Sunburn: Major Symptoms and Home Remedies for Sunburn


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health

Skin & Hair

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Sunburn is skin problem common in the summer season
  • Sunburn symptoms include tenderness and red blotches
  • Don’t forget to use sunscreen for hair and skin when stepping out

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 is visible thanks to the 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, no matter the weather. Even if you get a sunburn, there are various home remedies you can try for the 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.

Additional Read: Blisters: How Do They Form and What are Some Effective Treatments?Preventive measures against sunburn

Common symptoms of sunburn

The common symptoms of sunburn include [1]

  • Visible redness 
  • Painful irritation or soreness 
  • The heat emanating from the skin 
  • Blisters that are filled with fluids
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches 
  • Tiredness
  • Temperature 
  • Queasiness 
  • Pain in the eyes 

Sunburn can affect all parts of the skin on your body, including your scalp, lips, and ears. Covered areas can also experience this burn if the material lets in UV rays. 

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Note that your eyes are among the most sensitive organs that can get affected by UV light. So, make sure to wear sunglasses and hats to protect yourself. Keep in mind that you will be able to spot the signs of sunburn right after you are exposed to UV rays. These will become more severe as time passes. Give your body some time to heal as it will start doing this in the succeeding days. This usually takes the form of shedding the layers of skin that are damaged by the sun. On the contrary, a bad case of sunburn takes a longer time to heal.

Sunburn remedies to try at home [2]

Cool down your skin with water and cool compress

One of the most effective remedies for treating sunburn is cooling down your skin. Remember to not use ice as it can further damage the affected skin. For best results, you can swim in a lake or sea, and there you will get the chance to hop and immerse the affected skin underwater for a while. 

Watch out for swimming pools as they contain chlorinated water, which is harmful to your skin. Also, make sure not to apply any soap or oil on your skin or scrub it, as both can lead to further damage. Instead, pat the affected area with a soft and wet towel. You can also leave the affected area soaked with water for a cooling effect.

Applying a cold compress to the affected area is another way to cool down your skin. It helps you reduce swelling, heat, and pain caused by sunburn. Cover the area affected by sunburn with an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables. Remember not to apply ice directly on the skin to prevent further damage.

Additional Read: Sunburn TreatmentSunburn prevention -37

Treat sunburn with aloe vera and other moisturizers

One of the best natural remedies for sunburn, aloe vera gel reduces skin irritation and boosts skin health. You can apply this natural moisturizer directly to your skin for the best results. You can also use alcohol-free vitamin E moisturizer for speedy healing. In case the sunburn is swelling, you can use hydrocortisone cream for quick relief.

Apply coconut oil after the blisters go away

Coconut oil is another effective remedy that can prevent dryness and irritation caused by sunburn. However, it is important to cool down your skin first in order to enjoy the benefits of coconut oil. In case you apply coconut oil directly over your affected skin, it can worsen your symptoms by trapping heat inside the pores.

Additional Read: Eczema Skin Flare-Ups: Eczema Symptoms and How to Prevent Them?

Sunburns ideally go away within 3 to 5 days, but if they don’t, you should consult a doctor immediately. You can book an online doctor consultation 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 treatment measures and other summer-related problems as you prepare for the upcoming months on this app or website. Get the right guidance and stay safe in the summer! 

Published on 19 Apr 2022Last updated on 11 May 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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