EVER fallen asleep in the sun? Or just forgotten to reapply your sun cream after lunch? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
As the sun continues to shine in the UK, we are here to help you. Here’s exactly how long sun burns takes to heal, how long it usually takes to go away and some tips and tricks to ease your sunburn quickly.
How do I relieve sunburn fast?
You’ve just clocked that you’ve overdone it and are keen to combat your sunburn ASAP.
According to the NHS, there are a few things you can do to help relieve your symptoms immediately after getting burnt.
- Cooling your skin by having a cold bath or shower, sponging it with cold water, or holding a cold flannel to it
- Using lotions containing aloe vera to soothe and moisturise your skin
- Drinking plenty of fluids to cool you down and prevent dehydration
- Taking painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve pain (but don’t give aspirin to children under 16)
How long does sunburn take to go away?
It may start to peel after a few days, but will usually fully heal within a week.
In severe cases, you may be treated with special cream and burn dressings.
These are available from your GP or a nurse at your GP surgery.
What can help sunburn to heal quickly?
Apple cider vinegar
It may sound counter-productive to put an acidic ingredient on burnt skin, but the experts at Health Line state that as long as it is diluted with water first, applying apple cider vinegar to burns can balance out the pH of your skin and has antibacterial properties.
Mix one part vinegar with two parts water, pop it in a spray bottle and spray your sunburn to instantly ease the pain.
Do not apply without diluting first.
Medical professionals have known for years that yoghurt has a number of fantastic health benefits when consumed, but an old home remedy says that it is also great when applied to sunburn.
Apply plain natural yogurt to your burn and let it sit for about ten minutes.
The probiotics are said to help to restore the skin from the outside in and the cooling effect will ease the pain.
Sleeping with sunburn can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful, so think like a baby and reach for the talcum powder.
Similar to dealing with nappy rash, just sprinkle a little of the powder on your sheets to help reduce the friction between your raw skin and the bed sheets.
Snooze to your heart’s content.
There are many ways that Mr Quaker and his oats can help soothe and heal your sunburn, including having a bath together – cheeky.
Lovisa Nilsson, in-house nutritionist at fitness and health app, Lifesum, has said that ‘Oatmeal has the ability to soothe severe sunburn’.
Cook porridge oats the normal way, let it cool and apply to the affected areas.
Let it sit for a while and then dab off with a damp cloth.
Alternatively you can add a blended cup of oats to a warm bath sit back and relax.
Honey is one of nature’s best antiseptics and according to Women’s Health is also very hydrating and soothing – it’s the triple threat for sunburn.
Apply a dollop of honey to your skin and cover with some gauze or muslin type cloth to stop the dripping while still allowing skin to breathe.
Sit with the honey on for a few minutes and gently wipe off with a damp cloth.
Make sure you use all natural or raw honey, processed sugars in generic honey won’t help your skin.
And old and trusted favourite, aloe vera is one of the main ingredients in most aftersuns due to its soothing properties.
So slather yourself in some aloe-based aftersun or get your hand on a purer form.
You can buy aloe gel which contains a higher concentrate of the plant.
Take it one step further and do as dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank suggested to Cosmopolitan.
Put the gel in ice cube trays, let it freeze then make a cold compress with the aloe cubes.
Don’t apply anything frozen directly to your sunburn as it could tear the delicate skin.
Cool milk compress
Much like yoghurt, milk has plenty of probiotics that encourage skin healing.
Give another widely know home remedy a go and dip some cloth or kitchen roll into cold milk.
Ring it out so it’s just damp and dab the affected area with it.
Mint is refreshing, not only to drink but apparently also for your skin.
But before you consider pouring your mojito down yourself at the pub, order yourself a mint or mint and green tea cuppa.
Natural remedies site Every Day Roots suggests using mint and green tea to cool the pain of sunburn. Make a cuppa, let it cool, then dab the burn with soaked cotton wool or the saturated tea bag for an instantly cooling sensation without the loss of a cocktail.
The American Skin Association recommends using a non-soap skin cleanser on dry irritated skin, like the kind you get from sunburn.
They state that harsh soaps can remove the oils from the surface of the skin drying it out further.
Try shopping around for body cleansers that promise less chemicals and will be extra moisturising for skin.
The image of someone relaxing with a face mask and two slices of cucumber covering their eyes may bring back memories of 90s chick flicks, but trust us, they were on to something.
Cucumber is antioxidant-rich and its analgesic properties help promote healing and provide further relief from future discomfort.
More health Q&As
Adapt a spa favourite and either cut and lay slices on the affected area or blend to make a paste and apply.
You can add some aloe vera gel to make it a bit thicker too.
Just remember the SPF.