You've been burned. It happens. You were out in the sun too long, and now you are as red as your stars-and-stripes Fourth of July t-shirt. Ugh.
And even though you know how important it is to apply sunscreen properly as the sun can be very damaging to your skin and overall health, sometimes you forget to reapply — especially in the midst of the excitement of barbecues, swimming, footballs games, and chatting with loved ones.
And if you do end up getting sunburned, it isn't the time to let your skin do all the healing work. You need to take action to help soothe your irritated skin.
Here are eight ways that you can soothe a sunburn:
1. Have a cool bath.
A cool bath can help calm inflamed skin and regulate your body temperature. This time, skip the bubbles and scented soaps. Anything with fragrance or alcohol can cause further irritation.
2. Apply a cold compress.
If you're in a place where you cannot take a bath, you can apply a cold compress to the skin. You can run a cloth under cool water, or fill it up with a couple of ice cubes. Just be sure that the cloth stays cold. Run it under the faucet when it begins to warm up.
3. Apply aloe vera gel.
You can break open and actual plant leaf and use the gel inside, or you can look for a store-bought option. Just ensure it does not contain fragrance or alcohol.
4. Try yogurt.
If you have any yogurt in the fridge, apply it to any burned areas to calm them down. Stick with plain formulas, and save the fruity ones for eating.
Your skin is dehydrated and moisturizer will help heal it. Look for a gentle, unscented formula.
6. Wear soft, loose clothing.
Tight, scratchy clothes can irritate your skin further. When your skin is healing, try to wear loose silhouettes and breathable fabrics like cotton.
7. Try hydrocortisone.
An over-the-counter hydrocorisone cream can provide relief. Apply it after your bath or cold compress to dry skin.
8. Drink water.
What you do internally is just as important as what you do externally. Hydrate your body from the inside out by drinking lots of water or eating foods with high water content, such as watermelon. Avoid things that have drying effects like coffee and alcohol.
Cover image via Flickr