How to Treat or Relieve Pain from a Sunburn

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Excessive exposure to the sun's ultra violent rays can damage the outer layer of the skin and cause a host of other problems, such as wrinkles and skin cancer. Sunburn is a common result from spending hours in the hot sun without applying sunscreen. It can take several days or weeks to completely heal from a sunburn. In the meantime, there are ways to treat and relieve painful symptoms.

Things You'll Need

  • Ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Cortisone cream
  • Vinegar
  • Oatmeal
  • Stop inflammation. Every four to six hours (or as directed) take ibuprofen or aspirin to stop inflammation and soothe the pain caused by sun-damaged skin.

  • Use topical creams. Soothe burn and itching associated with sunburns with cortisone creams, available from drug stores. Use as directed.

  • Cool off your skin. Rinse in a cool shower or sit in a cool bath to ease skin inflammation quickly. Add 1 cup of white vinegar or oatmeal to bath water to help calm pain and itching.

  • Keep a cool towel nearby. Dip a cloth or towel in cold water and apply the cold compress to sunburned areas to relieve pain.

  • Increase water intake. Keep your body and skin hydrated by upping your intake of water and juices.

  • Reduce swelling. Sunburned legs can swell and cause additional pain. Elevate legs with pillows to reduce swelling, and keep legs above your heart.

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