You thought you had it covered.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays) — Check
SPF 30 or higher — Check
Water resistance — Check
Still, you got a bit of a burn. Now what?
Here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology on how to treat a sunburn:
- Get out of the sun and begin treating as soon as possible.
- Take cool baths to reduce the heat.
- Moisturize to help ease the discomfort caused by dryness. As soon as you get out of the bathtub, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then apply a moisturizer to trap the water in your skin.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription to help ease discomfort.
- Take aspirin or ibuprofen. This can help reduce the swelling, redness and discomfort.
- Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water prevents dehydration.
- Do not treat sunburns with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine).
If your skin blisters, you have a second-degree sunburn. Dermatologists recommend that you:
- Allow the blisters to heal untouched. Blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
- If the blisters cover a large area, such as the entire back, or you have chills, a headache or a fever, seek immediate medical care.
- With any sunburn, you should avoid the sun while your skin heals. Be sure to cover the sunburn every time you head outdoors.