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Got Sunburn? Help Minimize the Damage with These Tips

As long as you don't have a fever, blisters, dizziness or visual difficulties, home treatment is appropriate for sunburn. To treat sunburn at home, try any of these tips:

  • Apply cool compresses to the burned area to help cool the skin.
  • Soaking in a cool bath often helps relieve the pain of sunburn. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a full tub of bathwater, or use an over-the-counter bath product. Avoid products that leave your skin oily.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Rest in a cool, quiet room.
  • For adults age 20 and over, take acetaminophen or aspirin to relieve the pain. Don't give aspirin to persons under the age of 20; it can cause Reye's syndrome. However, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, used as directed, are safe.
  • Wear light-colored, natural fiber and loose-fitting clothes to allow your skin to breathe.
  • Avoid more exposure to the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt long pants and sunscreen.
  • Avoid products containing benzocaine. Though benzocaine will numb the skin, it can irritate and delay healing of sun-damaged skin by triggering an allergic reaction.
  • Nothing can prevent peeling after sunburn, but lotions can help relieve itching.