How to treat sunburn

Fact Checked

Sunburn is a reddened, painful skin that feels warm when touched that usually happens within a few hours after excessive exposure to ultraviolet light from sunlight or other artificial sources such as sun lamps.

[youtube url=”” width=”220″]

Severe and excessive exposure to sunlight increases the risk of damaging the skin and the development of other diseases such as wrinkled or dry skin, dark and rough spots as well as melanoma which is a serious form of skin cancer.

Symptoms of sunburn

  • Pain, tenderness and itchiness
  • The area becomes pinkish or reddened
  • Swelling
  • Skin feels warm or hot when touched
    The area becomes pinkish or reddened.
  • Small blisters filled with fluid may ooze out
  • Headache, fever, chills and fatigue if the damaged area is severe
  • The eyes feel gritty or painful

If the blisters damage a large area of the body, there are symptoms such as fever, headache, confusion, nausea and chills, increased pain, tenderness, swelling, yellowish drainage or pus from an open blister and red streaks that spreads from the open blisters, it is vital to seek medical help immediately.


  • Fill a bath tub with cold water and mix a cup of baking soda and stir well until completely dissolved. Soak the body in the mixture for at least 15 minutes. Dry the body or allow it to air dry. Repeat this process once every day for best results. Another alternative is to create a paste by mixing a few drops of water with baking soda and apply on the affected skin and leave it on for at least 10 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. Repeat this process 1-2 times every day for several days as needed. Baking soda is alkaline in nature and an antiseptic that lessens the itchiness caused by the sunburn.
  • Oatmeal retains the natural moisture of the skin and minimizes irritation. Fill a bathtub with cool water and mix a cup of oatmeal. Soak the body in the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Dry the body in the air and avoid rubbing the skin with a towel. Repeat this process until the symptoms subside. Another alternative is mixing oatmeal with some water to create a paste and then applied on the affected area. Avoid rubbing the oatmeal on the skin. Leave the paste on the area for 30 minutes and rinse off using cool water. Perform this procedure at least 2-3 times every day.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected area. Wrap ice cubes in a towel and apply on the area. Apply the compress on the area several times every day to lessen the inflammation and discomfort due to the sunburn. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin since it can aggravate the condition.


  • Avoid exposing the skin to the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM since the rays of the sun are strong during this period.
  • Wear clothing that covers the arms and legs and wear a broad-brimmed hat
  • Wear a broad spectrum suncreen that has an SPF 15 or more. Apply sunscreen every 2 hours or more when swimming or sweaty.
  • Wear sunglasses when spending time outdoors.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional