Skip to content
WebMD: Better information. Better health.
 

Healthy Beauty

Font Size
A
A
A

Sunburn - Home Treatment

Home treatment measures may provide some relief from a mild sunburn.

  • Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
  • Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas. Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with sunburn pain and swelling. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.

A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache. Lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve the headache. A headache may be caused by dehydration, so drinking fluids may help. For more information, see the topic Dehydration.

There is little you can do to stop skin from peeling after a sunburn-it is part of the healing process. Lotion may help relieve the itching.

Other home treatment measures, such as chamomile, may help relieve your sunburn symptoms.

Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

Talk to your child?s doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.

Safety tips
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
  • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose.
  • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
  • If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

Care of blisters

Home treatment may help decrease pain, prevent infection, and help the skin heal.

Small, unbroken blisters [less than 1 in. (2.5 cm) across] usually heal on their own.

  • Do not try to break the blisters. Just leave them alone.
  • Do not cover the blisters unless something such as clothing is rubbing against them. If you do cover them, apply a loose bandage. Secure the bandage so the tape does not touch the blisters. Do not wrap tape completely around a hand, arm, foot, or leg, because it could cut off the blood supply if the limb swells. If the tape is too tight, you may develop symptoms below the level of the tape, such as numbness, tingling, pain, or cool and pale or swollen skin.
  • Avoid wearing clothes or shoes or doing activities that rub or irritate the blisters until they have healed.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 01, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article: