Summers finally here! After a 6-mile bike ride with the little one by the beach, I’m painfully looking for remedies and treatment for my sunburnt arms and shoulders.
It’s all well and good when the suns out you get the ‘guns’ out, and being the sensible dad that I am, I slapped a load of sun cream on the little one… in my rush I forgot about myself.
And now… I’m left looking like a red lobster.
Stings when I take a shower.
Hurts when I roll over to sleep.
Pain all round because I didn’t spend 30 seconds to rub some sun protection on.
So here are the top 10 tips I’ve found that helps give that extra-added relief to treat those painful sunburnt areas.
1. Get in the shade to prevent further sunburn
First thing to do when you think you’ve been in the sun a bit too long is to get in the shade and get some protection.
Although adding sun lotion (sun protection factor SPR 30+) might be a little too late, it stops from being further sun burnt should you venture out from under the shade.
2. Treat with a cool damp cloth
Get a wet cool cloth to cover the areas, which are sunburnt and keep them for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Make sure its cool/cold (don’t put ice directly on to your skin as it can damage your skin or even give you frostbite!) to bring the temperature down. This will give you some much need relief for the painful areas.
3. Take a cool bath or shower
If you can go for the bath as it will cool you down faster and is more comfortable. If you don’t have the facilities, go for the shower but be warned, it may not feel the more comfortable shower.
Skip the soap or shower gel as well, as the chemicals in them only damage your skin even more. When you get out of the shower, lightly dry the sunburnt areas and leave them damp and put on some moisturizer.
If you have blisters, its tempting to pop them… don’t!! Just leave them to heal and apply lotion.
4. Apply after sun
Apply after sun can help your skin to repair it self by keeping moisture in your sunburnt skin and also provide the nutrients its lost.
5. Use Aloe Vera gel as a remedy
Aloe Vera gel is another common remedy to being sunburnt. Aloe Vera is a cooling agent, which helps with inflammation and can be purchased from the store or even use the actual aloe vera gel that comes directly from the plants (if you happen to see some nearby)
6. Drink lots of water
It goes without saying that when you get sunburnt, you lose a lot of water. (What happens when you leave water out in the sun… it evaporates!). Drink lots of water to stop yourself from dehydration.
Keep any eye out for signs of dehydration, which could be headaches, tiredness or dizziness.
For me, I love to drink cold water that I’ve put into the fridge the night before. It’s refreshing and it’s healthier option that a beer, coke or juice!
7. Turn the fan or ac on
If you have air conditioning or fans in your house/apartment/hotel then turn it up. The cool air will help the heat disperse from your body.
8. Avoid deodorant sprays
Not an obvious one, plus you may get a bit self-conscious that you begin to smell but if you don’t want your sunburnt areas catching on fire again, avoid deodorant sprays.
Instead use deodorants rollerballs, which helps you to avoid the delicate areas and not let you stink the whole place out.
9. Don’t wear clothes or tight fitting clothes
The sunburnt areas need space to lose heat which means that if you’re wearing tight fitting clothes, it’s going to be much harder (and more uncomfortable for you).
Wear loose clothing so that you can get air to the sensitive areas. It also allows you to easily apply more lotion on the areas too.
10. Take painkillers or Paracetamol
If you’re struggling to sleep because of the pain, or if it hurts when you move around, try taking some painkillers to give you some temporary relief.
The best way to treat sunburn though it to avoid it. Stay lathered up with sun protection (SPF 30+), keep in the shade as much as possible, keep drinking water regularly.
There’s been a lot of articles recently about skin cancer and the affects of having too much sun (in the UK of all places!) but it’s something you don’t want to regret later in life.
There will be times that you forget, when you’re in a rush like me and have to deal with the little one, but don’t forget about your health and wellbeing as well.
If you have any tips for treatments and remedies for sunburn, share them below!