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Easy Ways to Treat a Sunburn

Updated on June 7, 2016
Blistered sunburn
Blistered sunburn | Source

Try A Home Remedy for Some Quick Relief

If you have ever spent a day at the beach, you aren't a stranger to sunburn. If it is bad enough, it can even blister your skin. You'll find easy home remedies here to treat it, but remember nothing will take away the damage the sun has caused. The burn will go away, but permanent damage to your skin has already occurred.

Often, you'll be in the sun and a sunburn won't show for several hours. You won't even be aware that you need to get out of the sun or get some sunscreen on.

Sunburn can cause freckling, wrinkles and skin cancer. The sunburn will get better, but you may pay for it in later years. You won't know the entire effect for 12 to 24 hours, because the burn will get worse for awhile.

Next time, use a sun screen with a SPF30. Health 911 suggest that you should use a sunscreen with aloe. They claim it will cut out 90% of the sun rays that cause burning and still allow 75% of the rays that create a tan to come through.

Important Cautions

It is possible to get sun poisoning. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a physician.

Symptoms of Sun Poisoning

  • Fever
  • Severe blistering or redness
  • Chills
  • Pain and tingling
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme thirstiness and little or no urination (signs of dehydration)

Easy Home Remedies

Here is a list of remedies that are easy to try.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera | Source

Aloe Vera

One of the most effective ways to help a sunburn is by using Aloe Vera. I experimented with this one summer by applying it on one leg and not the other. The difference between the two legs was amazing. The leg that I used aloe vera on healed much faster.

If you have the plant, just open one of the leaves and use the juice. It can be purchased cheaply in a bottle at most drug or discount stores if you don't have access to the plant.

Apply it to the burned area. Not only will it be soothing, but healing. Do this several times a day to keep the area covered.

Apple Cider or White Vinegar

This method is said to help prevent blisters and later peeling. Use a spray bottle and spray the vinegar on your skin. If you don't have a spray bottle, using a cloth and dampening it will help too. Either cider vinegar or white vinegar will work fine.

Or you can soak in a bath with 2 cups of vinegar for 15 minutes.

Cool Compresses or a Cool Bath

If you use a cloth with cool water, it can lessen the feeling of a burn. A cool bath helps too, but don't scrub with a washcloth as it could injure skin. Just lightly pat the skin with your towel afterwards to prevent making the sunburn hurt worse.

Baking Soda Bath

For some relief from the burning sensation, try a cool bath with a few tablespoons of baking soda. Use cool, not cold or hot water. This will help soothe the burn. Don't stay in too long as it will dry your skin. Keep it to just 15 minutes. Don't towel dry the sunburned area or it will hurt. Instead, just let the skin dry.

Cucumber Slices and Cucumber Juice

The cucumber slices will help cool the heated area. Cucumber juice will cool you off and help hydrate your body.

Drink Water

It is important to keep the body hydrated. If you've been in the sun long enough to get the burn, you need fluids.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A sunburn can be drying to the skin. The olive oil will help moisturize the area.


It is good to keep the skin moist, because it will be dried out from the burn. A tip from the site Health: How Stuff Works site is to put the moisturizer in the fridge to make it cool and then it will soothe the burn at the same time.

Take an Anti-inflammatory Such as Aspirin

The Mayo Clinic recommends aspirin or ibuprofen to help relieve pain. Ibuprofen includes Advil, Motrin and others. Follow the directions on the box. Mayo also includes that your should never give children or teenagers apirins due to the risk of Reye's Syndrome.

Yogurt and Oatmeal

Mix three tablespoons of ground oatmeal with a half of cup of yogurt. Rub it all over the sunburned area and leave on for a few hours. Then clean off. This will only work on exposed areas like the neck and face for obvious reasons, but it will give your some relief.

Next time you are going to stay in the sun for long periods, don't forget the sunblock. A tan is nice, but not from a nasty burn.


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    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      rajan, Thanks and I'm happy to hear I shared something you can use. thanks for sharing and voting it up.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Barbara, a very impressive hub. I love these natural remedies for sunburn. I didn't know we could be sun poisoned. Thanks for putting this here.

      Voting it up, useful and interesting. Sharing it on G+1

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      CrazedNovelist, Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      AE Williams 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Barbara, can't say I've ever had sunburn, but this hub is voted up and useful for it's usefulness to the audience. Great work!! :)

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      CyberShelley, I guess you can get sun poisoning. It sounds like you had something more serious than just a sunburn. I'm sorry you had to go through that. Thanks for reading the hub and voting up.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      8 years ago

      Excellent hub with very good ideas. I once got sunburn in Mocambique and was completely out of it for two days. Very dangerous and of course these day skin cancer is a big worry. Voted up, interesting and useful

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Carol, Thanks for reading and voting the hub up. I hope you don't need the advice though.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      How nice to find solutions in the kitchen. This is a great hub about solving this problem. Voted UP.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      oldbury, Thanks for reading. I'll have to check it out.

    • oldbury profile image


      8 years ago from Thailand

      Some great tips here, especially soaking in a bath with 2 cups of vinegar for 15 minutes. I know vinegar is great for sunburn but I never thought of using it this way before...great idea! Please check out my hub on sunburn when you get chance

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Chitrangada Sharan, Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful tips for a very common problem. And the solution is in our kitchens. Thanks for sharing.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      idigwebsites, Thanks for commenting and reading the hub. It is nice when we can use what we already have.

    • idigwebsites profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great tips! They're very helpful. I'm surprised that some of the treatments are found right in our kitchens! Fantastic hub :)

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Julie, They claim the vinegar will help you not peel and itch later. I haven't tried that one myself, but many people have recommended it. I'll try it on a small spot next time I have a burn and give an update. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • JulieStrier profile image


      8 years ago from Apopka, FL

      Wow, great tips. I didn't know about the vinegar. I'll have to try some of these the next time I have a sun burn.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Glimmer Twin, Thanks for reading and your comments.

      Angela, I'm sorry to hear you had skin cancer, but I'm happy to hear that you are alright now. My Dad had it 4 times. He was a farmer, so he was in the sun a lot. Plus he liked to fish. Thanks for commenting.

      gout relief, Thanks for the extra tip. Thanks for reading.

    • gout relief profile image

      gout relief 

      8 years ago

      Something you might want to try is using a moistened tea bag , it helps with the burn and itching later on. I believe it has to do with the tanic acid in tea. Great hub and thank you for the tips.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Exceptional Hub with great ideas and suggestions. Sunburn can be far more harmful than many realize and even tanning, whether one gets sunburned or not, can create some real problems. I lifeguarded as a young woman and got brown as shoe leather. As an older adult I've now had two skin cancers removed -- definitely something to think about. Best/Sis

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      8 years ago

      Great hub with awesome tips. I've had far too many sunburns in my life.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Michele, Printing it out would be fine. Thanks for reading.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you so much for this hub. My daughter and I get sunburn sometimes when we go outside for fun. Do you mind if I print this out. I never print a hub out without permission.

      Voted up!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Teaches, I always have had an aloe vera plant, but haven't for awhile. I should get one again. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Marie, I had never thought of that. I don't think they had sunscreen yet when I was a child. We wore what we called suntan lotion, but I don't think it helped very much. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      My guests were sunburned this week after an afternoon at the beach. I have Aloe Vera plants and bottled pure, natural gel which helped to relieve the burns and eliminate pain. I am going to try the olive oil and yogurt ideas next time as well -- hopefully, there won't be any. Great suggestions and voted up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My dad is always going on about the dangers and pain of sunburn so we were always being told to put sunscreen and t-shirts on whenever we were out in the sun.

      I guess he drew his wisdom from his days as a child when sunscreen hadn't been invented and the only option was to fry! He is always talking about the pain of a blistered back after a day at the beach. Poor guy.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Kristy, Thanks for reading and commenting. When I was a kid, I did the same thing. Now I'm older and wish I didn't have the wrinkles I have.

      I've read that the most common place for women to get skin cancer is on their legs. I've seen ladies with them elsewhere though, but keep an eye out for weird moles on your legs. So far, I've been alright, but my Dad had it 4 times.

    • kristyleann profile image

      Kristy LeAnn 

      8 years ago from Princeton, WV

      These are good things to know. When I was a kid I got sunburned constantly. I seriously won't be surprised if I get skin cancer some day. One time I was in so much pain I could barely put underwear on lol...I try to use sunscreen as much as possible these days though.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      daisyjae, My husband has fair skin and he'd golf without a shirt. You never saw blisters like he got one time. He didn't do that for long. The blisters can become infected if they are severe. You can also get sun poisoning. One of my friends got that. Thanks for commenting.

    • daisyjae profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      I didn't realize you could get sick from a sunburn. Thank you for this informative article, rated up and shared.


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