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Soothe a sunburn fast so you can get back to the beach.
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Step 1: Cool off your skin
Cool off your skin with a cool bath or cool, wet compresses. If you opt for the bath, add a half cup of baking soda or several cups of colloidal oatmeal (available at drugstores). Soak for 10 minutes. Repeat as often as needed.
Step 2: Apply something soothing
Apply something soothing, like aloe vera from a plant or lotion, or 1% hydrocortisone cream.
Do not use petroleum-based products or products with benzocaine; they'll just lock in the heat.
Step 3: Take an aspirin
If you're an adult, take an aspirin; its anti-inflammatory properties will help relieve the pain.
Never give aspirin to children under 16; give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead.
Step 4: Let your skin heal
Let your skin heal. If blisters form, leave them alone; if they break, use an antibiotic ointment. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about peeling—but a moisturizing lotion can ease any itching.
Step 5: Buy a good sunscreen
Buy a good sunscreen and a big sunhat so you don't get burned again. And stay out of the sun until your burn has healed!
Did You Know?
It's easier to get sunburned at high altitudes because you're less protected by the atmosphere—for every 1,000 feet you go up, your exposure to UV rays increases 4%.