Treating sunburn if you get caught out

Sunburn occurs when living tissue is over-exposed to ultraviolet radiation causing it to change in colour from slightly pink to severely red or purple. Obviously, it is better to protect the skin from the sun, but if sometimes you get caught out, the skin will feel hot and sore, and if severe, cause blisters, fever, nausea and dehydration.

Sunburn treatment won’t heal your skin, but may ease pain, swelling and discomfort. Try to:

  • Cool the burnt skin with a cold, wet towel or soak in a cool bath with baking soda (approx. 60g in a bath). You will need to repeat this through the day, about 10 minutes at a time.

  • Apply a cooling gel, lotion or a moisturising cream. Aloe vera is commonly recommended to soothe the area, or any moisturiser can be used. A great tip is to place it in the fridge to cool before applying. Continue with the moisturiser even if the skin peels.

  • A local anaesthetic can be applied to numb and soothe sorest areas.

  • If blistering occurs, leave the blisters intact and cover them with gauze or a bandage. If your blisters do burst, ask your pharmacist for treatment options such as antiseptic ointment or hydrocortisone cream.

  • If you are in pain, take paracetamol or ibuprofen as instructed. If the area is very itchy, an antihistamine may be helpful as well.

  • Avoid alcohol and drink extra water to help rehydrate your body.

  • If these measures are not enough and the sunburn is mild to moderate, ask your pharmacist about applying a low dose steroid cream. 1% hydrocortisone cream may be suitable and is applied to the affected area once or twice a day as required.

If the sunburn is severe, your eyes are extremely painful, or you have blisters accompanied by a fever or nausea, see your doctor immediately.



Sold Out