How to treat Sunburn: Symptoms and Home Remedies

Bajaj Finserv Health
April 19th, 2022
8 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Sunburn is a skin condition which occurs mostly in summer
  • Sunburn symptoms include rough spots and redness
  • Use sunscreen for hair and skin while going out in the sun

Sunburn leads to damage in the outermost layer of your skin. It is caused by the ultraviolet radiation from the sun especially during summer. Spending too much time in the sun without applying sunscreen may lead to sunburn on your skin. It gets visible by inflammation and redness in your skin, and in extreme cases may cause peeling and blistering. Sunburn also increases the risk of the following skin issues 

  • Skin damage 
  • Rough spots 
  • Dark spots 
  • Dry, cracked or wrinkled skin 
  • Skin cancers like melanoma (in extreme cases)

You can prevent sunburn-related conditions by using sunscreen for hair and skin. This is especially important when you are outdoors, even on cool or cloudy days. Even if you get sunburn, there are various home remedies you can try for relief of sunburn symptoms, but keep in mind that it may take days to fade. Read on to understand the sunburn symptoms and home remedies.


Common symptoms of sunburn

The common symptoms of sunburn include [1] 

  • Changes in your skin color- such as redness or pinkness 
  • Tenderness or pain 
  • Skin feeling hot or warm when you touch it 
  • Swelling 
  • Headache 
  • Fatigue  
  • Fever 
  • Nausea  
  • Blisters which are filled with fluids 
  • Pain in the eyes  

Sunburn can affect any exposed skin on your body including your scalp, lips and ears. Covered areas can also burn. For example, if you are wearing clothes that have loose weaves and allow ultra violet rays to pass through, unexposed areas too can get sunburnt. Note that your eyes are among the most sensitive organs that can get affected by the UV light. So, make sure to wear sunglasses and hats to protect yourself.  Symptoms usually appear within a few hours after sun exposure, but it takes more time to understand the severity of the sunburn. Within a few days, your body can start healing itself by peeling the damaged skin layer. On the contrary, a bad sunburn takes a longer time to heal. 

Preventive measures against sunburn

Sunburn remedies to try at home [2] 

Water or compression

When dealing with sunburn, your first step should be cooling down your skin. A tepid bath or shower will do the trick, but the water need not be extremely cold. Make sure to not use any products on your skin like soap, bath oils or scrub as they can cause excess dryness. Use a soft towel and pat yourself gently. Don’t wipe harshly to avoid any skin irritation; you can leave some water on your skin for cooling effect.  

Another method you can try is using cold compress to reduce pain, heat and swelling. Wrap an ice pack or a bad of frozen vegetables around a thin cloth and apply to the area affected by sunburn. Make sure to never apply ice directly on the skin as that can lead to further damage. Use this technique throughout the day for ten minutes at different intervals. 

Sunburn remedies to try at home

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is one of the best remedies to treat sunburn. The gel from this cactus plan eases discomfort, moisturizes skin and speeds healing. You can split the plant leaf and apply it directly to your skin or you can get pure aloe vera gel from your local drug store.

Additional Read: How to Get Rid Of Pimples Naturally? 5 Top Ways


Once you take a cold bath or your skin cools down, it is important to combat the dryness caused by sunburn. An alcohol free, soothing moisturizer with vitamin E will be great for the skin. Avoid highly scented creams as they could irritate your skin. Apply the moisturizer throughout the day to seal the hydration in your skin. If the sunburn is painful, you can try hydrocortisone cream. 

Coconut oil

Using organic and cold pressed coconut oil is quite effective in fighting against irritation and dryness. Make sure you apply coconut oil after the blistering goes away and your skin cools. If you apply the thick substance before that, it can trap heat and worsen your symptoms. So, give your skin time to peel or cool down. It is possible for this to take a few days, and after that you can comfortably apply coconut oil on your skin as a sunburn remedy.

Sunburns ideally go away within 3 to 5 days, but if they don’t, you should consult a doctor immediately. You can also Consult online dermatologist on Bajaj Finserv Health, and talk to experts about the precautions that you should be taking while going out in the sun. You can further discuss about treatment measures and other summer-related problems, as you prepare for the upcoming months.

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