely until the sunburn heals.

4. Replenish Your Fluids

Burns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, so you may become dehydrated, explains Dr. Brackeen. It’s important to rehydrate by drinking extra liquids, including water and sports drinks that help to replenish electrolytes, immediately and while your skin heals.

5. See a Doctor If …

You should seek medical help if you or a child has severe blistering over a large portion of the body, has a fever and chills or is woozy or confused. Don’t scratch or pop blisters, which can lead to infection. Signs of infection include red streaks or oozing pus.

Bottom line: Your skin will heal, but real damage has been done. “Repeat sunburns put you at a substantial risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging, and I want people to ‘learn from the burn,’” Dr. Brackeen says. Review our sun protection guidelines. Remember how bad this sunburn felt, then commit to protecting yourself from the sun every day, all year long.

For Children

Your baby’s skin: soft, sweet-smelling, vulnerable. You notice that when you’re diapering: irritation develops easily, but a soothing cream clears it up like magic.

Young skin heals faster than older skin, but it is also less able to protect itself from injury, including injury from the sun.

Babies under 6 months of age should never be exposed to the sun. Babies older than 6 months should be protected from the sun, and wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect their eyes. If your child becomes sunburned, follow these guidelines:

  • Bathe in clear, tepid water to cool the skin.
  • For a baby less than 1 year old, sunburn should be treated as an emergency. Call your doctor immediately.
  • For a child 1 year or older, call your doctor if there is severe pain, blistering, lethargy or fever over 101○ F (38.3○ C).
  • Sunburn can cause dehydration. Give your child water or juice to replace body fluids. Contact the doctor if the child is not urinating regularly; this is an emergency.
  • Apply light moisturizing lotion to soothe the skin, but don’t rub it in.
  • Dabbing on plain calamine lotion may help, but don’t use one with an added antihistamine.
  • Do not apply alcohol, which can overcool the skin.
  • Do not use any medicated cream such as hydrocortisone or benzocaine unless instructed by your pediatrician.
  • Keep your child out of the sun entirely until the sunburn heals.
  • Practice sun protection and make sure that no matter where you child goes, sun safety is taken into account.

3 Sunburn Itch Relief Remedies

This past weekend, I was able to hit up central park between my personal training clients and get some sun. The great lawn is an incredibly peaceful with it’s bright green thick grass and is surprisingly quiet considering it’s in the middle of Manhattan!

While it was great to lay out for a bit and relax, I was dumb and didn’t put on sun tan lotion…now that I think about I don’t believe I’ve been in the sun for that long in over a year, so that was seriously stupid and I paid for it.

My chest and stomach was pretty much as bright red as Will Ferrel on Friday and Saturday but by Sunday I woke up with an incredible itch- also known as “Hells Itch”. You maybe rolling your eyes but this is itch is crazy bad. If you scratch you get a relief for maybe 5sec and then it comes back with a vengeance. It feels like there’s little bugs crawling all over you but you can’t do anything about it! This isn’t oh, it’s just you peeling, this is way beyond that. You can’t move because once you get a little relief if ANYTHING touches the area it’s like a bomb of itchiness explodes…terrible and completely avoidable- in this case.

the itch feels like it’s below the epidermis…not fun…

Long story short here’s what I found to be SOME what helpful, hell I’m still dealing with it now as I type!

3 Sunburn Itch Remedies

Vitamin A & D Ointment

Vitamin A & D ointment (diaper cream) is used to help prevent and treat diaper rash, help heal dry skin, soothe cuts and burns, etc… since the itch comes from your skin repairing itself it makes sense that using this ointment will help for the long term.

Personally I found it to be helpful the first day and then the cortizone was my go to.


Cortizone is an anti-itch ointment, that seemed to help me the best. It doesn’t work perfectly as I still have some parts that are itchy but it’s MUCH better than the feeling of fire ants crawling underneath your skin. Keep in mind that this isn’t an instant relief, at least it wasn’t for me. It took about 15-20minutes for some relief to kick in.

Oatmeal Bath

The oatmeal bath seemed to help an ok amount for me. Just make sure that your oatmeal is very fine (blend it) so that the water turns milky and that the water isn’t hot but luke warm or cold. The problem I found was that as soon as I got it, it still burned and itch like a mofo- so then I went back to the cortizone suffered for about 15-20minutes until it kicked it and then DID NOT MOVE until I felt somewhat back to normal. With that said though, if you’re at the tail end a cool oatmeal bath definitely feels pretty good.


There’s a lot of remedies out there, you’ll have to play around and be patient. The above is what worked for me. The popular aloe vera or vinegar did absolutely nothing but irritate the devil itch. I guess the main point here is to not take your health for granted and use sun screen! I was a complete idiot and I’m paying for it- my weekend was shot I had to cancel on a few personal training clients, and miss my workout over something that could’ve easily been avoided.

Put on sun screen!

Team Fusion Trained

My Secret Weapon To Heal A Sunburn Fast

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When we moved to Florida, I knew my pale, white Irish-skin would have a problem with it.

Even when I squint in the mirror and trick myself into believing that I am getting some semblance of a tan living down here, I head to the beach or pool and realize I am still just barely a shade darker than Casper, the Friendly Ghost and I know that I have to battle the elements to make it through the summer without a sunburn.


Obviously, prevention is best.

On beach days, I always try to take precautions. As mentioned in my post regarding my beach day essentials, we use a beach umbrella and I generally take a high-powered SPF sunblock that I love.

But, alas, sunburns still happen. This past weekend, we had a wonderful family beach day and I asked my husband if he packed the sunblock. He said he did…so I trusted him.

He packed the 30 SPF.

I looked at the can and immediately knew it was going to end badly for me. He clearly forgot who he was married to…


Needless to say, I came home a little…um…crisp. And that’s AFTER I stayed in the shade as much as possible.

Yes. That’s my leg….Ouch

Over the years, I have tried multiple sunburn treatments and remedies and one has stood out above the rest.

Here is the sunburn treatment method I utilize every.single.time.

Yep. A&D Ointment.

I am no doctor or dermatologist, but I learned about using A&D ointment a few years ago and did some ‘first-hand’ research myself.

Think about it- Your skin needs vitamins to repair itself and using A&D ointment for sunburn helps replenish those vitamins in your skin, allowing for quicker healing.

You can usually find A&D ointment with the diaper rash creams and you don’t even need the name brand stuff.

I picked up just two tubes and went home to begin my regimen.

I start by taking a cool shower to help ease the sting and take out some of the heat.

Afterwards, I put on a layer of aloe vera gel. The more natural…the better. My neighbor gave me some aloe plant and I am going to try to actually grow my own.

We’ve built up quite the collection of aloe vera….

Once the aloe has set in, I then use a layer of the A&D ointment. It’s greasy and smelly a bit.

A little goes a long way.

Put light clothes on that are not too tight and then I usually go to bed or take a nap.

By the next morning, I am 10 times better!

After just a couple of hours, the burn is soooo much better!

It’s important to not use creams or vaseline that can just trap in the heat. The secret ingredients here are the vitamins.

The treatment also helps ease the inevitable itch and speed up healing. I will generally do another layer or aloe or ointment the next day, depending on the severity of the burn. Fortunately, I don’t find myself getting too many sunburns anymore.

What is your go-to sunburn remedy? I’d love to hear what works for you!

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91shares Written by Keri – June 23, 2018 – 4833 Views

Are you currently using vitamin A and D ointment?

Use this product as directed. Some products require priming before use. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Some products need to be shaken before use. Check the label to see if you should shake the bottle well before using. Apply to the affected areas of the skin as needed or as directed on the label or by your doctor. How often you apply the medication will depend on the product and your skin condition. To treat dry hands, you may need to use the product every time you wash your hands, applying it throughout the day.

If you are using this product to help treat diaper rash, clean the diaper area well before use and allow the area to dry before applying the product.

If you are using this product to help treat radiation skin burns, check with radiation personnel to see if your brand can be applied before radiation therapy.

Follow all the directions on the label for proper use. Apply to the skin only. Avoid sensitive areas such as your eyes, inside your mouth/nose, and the vaginal/groin area, unless the label or your doctor directs you otherwise. Check the label for directions about any areas or types of skin where you should not apply the product (e.g., on the face, any areas of broken/chapped/cut/irritated/scraped skin, or on a recently shaved area of the skin). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Most moisturizers need water to work well. Apply the product after bathing/showering while the skin is still damp. For very dry skin, your doctor may instruct you to soak the area before using the product. Long, hot, or frequent bathing/washing can worsen dry skin.

If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

Unless it’s the dead of winter and my dry-ass lips have reached the point of no return (read: peeling, flaking, more peeling…I’m really cute!), I very rarely keep a tube of Aquaphor on deck. But in the past few months, since I began reading Reddit’s r/SkincareAddiction (a skincare-obsessed community of dermatologist-level fanatics), I’ve started to notice something: People are really, really obsessed with Aquaphor—but not for their chapped lips. No, the good people of the internet swear that slathering Aquaphor all over your face is actually the secret to ridiculously perfect skin.

Yes, seriously. Reddit users have dubbed Aquaphor “the Nectar of the Gods,” claiming it basically restores even the driest, more irritated of skin types, minimizes breakouts, and overall turns your face into a smooth, dewy little dew drop. As one user put it: “Aquaphor changed my life.” Tall claims, but yet…I’m intrigued.

Courtesy Image Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment Aquaphor $6.89

As someone who perpetually ping-pongs between oily broken out skin to dry irritated skin, I’m fully into the idea that a cheap-ass product ($6 for a small tube!) could possibly transform my face better than my current $$ multi-step skincare routine. BUT also being someone who is terrified of breakouts, I decided to first find out the nitty gritty on whether or not Aquaphor really is good for your skin.

What exactly does Aquaphor do for your skin?

Great question—but before you understand how Aquaphor works, you should know WTF it actually is. Aquaphor is made mostly of petroleum (a blend of mineral oils and waxes), lanolin (a greasy emollient that’s derived from sheep’s wool—more on that later), and glycerin (a gentle hydrator that pulls moisture from the air into your skin), all of which work together to create a protective barrier over your skin, kinda like a gentle, soothing hug.

Cool, but what does that mean? Basically, “Aquaphor prevents water from evaporating from your face, helping to improve your skin barrier and keep it healthy,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. And a healthy, hydrated skin barrier means fewer breakouts, less redness and irritation, and even decreased fine lines and wrinkles. That’s why users across r/SkincareAddiction swear Aquaphor has the ability to transform irritated, dry skin into a dewy, smooth-as-hell canvas.


So, is Aquaphor a moisturizer?

Nope, not exactly. Aquaphor is an occlusive, which is a fancy-sounding word that means it acts like a skincare blanket, swaddling all the good-for-you ingredients from your serums, toners, and moisturizers close to your skin to make them more effective. But on its own, occlusives don’t actually do any of the moisturizing.

Instead, its power is unlocked when you layer it over your skincare products, a technique that my friends over at r/SkincareAddiction call “slugging” (since your face will look as shiny as a slug’s slime trail. Yum!). You just apply a very thin layer of Aquaphor over your face as the final step of your nightly skincare routine (yup, after your moisturizer, your oils, whatever) and let it work its magic by, well, doing nothing. It just sits there and supervises your skincare, making the formulas work better and harder.

“I’ve been using Aquaphor for the past few days based on a recommendation,” wrote one user, “and I cannot believe how it has cleared my blemishes, removed dark circles, filled-in small lines and did not break me out.” And, says another user, “My pores are less visible, my under-eye area looks amazing. My skin feels comfortable.”

Cool, right? …But also sounds too good to be true. Which brings us to…

Does Aquaphor break you out?

Though there aren’t any true breakout-inducing ingredients in Aquaphor (it’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t trigger acne), Dr. Nazarian warns that “slugging” during humid and hot seasons could block your pores from sweating properly, since the formula is so thick. “When sweat and oil can’t escape through your pores as they should, you might start to see an acne-like sweat rash, which can look like itchy red bumps,” she says.

Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll be slathering a heavy layer of Aquaphor on your face then going for a jog in the middle of July (most people tend to slug at night when it’s actually more effective), but if you’re extra prone to sweating while you sleep or you have incredibly oily skin, you may want to skip this hack. As you know, everyone’s skin is different, and what works for your super-dry face might not work for your roommate’s oily T-zone.


What’s the difference between Aquaphor and Vaseline?

Although Aquaphor and Vaseline are usually thrown into the same category (they’re both occlusives, and they’re both used for slugging), there’s actually a fairly important difference between the two: Vaseline doesn’t contain lanolin, and Aquaphor does.

Lanolin may sound gross—it’s harvested from already-shorn sheep’s wool—but it’s totally natural, and it’s been used as a tried-and-true skin salve for hundreds of years. If you’re allergic to lanolin (it’s not common, but those with eczema or dermatitises are more likely to have a bad reaction), try slugging with Vaseline instead. But if you really want a thick, rich, won’t-slip-off-your-face moisturizer to really soothe your skin issues, you might wanna stick with lanolin-filled Aquaphor instead.

The Bottom Line

Okay, so Aquaphor definitely shouldn’t replace your moisturizer (because, you know, it isn’t a moisturizer), but it can help your skin better heal itself by locking in water and upping the effects of your usual skincare products, which, says Dr. Nazarian, “can make your skin softer and dewier over time.”

When it comes down to it, “slugging” certainly doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s always best to run anything new by your dermatologist before you try it. But if you (and your skin) are in the clear, try slathering on some Aquaphor every few nights and see if it’s the key you’ve been missing. Just be prepared to sacrifice your pillowcase in this pursuit of dewy skin (all’s fair in skin and war, right?).

Related Story Ruby Buddemeyer Beauty Editor Ruby is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers beauty across print and digital.


If you do get a sunburn:

  • Take a cool shower or bath or place clean wet, cool wash cloths on the burn.
  • DO NOT use products that contain benzocaine or lidocaine. These can cause allergy in some persons and make the burn worse.
  • If there are blisters, dry bandages may help prevent infection.
  • If your skin is not blistering, moisturizing cream may be applied to relieve discomfort. DO NOT use butter, petroleum jelly (Vaseline), or other oil-based products. These can block pores so that heat and sweat cannot escape, which can lead to infection. DO NOT pick at or peel away the top part of the blisters.
  • Creams with vitamins C and E may help limit damage to skin cells.
  • Over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, help to relieve pain from sunburn. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
  • Cortisone creams may help reduce the inflammation.
  • Loose cotton clothing should be worn.
  • Drink lots of water.

Ways to prevent sunburn include:

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects from both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to fully cover exposed skin. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or as often as the label says.
  • Reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating and even when it is cloudy.
  • Use a lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat with wide brim and other protective clothing. Light-colored clothing reflects the sun most effectively.
  • Stay out of the sun during hours when the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.

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