What can you do for a sunburn?

If you forgot to apply your sunscreen and now you have a red face and/or body after being out in the sun, the first thing to do is cool the area with some ice packs as much as possible.

Next, as soon as possible, put on some non-prescription 1% hydrocortisone cream. Reapply a thin layer of the cream as needed for the burning sensation or continued redness. If the skin blisters, you can clean the blister gently with some rubbing alcohol; then, take a pin or needle, flame it to sterilize and gently poke the base of the blister in one area so that the fluid within can be gently removed.

If the sunburn becomes painful, or the skin is very warm to touch, then two aspirin or two non-prescription ibuprofen tablets every four to six hours for two days may alleviate these symptoms.

For any areas where the skin becomes broken or raw following blister formation, you can apply some non-prescription bacitracin or polysporin ointment on the surface of the involved area. Do not apply neosporin or neomycin ointment as the antibiotic neomycin causes frequent severe allergic reactions on the skin.

If in spite of following these instructions the skin becomes raw or develops honey-colored crusts, it could mean the beginning of an infection known as impetigo or cellulitis. If this should occur, then it is best to be evaluated in a dermatologist’s office.

When your sunburn dissolves, the skin may peel. This can be very itchy. If this occurs, use your favorite moisturizer throughout the day, especially on wet skin after showering.

– Dr. Bussell

Beverly Hills Dermatology Consultants

433 N. Camden Drive, Suite 805   Beverly Hills, CA 90210 | 310-550-7661

One thought on “What can you do for a sunburn?

  1. Aloe Vera is commonly used to treat sunburn. As well as providing soothing relief, it may also assist in the healing process. Apply to the affected areas as needed. Although the gel extracted directly from an aloe Vera plant works best, if you don’t have ready access to one, you may use an ‘over the counter’ Aloe Vera Cream that contains the gel. For this to be effective, just ensure that the cream contains a high concentration of Aloe Vera than it does water or other solutions…

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