How to Treat Sunburn
Knowing how to treat sunburn can save you endless hours of pain, discomfort and possibly even scarring. Depending on the severity of the sunburn depends on how ‘committed’ to the treatment you’re going to have to be, but be sure to appreciate that in order to properly treat your injury, you’re going to have to put a little time aside if you want to heal quickly and less painfully.
1- Sorry, it has to be said, but next time, WEAR SUNSCREEN!
2- Now that’s done with, the next step- GET OUT OF THE SUN! Once you are burnt it is too late to then apply sun screen and head back out. Simply accept defeat and get out of the sun immediately. If the sunburn is severe, firstly briefly cool down in some cool water (do not stay in it for long however as otherwise hypothermia may set it).
3- Use aloe to soothe the skin. Despite living in a temperate climate, I nurture an aloe plant in my back garden in the summer and bring it in for the winter. They can be the difference between burn to tan or burn to peel and its affect is noticeable within 3 hours. If you are lucky enough to be near a plant, carefully break a leaf off at the base. Cut the leaf across into manageable slices, and then run a knife down the underside of each chunk (from base to tip) to split it open. Literally press and rub the goo onto all areas affected but be sure to avoid open sores as this can be painful and lead to infection). Apply it thick and re-apply after an hour. It will be sticky and it will be itchy. Do not allow aloe from affected areas to be rubbed off by clothing or furniture- it may be uncomfortable, but believe me, it’s worth it! Reapply a third time if necessary. Shower in cold water before going to bed and then apply either aloe gel, or a moisturiser, in order to be covered whilst asleep.
4- If you don’t have an aloe plant, use aloe vera gel instead. This is slightly less affective but still the next best thing although it won’t be itchy! Again re-apply after an hour, or even again after a second hour. Apply aloe for bed time and in the morning.
5- If no aloe, use moisturiser. Next best thing behind Aloe. Apply as step 4.
6- If more serious, see “How to treat a burn”.
7- See the results in the morning- are you really ready to go back out in the sun? Be honest with yourself- don’t make it worse!
If possible, consult a doctor should the burn: be anything more than second-degree or be over 10cm in diameter, be on delicate areas of the body, be affecting breathing, be accompanied or followed with any signs of illness or deep routed infection, or be accompanied by smoke inhalation.
Never burst blisters caused by burns.
This ‘how to’ is not a substitute for proper professional care and advice. You are using this advice of your own free will and Mans Guide to Everything Ltd are not responsible for any injury or damage that results from following this ‘how to’ guide.
Best practices are constantly evolving so this article may be out of date!