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Sunburn Treatments and Myths!

(Photo by SamZero, Flickr)

Okay so you swore that you would keep up with your sunscreen this summer…..but then before you knew it…you were BURNED! Here are the best and worst ways to treat your sunburn:

Myth #1: Put sunscreen on your burn to stop further damage to your skin.

Fact: If the sunscreen has zinc oxide in it, that could help the swelling. But other chemical sunscreens can irritate a sunburn.

Myth #2: Vinegar compresses help your sunburn.

Fact: Vinegar has an anti-bacterial effect, so if you have blisters, vinegar can help dry them out and prevent infections. But it’s gonna hurt. That’s because vinegar is also very acidic. If you must use vinegar, dilute it with water.

Myth #3: Noxzema and other menthol products will help your burn.

Fact: True! The menthol will cool the skin. And camphor in Noxzema is a minor pain reliever.

Myth #4: Aloe Vera is awesome for sunburns.

Fact: Yes, BUT…aloe allergies are very common. If you rub it on your skin directly from the plant, test your skin first. Put a mild moisturizer on top of it. If you buy an aloe-based product, avoid gels or anything with alcohol. It will sting and dry out your skin.

Here are dermatologist-approved sunburn treatment recommendations:

1. Take an anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin or ibuprofen.

2. Rub in an anti-inflammatory cream like 1% hydrocortisone as soon as possible.

3. Apply cool coompresses of water or water-plus-milk to further decrease inflammation.

4. Do not pick at blisters or peeling skin. You could get an infection or scars.

5. Apply a mild moisturizer to the burned area. You can even leave it in the fridge so it’s nice and cold when you put it on.

6. Wear sunscreen next time!!!


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