What to Read Next

Soothe serious sunburn - treatment options

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
7 June 2013

Keep covered

The last thing you need when you’re burnt is to burn more, so keep out of the sun where possible and when you are out cover up in long-sleeves and trousers. Try linen, which is light enough to stop you overheating but gives you protection from the sun’s rays.

[Related news: Why summer =  more booze]

Cool it down

As with any burn, sunburnt skin feels hot to the touch and cooling it down is important to relieve the pain. You can buy over-the-counter cooling compresses, or make your own with a mixture of cold water and milk. Soak a clean, very soft cloth and press it onto the area every 15 minutes. You can also bath or shower in lukewarm water or try pouring this over the area.

As well as putting water on the burn topically, make sure you’re keeping your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Don’t drink alcohol as this will dehydrate you and dry out your skin even more.

Once you’ve cooled the area, there are plenty of after-sun balms and lotions that can help soothe the pain and moisturise the skin. Pure aloe vera or gels containing it work well, as does calamine lotion, which can help with itching.

[Related article: Bad news - why a tan won't stop you burning]


If it’s really painful, try oral painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. You can also try a one per cent hydrocortisone cream, which is sometimes used for eczema and dry skin. Rubbing this directly onto the sunburn can calm irritation and inflammation. This should not be used on children under the age of two, on the face or genitals or if you broken the skin. A natural alternative would be honey, specifically manuka honey, which is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and is thought to help the skin regrow cells.

When to go to A&E

Very serious burns may need emergency medical treatment. If it’s a baby or child, it’s best to get them checked out as their skin is far more delicate than ours. On adults, if the skin has blistered or you feel dizzy, nauseous or have a fever, head straight to A&E.

Earn Your Bachelor's With Liberty University Today

Liberty University has the flexibility to help you earn your Bachelor's degree online. Choose from our selection of programs and get started today!

This $625 Intro Bonus Is Insane

A leading credit card issuer just raised its intro bonus to an industry-leading $500 cash or $625 in travel. And no annual fee the first year.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Surprising Rule Helps People In Credit Card Debt

Discover how these federal changes are keeping consumers safe and helping people pay off credit card debt faster.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Install ADT for $9/Week & Get Free Security Camera

Monitor your home with ADT for only $9 per week including a free home security camera system (an $850 value). Get a free quote! ADT Authorized Dealer

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Toddler tantrum email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track for advice on how to handle different situations that may arise with your little one.

Join Disney Movie Club Today

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

Reconnect With Your High School Friends

Classmates® has the largest directory of high school class lists. Remember the good times and reconnect to create new memories.