Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Treat Sunburn

Posted by Erin McInerney

Use this, you guys! (Image via Birchbox)

While some people are able to step outside and flourish in the sunshine, there are those of us who manage to get sunburned in the time it takes to walk to the car. 

There is nothing worse than forgetting sunscreen and finding yourself red and in pain.  While there is no magical cure to sunburn, there are luckily some tips and tricks that make it slightly more bearable.  If you’ve ever found yourself on the losing end of a battle with the sun, read on for The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook’s advice for how to ease the pain.

How to Treat Sunburn

· Remove the clothing around the affected area. Do not apply any suntan lotion to the burn – Clothing irritates the skin, and the lotion will only prevent the skin from getting much-needed exposure to the cooling air.

· Put a cool compress on the sunburn – Soak your shirt or another available cloth in cold water and apply it to the affected area. If the burn is especially bad, wrap the shirt around an ice pack and use it as a compress. A bedsheet soaked in ice water is also effective if the burn is very large.

· Drink three to six ounces of water – Drinking water will prevent dehydration and help to cool the skin by promoting sweating.

· Apply a soothing gel or ointment to the sunburn – Aloe lotion is ideal. You can refrigerate it first so that it feels cool to the skin.

· Take a pain pill and lie still – Ibuprofen will help alleviate the pain around the sunburn. Lie in a position that exposes the affected area to the air.

· Seek medical attention if your symptoms are serious – Dizziness, sensitivity to light, quick pulse or rapid breathing, clammy skin, rash, fever, chills, and nausea are all symptoms that could point to something worse than a mild sunburn. If you experience these symptoms, call a doctor.