Four steps to treating a sunburn

Crystal Fernandez

Staff Writer

Healthy, Happy, Humble


As the sun sets on June and we head in to the heat of July, most of us have had our share of fun outdoors. Why shouldn’t we? It’s Summer! Time for biking, beach outings, tropical vacations and sunbathing on the open spaces on campus.

But sometimes bathing in the sun can come with a price, and although our intentions are good when it comes to taking care of our skin, it is easy to lose track of time and forget to slap on the sunscreen. Next thing you know, ouch – a sun burn! I could sit here and lecture you on how you should have worn sunblock and covered up, but let’s face it, we’re not perfect! So, if your bronze tan turned more of a tomato red, here’s how you can relieve the burn and the discomfort.

Early detection

If you’re out in the sun and you feel your skin burn or you can feel it stretch as you move, the best thing you can do is get out of the sun. Either cover up under shelter or leave the heat entirely. Even if your skin looks the slightest bit pink, it could mean a painful burn later.

Stay hydrated

When you get a sunburn your body overheats which leads to the loss of fluids. Stay hydrated and drink ice-cold water which will keep your body temperature low, and will help restore moisture to your parched lips. Remember to hydrate whenever you’re outdoors. Dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, headache, dizziness and sleepiness are all common signs of dehydration.  Be sure to keep water and sports drinks by you at all times to help your body stay cool.

Ease the pain

One of the worse side effects of a sunburn is the pain. You can’t move, showering hurts and even small things like speaking can feel like a hassle. Taking a dose of ibuprofen for the first 48 hours will reduce the swelling and pain. The earlier you take it the better, so if you’re heading for a day out in the sun, be sure to keep it close by just in case.

Relieve the itch

One word: Vinegar. I know it sounds weird but hear me out and try it. If the sunburn itches, take a cool bath, but add two cups of vinegar to the bathwater before you get in. Once you’re done with your bath, mix baking soda and vinegar to make a thick paste, and slather it over the sunburned areas. Apply the cream before bedtime, and leave it on overnight. You can also go for moisturizers that have vitamin c or vitamin e.


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