Jul. 29, 2013
Deborah Graham Warren

AFTER THE BURN: Sunburn Treatment Strategies That Really Help

So you forgot your sunscreen. You need sunburn treatment—fast!

It happens to the best of us. We can be soooo diligent to guard against sunburn and BAM—you get caught with your guard down. Maybe you forgot to reapply your sunblock. Maybe you forgot it altogether.  And (uh, oh!) you suddenly notice that unwelcome hue of red to your skin—splotchy and painful to the touch. Now what? You shudder at the thought of the long-term sun damage you’ve just created.

What to do? What to do!

“A sunburn literally sucks the moisture from your skin,” says Kara Osterman, our Center Manager in Mt. Lebanon, “so remember to drink plenty of fluids while avoiding salts!”

Try These Sunburn Treatment Strategies:

  1. Take aspirin. Aspirin or Advil (ibuprofen) will help reduce swelling.
  2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to replenish your skin’s moisture. Hydration is a vital sunburn treatment that many of us forget about. Avoid salts and be careful of other diuretics like caffeine and alcohol.
  3. Try cold compresses. Cold vinegar will take the sting out. Cold milk (lactic acid) is a great topical anti-inflammatory sunburn treatment.
  4. Apply 100% aloe vera gel. Helps alleviate pain and reduce redness. Try keeping an aloe plant (for snipping) handy in the kitchen—perfect for quick relief from accidental stove or oven burns.
  5. After your shower, apply cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is a fantastic sunburn treatment for topical hydration, sealing the moisture in after you bathe.
  6. Boost your vitamin C intake. Take 1,000 milligrams for 3 days. Vitamin C is an antioxidant power horse that fights the free radicals caused by UV rays.
  7. Apply quality skincare products that hydrate, aid in healing and promote cellular turnover. (suggestions below)

Fight Sunburn—and Sun Damage with Extra-Hydrating, Wrinkle-Killers

For sunburns—and the sun damage that can follow, try serums and creams rich in hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and other antioxidants. There are a long list of benefits that make these Skin Center favorites well worth the splurge:

  • Hylunia® Pure Hyaluronic Acid -Hyaluronic acid holds 1000s times its weight in water molecules to quench the skin’s thirst after a burn—while helping with cell renewal. Also great hydration for oily or acne-prone skin types.
  • Hylunia® Healing & Restoring Cream -Softens and heals very dry skin and is also recommended for those suffering from burns, dermatitis or eczema.
  • SkinMedica® Vitamin C + E Complex -Vitamins C and E work together to heal and soothe skin while fighting free radicals, improving the appearance of skin tone, texture and firmness.
  • NEOCutis BIOCREAM RICHE -with PSPs (Processed Skin Proteins) aid in wound healing. Recommended not only for its heavy-hitting hydration (without the greasy feel) but also for diminishing lines and wrinkles. Also soothes 2nd degree burns.
  • SkinMedica® TNS Recovery Complex®-Growth factors improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of age spots and dyspigmentation.
  • SkinMedica® Redness Relief Calmplex™-Reduces the appearance of visible redness, leaving skin looking healthy and radiant.

End-of-Summer Sun Damage?

Consider treating your skin to a MedSpa Treatment such as IPL or Fraxel to reduce hyperpigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure. Fall and winter are the ideal time for these treatments. See our blogs on Sun Damage Recovery to learn more.

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