Potatoes are some of the most impressive starches in the world. You can eat them whole, baked, fried, mashed — there’s no bad way to have a potato.
So if you have some lying around during the summer, you have one home remedy for sunburns at your disposal. Boil and mash a few potatoes and then place it in the fridge to cool. Apply it to the sunburned areas of your skin to draw out the heat so that your pain is reduced. This trick also promotes healing, so you won’t have terrible scars left afterward.
Cornstarch is usually used to thicken gravy or any other liquid. So if you love cooking in the home, you likely already have this in your cupboards.
Mix a little cornstarch with water to create a paste and then apply directly to the sunburned areas of your skin. No side effects with this treatment and you can easily wash it off with some lukewarm water once it dries out.
This plan isn’t an at-home remedy if you don’t already have these in your cabinet. A few OTC pain relievers are great at taking care of pain and inflammation.
Products containing ibuprofen or naproxen work wonders are relieving sunburn pain and the inflammation that comes with it. They’re not going to reduce the redness of your skin, though, but at least you’ll be a little more comfortable.
With sunburns comes itchy, flaky skin. Your body is trying to get rid of the damaged parts of your skin, and it can be very tempting to start peeling it off.
But that’s the worst thing you can do. To alleviate the itch, you can apply some hydrocortisone cream to the area. The itching will stop, and it will also reduce the swelling and pain that comes with sunburns.
Most sunburn ointments possess lidocaine, which is a great numbing agent that is used by many medical doctors. It is also used in surgery and the treatment of internal conditions that require the numbing of the area.
Lidocaine is generally pretty safe and can be applied topically to the skin with little to no side effects. Combining lidocaine with aloe vera both numbs the pain and cools the area.
You can take care of your sunburn from the inside out by staying hydrated during the hot summer months. Drink a lot of water or sports drinks with electrolytes to replace any fluid you lose through your skin.
This doesn’t mean that drinking a lot of water will prevent sunburns from occurring. But it will help the healing process by keeping your skin moisturized so that it doesn’t itch as much.
It’s best not to use lotions while your skin is still hot and tender. Once it’s cool, you can then apply some to your skin to minimize the peeling.
Both vitamins E and C are antioxidants that can decrease the inflammation of the skin, making it less red over time. You can look for lotions that have these vitamins in them, or you can take supplements directly to keep your skin looking its best.
The rays of the sun are hottest and brightest during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm. You should avoid going outside during these hours, but if you do, wear sunscreen.
Don’t think that a cloudy day is going to save you either. Clouds do nothing to prevent UVB light from getting to your skin, and you can still get sunburned on a cloudy day. Don’t risk it and cover up with some sunblock.
SPF 15 feels like a sound option to make, but you’d be surprised that that’s not going to do anything for you. Most doctors recommend at least SPF 30 or higher if you want to prevent sunburns from occurring.
This advice is because SPF 30 blocks half the amount of radiation as SPF 15, meaning that you’re less likely to get burned. You will have to reapply it every two hours or so to maintain the same level of protection, however, so take your sunblock with you if you’re away from home.
If you notice any dark spots on your skin that weren’t there before, it would be a good idea to head to a dermatologist. It could be a mutating mole or a small growth of skin cancer.
Don’t panic when you spot one; these are easy to take care of in the early stages before they develop into tumors. You can make an appointment to remove them; sometimes even through walk-ins, which means no recovery time on your part.