3 Practical Ways On How to Get Rid of Sunburn: Complete Guide 2024
Every year, more than one out of every three Americans gets sunburned. It happens due to the overexposure of UV rays to the skin.
This excessive exposure is also responsible for developing conditions like skin cancer (melanomas mainly).
However, by taking adequate steps, it’s entirely possible to avoid some severe sunburn. This article will address this with practical steps on how to get rid of sunburn.
How to Get Rid of Sunburn: What is a Sunburn?
Sunburn means inflamed skin that feels red, hot, and painful to touch. Excessive sun exposure is almost always the cause.
Sunburn is one step ahead of the usual skin tan. In the skin tan, we usually have an increased melanin level.
While in sunburn, an inflammatory process occurs that damage the skin cells. This results in dark reddish skin, or sometimes skin blisters formation.
Sometimes, swelling could also be seen in sunburn.
What Causes Sunburn and How does it happen?
Excessive exposure to the sun causes sunburn. The idea here is that sunlight contains various types of rays; visible light, infrared, and UV are some examples.
In the case of Sunburn, UV rays fall onto the outer skin and start an inflammatory reaction in the skin cells.
When inflammation occurs, cells not only swell or become red but also feel painful.
Some scientist considers that as the sun’s rays fall into the skin, they cause genetic mutation in the DNA of skin cells.
These mutated cells are unable to survive and often die. As a result, we see a red area around the burned skin.
It’s also important to note that burned skin has a very demarcated boundary. It can also create a wound-like appearance with clearly demarcated edges.
Signs you have a Sunburn
The sign and symptoms of sunburn can vary depending on the time in the sun. Plus, genetic factors, such as the presence of melanin, determine the intensity.
While the symptoms appear three to four hours after the exposure. Although sunburn can appear on everybody, the scalp, lips, and earlobes are usually affected. Eyes are also prone to developing sunburn fast.
Therefore, the sign and symptoms may vary depending on the body part involved. Generally, these include.
- Redness of the affected skin.
- Pain, or increased pain sensitivity.
- Itching and swelling of the affected area.
- The appearance of sunburn blisters. These could also break.
- Headache, fever, and Fatigue in case of severe sunburn.
- Painful eyes.
Risk Factors of having a Sunburn
Certain risk factors increase the chances of having sunburn. So, if a person has any of these, they might need special care for protection.
These factors also make a person prone to developing skin cancer:
- White skin due to decreased melanin.
- Living at a high altitude. Intense sun rays are present at higher altitudes.
- Previous sunburn history.
- Regular exposure to sunlight or artificial resources (artificial tanning).
- Too much sun exposure due to outdoor job.
- Doing outdoor activities with alcohol consumption.
- Taking excessive photosynthesizing medications.
How can you get rid of Sunburn?
The skin has an excellent ability to heal, and that’s the principle behind sunburn relief. Scientists have improvised ways that ease the discomfort caused by the burn. In addition, these help the skin heal.
We have divided these into three methods. Although none of them give a 100% guarantee to treat sunburn, rather have relative efficacies.
Plus, the effectiveness of treatment will depend on the degree of sunburn a person has.
A. Natural Remedies to Treat Sunburn
Natural remedies are quite effective in sunburn relief. It’s because they aid the natural healing process. Plus, they are pretty cost-effective.
Some of these home remedies are immediate therapies after someone gets a burn. At the same time, others include lifestyle modification that prevents getting the skin burned in the first place.
Some of the best natural remedies to get rid of the sunburned area include.
Take a Cold bath
It’s the easiest way to get rid of sunburn. A cool bath serves three-important things; lessen the inflammation, relieve pain, and cool the surface down.
Avoid taking a bath in chlorinated pools, as it further eases the symptoms.
Instead, use a natural water reservoir, lakes, etc. Or simply use the shower with cool water.
Also, after you take a cold water bath, let some water stay on your body. Use a moisturizer to help the skin remain hydrated.
You can also use baking soda or have an oatmeal bath. These decrease skin irritation and help retain natural moisture.
Using Aloe Vera lotion
Mayo Clinic suggests Aloe Vera gel as a beneficial natural remedy for sunburn. Therefore, having an Aloe Vera plant in your house is great.
Alternatively, users can use a lotion with similar properties as a gel.
Drink more water
Sunburn causes the water to be lost from the skin. As a result, you feel dehydrated and experience relative symptoms. So, it’s best to stay hydrated.
Allow the blisters to heal naturally
Blisters indicate a second-degree sunburn. In case of that, don’t pop the blister. Instead, allow the natural healing process.
Extra care while healing
For naturally healing skin, it’s best to have extra care to avoid something going wrong again. They could be things like wearing loose clothes. Also, tightly woven fabrics work in providing extra care.
The board-certified dermatologists from Mayo clinic suggest extra care to prevent developing complications.
They also recommend gently treating peeling skin, as it’s a part of taking extra care while healing.
The idea of using medication is to lessen the symptom and not directly treat sunburn.
But the medication is taken along with some natural processes or skin care products.
- Anti-inflammatory to reduce redness due to inflammation.
- Antihistamine to reduce itching.
- 1% Hydrocortisone cream.
C. Skincare Products for a Sunburned Skin
Despite our best efforts, sunburn can happen to anyone. After all, who doesn’t enjoy sitting beside the cold water in the summer?
Even without going for a conscious tan, the blazing sun of the summer is enough to cost damaged skin.
Therefore, using skin products is a reliable choice to have. Dermatologists recommend this sun safety to everyone whenever the person gets exposed to sunlight.
The efficacy of these products is also great. Not only do they protect from sunburn, but they are beneficial for your skin health.
According to a reputable source, ‘Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature aging, and provides protection against cancer.’
But choosing the right sunscreen is the hard part. OTC hydrocortisone cream is considered a cost-effective choice.
But it’s a generalized medicine for plenty of skin conditions and doesn’t protect against all types of rays.
Hence, proper sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin. We did the hard work for you and dug out the best sunscreen recommended by dermatologists.
Before we jump onto the product details, there are two things you need to understand. The first is the type of sunscreen, while the other is the measuring index known as SPF.
Types of Sunscreen and SPF
Sunscreens are classified into two categories, chemical, and mineral. Chemical sunscreens have chemical ingredients in them, primarily avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene.
While Mineral sunscreens have zinc and titanium dioxide as their primary constituent.
Both these types of sunscreens have an almost identical mode of working. The mineral sunscreens just reflect some UV light in addition to filtering it.
Mineral sunscreens are also sometimes referred to as sunblock because they block UV rays.
While SPF is the Sun protection factor, sunscreen can filter and block specific UV rays. For example, some block UVA, while others block UVB.
A screen that protects from both UVA and UVB is a broad spectrum. 30 SPF is usually the recommended number for sunscreen. However, to get rid of the sunburn, you’ll need more.
Best Sunscreens to avoid a Sunburn
Here are some of the best sunscreens you can have. We have categorized them, so it’s easy for you to make a purchase decision.
9 Best Sunscreens
|Top Consumer's Choice
|Best Sunscreen for Babies
|Best Mineral Sunscreen
|Best Sunscreen for Kids
|Best Reef-friendly Sunscreen
|Best Zinc Oxide Formula
|Best for Sensitive Skin
|Best Tinted Sunscreen
|Best for Wearing Underneath Makeup
#1. Top Consumer’s Choice: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
Neutrogena is popular for making the least-visible sunblock. However, this Ultra Sheer Sunscreen has chemicals instead of minerals that filter the UV rays.
It has a high SPF of 70. That means that it’s excellent for usage in outdoor activities. Plus, it’s water resistant and non-greasy.
The reason dermatologists consider it their top choice is because of its quick light-absorption system.
It’s best for sensitive skin, especially the one with sunburns. Plus, the wound healing effect is an addition.
#2. Best sunscreen for babies: Aveeno Baby Sunscreen
Babies have exceptionally sensitive skin, and Aveeno Baby Sunscreen is the best option to have for them.
It’s also broad spectrum with an SPF of 50. It contains minerals like Zinc instead of chemicals.
These minerals are of good use to babies as chemicals can cause an allergic reaction. Plus, this lotion is very mild and doesn’t feel irritating.
#3. Best mineral sunscreen: Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion
It’s an oil-free formula that provides a physical barrier for UV rays from entering the skin. The minerals here are from the aloe plant extract that keeps the skin cool and moisturized.
This mineral sunscreen is ideal for people who want day-to-day protection. Also, despite physical sunscreen, you only see a minimum white cast.
#4. Best sunscreen for kids: Coppertone Pure & Simple Kids Sunscreen Lotion
Kids, like babies, have sensitive skin. Plus, children younger than 12 years are more prone to allergies. Therefore, a properly sensitized and hypoallergic sunscreen is necessary.
Coppertone Sunscreen lotion performs all these tasks. In addition, it’s pretty helpful to reduce inflammation due to nourishing extracts from tea leaves and sea kelp.
Plus, the 50 SPF is adequate to protect the kids of growing age.
#5. Best reef-friendly sunscreen: Stream2Sea Mineral Sunscreen for Body
Reef-friendly sunscreens are the ones that don’t contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. Instead, it relies on organic chemicals to protect you from skin diseases.
Besides being eco-friendly, this sunscreen minimally irritates the skin. As a result, it’s great to use on sensitive areas, ear lobes, and eyes.
The organic constituent in Stream2sea is also great for easing pain and relieving itching. But the SPF is 30.
So, if you don’t go excessively outdoors, this sunscreen could be excellent everyday sun protection.
#6. Best zinc oxide formula: Avène Mineral Multi-Defense Sunscreen Fluid
Oxides of Zinc are chemicals to reduce swelling, minimize skin irritation, and have anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, these provide great protection against sunburn.
We recommend Avène sunscreen fluid due to its moisturizing and antioxidant effects. Also, despite a mineral sunscreen, it provides excellent skin protection to sensitive skin.
Lastly, if you already have good melanin, as in brown skin, it’s a must-have. It’s because this complements the natural skin tint and makes you look younger.
#7. Best for sensitive skin: La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen
We have already recommended a bunch of options for sensitive skin. However, if you have extremely sensitive skin, along with acne, La Roche Sunscreen could be a good choice.
Like most sunscreens on the list, this offers plenty of useful features. Antioxidants, moisturizing, and being water-resistant are some examples.
In addition, it has a long duration of action, making it unique. However, it may appear as a white cast if you don’t mix it properly.
#8. Best tinted sunscreen: Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen
This is not your everyday sunscreen but a great option for going outdoors. In addition to typical Zinc and titanium, it has additional iron ingredients.
These chemicals help your skin age well and complement your skin tone. Plus, if you have freckles, this would be a great purchase.
#9. Best for wearing underneath makeup: EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen
To have sun safety under the makeup, an odorless sunscreen should be a consideration. We recommend EltaMD as the best sunscreen under makeup because it is light, has minimum fragrance, and is oil-free.
Plus, it will stay there for quite a while, and therefore, a good choice to have with makeup.
>>Related Article: 15 Best Sunscreen for 2024 • Top Sun Protection Product Reviews
Sunburns are common. Although they cause skin irritation, pain, and redness, you can get rid of them with proper care.
Natural remedies, medications, and skincare products are some excellent treatment options to have.
While all have their efficacies, we consider using skin care products a must. It’s because these not only decrease inflammation but prophylactically treat the burned skin.
If you’re confused about the product, choose Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen. It has a dual purpose. It acts as a pain reliever and has strong SPF. Thus, protects you from painful sunburns.
>>Related Article: 9 Best Hair, Skin, and Nails Vitamins • Top Product Reviews of 2024
How To Get Rid of Sunburn FAQs
How can I get rid of sunburn quickly?
Well, you can start with some home remedies. For example, take a cool bath or use an ice pack. It’s best to avoid further sun exposure and seek shade.
If the redness/pain doesn’t subside, try a pain reliever or an antibiotic ointment. Also, healing lotions assist the healing process.
How long does sunburn last?
Dermatologists suggest 3-5 days for mild to moderate sunburn. While a week or so for the severe burn.
The intensity on which the last sunburn can last along depends on the affected area.
Why do I get sunburn so easily?
There are multiple factors to determine this. The melanin concentration in the body is most important.
Other than that, genetic and other risk factors might be the reason a person gets sunburn so easily.