Learn about over-the-counter remedies and home remedies to help soothe
We’ve all experienced missing a spot when applying sunscreen and
then suffering from the uncomfortable or even painful sunburn that follows.
But there are longer-term effects once the redness fades. The sun’s
dangerous ultraviolet rays are responsible for approximately 90 percent of
brown spots, wrinkles and leathery skin. These signs of aging don’t happen overnight;
sun damage accumulates over time and has the potential to lead to precancerous
lesions on the skin or skin cancer. However, by carefully practicing sun
protection all year, you are much more likely to
prevent skin cancer and possibly even reverse some existing damage.
“The best thing you can do to keep your skin healthy and youthful-looking
is to protect it with broad spectrum sunscreen year-round,” says
Blanca Bisuna, MD, a board-certified family medicine physician at
Mission Heritage Medical Group. “When you get into the habit of applying sunscreen each day, you
can help lower your long-term risk of skin cancer.”
There are so many sunscreens on the shelves—which ones will best
protect your family? Learn
how to choose and use the best sunscreen for adults and
On those occasions when the sun proves unstoppable or you forgot to lotion
up, the treatments below can save your skin and diminish the damage.
These popular and effective sunburn remedies can be found at your local
drugstore. Aloe vera comes from a plant which can also be grown at home.
Store-bought aloe vera should be 100% aloe vera gel and not ointment, which
blocks pores from breathing and stops heat from escaping.
- Coriander oil or rosehip oil
Rub these essential oils directly to sunburned skin to reduce inflammation,
soothe and heal.
Ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal over-the-counter pain relievers, taken
as directed, can help reduce the swelling and pain associated with sunburned skin.
Reduce irritation and rashes associated with sunburn with this over-the-counter,
Use a chemical exfoliant to dissolve browned, dead skin cells instead of
scrubbing them off. Exfoliation can smooth your skin and restore a youthful
luster. Read and follow the instructions carefully.
See your doctor or dermatologist, or go to urgent care, for moderate to
severe cases of sunburn, especially if it begins to blister. You may be
prescribed a topical cream that soothes damaged skin and encourages healing.
To find a St. Joseph Health urgent care center in your area, click
If you want to wait before getting into the medicine cabinet, try these
natural sunburn remedies made from common household items:
Aloe vera plant - Apply the gel from the leaves of this household plant directly to the sunburn
to ease discomfort, speed healing, and moisturize skin.
Milk - Place a washcloth soaked in cool milk on sunburned skin to create a protein
film that eases discomfort and reduces heat.
Cool water - Soak in a tub of cool water or apply a cool, moist compress to help relieve
any heat or pain associated with a sunburn.
Honey - Apply directly to the sunburn to speed healing, reduce the risk of infection,
and minimize pain.
Oatmeal - Soak in a tepid bath filled with finely ground oatmeal to help reduce swelling
What is your daily regimen for protecting your skin against the harmful
effects of the sun? Tell us your tips in the comments below.
Learn more about
Mission Heritage Medical Group. Learn more about
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.