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Relieve Discomfort From Sunburn With These Expert Secrets

Summer isn't the only time you have to worry about sunburned skin.

When the sun comes out, it means so many fun things. Boat excursions, pool parties, hiking, beach days, wine tastings, rooftop brunches, and plenty more activities. The one thing nobody associates with these picture-worthy memories is, well, dreaded sunburn pain. Ugh! It's easy to forget to butter up before heading outdoors with your bests, and in less than a few hours after soaking up some rays, you can have hot, red, inflamed skin that can feel like it's on fire. Where did it even come from if you weren't baking on a beach towel? It happens without you even realizing it, and we're here to help with the best tricks to relieve discomfort from sunburn, along with a reminder to protect your skin before it gets damaged.

What are the dangers of frequent sun exposure that results in sunburned skin?

woman sunburn

First off, we're going to sound like a broken record here—and that's okay, because it's kind of our job and it's for your own good. Wear sunscreen all year long, even on cloudy and cool days. Even when you're pumpkin picking and hitting the slopes this winter, butter up in that SPF.

Not only is sunburned skin uncomfortable to deal with, but frequent exposure to sun resulting in a burn puts you at risk of aging skin, precancerous conditions, and skin cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. And any little part of your body can burn, including your scalp, eyes, lips, and toes. Ultraviolet rays can penetrate through loosely woven fabrics, too. Okay, you get the point!

Related: The Safest Sunscreens That Provide Protection—Not Toxins, Expert Says

Take a cool bath or shower, and butter up in aloe afterward.


We chatted with Reserveage's resident dermatologist, Dr. Tiffany Libby, to learn some of the best tricks and tips to treat and relieve discomfort from sunburn. One of the best methods of relief is to take a cool bath or shower. When you're done with that, be sure to moisturize with aloe to soothe your skin. Look for barrier repair ingredients in any products you buy. Another step is to take ibuprofen, which will help with pain relief and also minimize inflammation. Above all, it's extremely important to stay hydrated.

What products can help relieve discomfort from sunburn?

aloe lotion to relieve discomfort from sunburn

One of the products that Dr. Libby recommends when dealing with sunburn pain is Cetaphil Soothing Gel Cream. It contains aloe to soothe your skin, in addition to allantoin, a barrier repair ingredient that moisturizes your skin as it calms and lessens irritation.

If your sunburn is severe and you develop symptoms such as fever, pain, nausea, chills, blisters, or dehydration, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Here's what you can do to hopefully prevent sunburn in the first place.

woman applying sunscreen to her shoulders to avoid skin cancer

To hopefully prevent the need to deal with any of the above tricks in the first place, Dr. Libby gives some solid advice on what you need to do before going outdoors. "Using a sunscreen that is SPF 30-50, with broad-spectrum coverage and is water-resistant, and reapplying every 2 hours as recommended. Using additional sun protection in the form of hats, sunglasses, and UPF clothing is also important to protect areas that may not be as well covered by sunscreen and may be more susceptible to sun exposure." She adds, "Also, no sunscreen is 100%, so I like recommending layering your sun protection and not just relying on sunscreen alone."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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