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Remedies for a Sunburn

Category Home Remedies
A woman with a sunburned back.
Prevention is the best remedy. But if you find yourself with a sunburn, it is best to treat it as soon as possible. This is a guide about remedies for a sunburn.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

August 12, 20080 found this helpful

This article contains several tips, product reviews and step by step treatments for sunburn as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. If you have a favorite remedy that hasn't been listed, post it below.


As with all advice you may read on the internet, use common sense. If in doubt, consult with a physician. Minors should tell their parents or a responsible adult before treating themselves.

Sun Poisoning

"I am from a 100% French family, so naturally, I have very very pale skin. I take precautions all the time putting on 50+ sunblock when I go outside. Foolishly, I decided to go to the beach today and study for some finals.

I am deep red everywhere except where my bathing suit is. I have blisters on my arms, shoulders, and thighs. I have been shaking uncontrollably for some time now and getting a lot of nausea and lightheadedness. Should I consider going to the hospital?"

By Dominique

"Dominique, you should go to the hospital as soon as you can! You might have sun poisoning. In fact, based on the information I've researched about sun poisoning, I'm almost 100% sure you have sun poisoning. GO TO THE HOSPITAL!"

By Michelle

Household Remedies

Witch Hazel

I'm as Irish and as pale as you can get, I'm also 28 yrs old. Since I know my history with the sun, I've been able to avoid a sunburn for 5 or 6 years. Last week, I hung out at the pool with my sis (which I NEVER do) and yeah, I've got a wickedly bad sunburn. What helped me was drenching a towel in cold witch hazel. Now I have not read any one mentioning this, is it bad? It's been taking the pain away and keeping the area clean. After I read the back, I dabbed some on a small area and tested it so after 10 minutes, I put it on the towel and lied down and went to bed. It felt GREAT! Hope this helps someone.

By jenny

Irish Cure: Black Tea

The answer is my Irish grandmother's cure, black tea. Brew up a pot with a handful of tea bags and put it in the refrigerator. When it's cool, put wash cloths (old ones, as it will stain) in the tea, squeeze out excess and lay them on the burned areas. The tannic acid in the tea draws out not only the redness, but the pain as well. It works. I'm a redhead and I have been doing it for years.

However, sunburn is no joke. I use sunscreen regularly (I was born before it was invented, so like other boomers I have suffered countless burns) and I rarely burn any more, but I've had to have a few basal cell spots burned off my face as they had the potential to turn cancerous. One can get a groovy tan by using the self-tanner, and or doing a gradual tan by using sun screen. Skin cancer can kill you, so it is worth it to do it right. But if you do get a burn, try the tea, it's guaranteed to work, and very quickly at that.

By MsJanis

Use Tea To Make The Burn Turn To Tan

I am a redhead and burn very easily but don't like when it peels and goes right back to being white. I read that if you make tea then put it in the fridge, it helps heal sunburn and also turn it into a tan. It works! Either dip a rag in it and put it on the sunburn or dump a lot of tea in a cool bath.

By Natasha

Tea Bags and Aloe

Here are 2 solutions that I have experienced to help sunburn:
  1. Put about 4 tea bags in 2 tablespoons of boiling water and wait until the tea bags are room temperature. Squeeze the liquid out of them and then place the tea bags on the sunburned area. The tannic component in the tea bag will help the burn.
  2. Go to either a plant nursery or a supermarket in the produce section and purchase either an aloe vera plant or an aloe leaf (in the supermarket). Slit the aloe leaf and you will find a jelly like substance which you should gently smooth on to the burned area. This is a very old medicinal solution that is found in the Bible and works very well.
Happy healing.

By joesgirl

White Vinegar To Draw Out The Burn

Surprisingly enough, a wonderful relief for sunburn in white vinegar. I really helps to draw the heat away from the body. If you don't draw the heat away, you skin will literally keep on burning. Just pour a little vinegar in a bowl, dip a paper or regular towel in and lay the towel on the affected area. My father learned this when he was in the Coast Guard, and it is a great help. Also, if you apply it soon enough, it will dramatically reduce the redness and get you to that lovely tan a lot faster. You may smell like a salad, but it's worth it :-).

P.S.: This is not recommended for your face, because it causes your eyes to feel like they are burning and the smell is very, very strong. good luck!

By Kay

Use Vinegar With Cotton Balls For Face Treatment

Vinegar REALLY helps. I put some on just 15 minutes ago and already my face is turning from red to light pink! All you have to do is soak some cotton balls in vinegar and apply it to the burnt area. Try to avoid the eyes. Apply the vinegar as many times as you think needed.

Happy Healing!

By sarah

Easy Home Remedies

Aloe Vera plant cut and rubbed onto burn OR you can buy Aloe Vera gel in the store. Also Vitamin E oil tablets can be cut open and rubbed onto burns and it helps heal and soothe the burn, and if used on minor burns it helps keep scarring to a minimum.

You can also mix vinegar and water or straight vinegar if you can handle the smell and rub or spray it onto your sunburn (AVOID THE EYES).

Both the vinegar and the aloe vera gel helps prevent bubbling and peeling of the burns and draws the heat out as well.

By Tawnda

Vinegar, Ice And Aloe

I am sunburned right now! I decided to go tanning because I have a skin condition called psoriasis. The UVB rays works wonders for it but I had not gone tanning since July. I went in the tanning bed for 15 minutes and my face got bright red! I don't think I have ever been this red in my life and my eyelids feel swollen and hurt! Luckily my body is not as burnt, for some reason my face burns waaaay easier than my body. Anyhow, in a matter of 45 minutes my face has gone from BRIGHT red to a flushed PINK! I did a combination of vinegar and ice mixed in a bowl dipping a wash cloth and holding it onto my face until it got warm for about 30 minutes. I then layered on 100% aloe vera gel. The trick with the gel is to first rub it in and then layer it on top like a mask and sit in front of a fan or open window so cool air blows on it. I also took 2 aspirins and drank 2 bottles of water. An hour later my face looks 75% better and has a more natural color than the bright shiny red I was before. My eyelids still feel a bit swollen but the red is definitely going away, thank God!

By Melissa

Step By Step Vinegar Treatment

About the vinegar, don't count it out just yet! I have olive skin so I rarely burn. When I was younger, I went to a white sand beach all day in Florida. This was in the late 1970's when we had practically nothing in the way of sun block. Well, I was beet red when I got home and my grandmother took me right away to the bathroom and covered me in vinegar. I thought she was crazy! But she was right and this worked WONDERS! It's important that you put the vinegar on right away, as soon as possible! The Vinegar works by changing the PH in your skin. It won't help if you put it on the next day. It has to be applied right when you get home from the beach, or before! Apply it as soon as possible, as soon as you think you may have a sunburn.


  1. Remove your clothes. Then using a clean wash cloth, soft clean sponge, your hands, or paper towels, apply cider vinegar (or white vinegar, if that's all you have) liberally to every sunburned part of you body.
  2. Leave the vinegar on for AT LEAST 10 minutes, but a bit longer would be better.
  3. Then rinse the vinegar off with cool water. By the next day, your sunburn will be about half as bad as it would have been if you didn't use the vinegar.

* If your sunburn is really bad, you can either repeat the above process twice, or better yet, follow the above directions, then instead of rinsing, soak in a cool tub with 1 cup of vinegar added to the water for 20 minutes.

Vinegar worked so well for me that I have always used it on my kids and now my daughter uses vinegar on her daughter as well. It's truly a "Miracle Remedy"! Yes, sometimes it does itch a bit, but you can put up with a bit of itching for a few minutes so you won't be miserable and in pain later, can't you?

One more idea that "feels good" on sunburn, but doesn't actually heal it is to put a jar of Noxzema in the fridge and slather it on a little while before taking a cool shower.

You can also use the Gel-Packs that are made for athletes. Keep a few in your freezer, and pull them out when needed for a sunburn, or in a pinch, use a frozen bag of corn. (Just be sure to put it back in the freezer before it thaws or you'll be eating corn for dinner!) *grin!*

By Cyinda

Whole Milk

I know this may sound crazy but it works. Soak in the tub with two gallons of WHOLE milk. No water, just milk. Shower off milk and instant relief!

Whole Milk For Florida Sunburn

When I graduated from college I went to Florida as a gift to myself. I had a great time but I have extremely fair skin and even with 45 degree sunblock, I came home with second and third degree sunburns on my back, arms and legs (behind the knees and on the bottom of your feet is the worst!). I tried every remedy int he world, aloe vera, cocoa butter, vinegar (never did the shaving cream though). I had to sleep in my friends indoor pool I was hurting so bad.

I finally went to a dermatologist. She told me to go out buy whole milk and either pour it in the tub or soak it in the towel (tub works best). THE WHOLE MILK DID THE TRICK! It soaked out my burn somehow, the pain went away and I didn't peel so badly.

By Liz

Try Evaporated Milk

Either bathe with evaporated whole milk or dab on sunburned skin with soft cotton balls.

Noxzema makes my skin burn worse.

By AnnMel

Milk And Honey

My nose, cheeks and forehead were burned quite bad after a field trip to six flags. It was a Thursday so showing up to school the next day all red was not that exciting. So what I did was I warmed up some honey and then added some milk too it. I stuck it in the fridge for a while and let it cool then I dunked a rag in it and let it rest on my face for a while, it made the pain go away and the color fade quite a bit. After this I used regular non-scented moisturizer.

By Rio

Greek Remedy Is Yogurt

I am Greek and trust me even though we have olive skin, we all burn and we all use plain yogurt (Greek style). You can find it in the organic section. Just leave it on a while and then wipe off gently with a cool washcloth.

Plain Yogurt

Whenever me or my kids get sunburned I put "Plain Yogurt" on. It feels really cool and soothing it stops the intense pain immediately for us. Also, ibuprofren and lots of water.

By Ginaren


Mayonnaise! It sounds gross but cover your burn in Mayo and the pain just goes away! I am a fair skinned redhead so I burn very easily. I keep plenty of mayo in my fridge all summer long!

Good Luck

By Jennifer

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter works VERY WELL. Smooth it around the sore spots and within an hour or so it is a much lighter burn.

By Phoebe

Vanilla Extract

I went skiing yesterday for about 5 hours with no sunscreen. Yeah, not smart. My face was completely red. It hurt so bad this morning that I had to stay home all day and I was in a lot of pain. I used the aloe plant all day as well as vinegar on my nose and lower cheeks because it will make you cry with the strong scent. Someone at my Mom's work said vanilla extract would help. So I tried it. It didn't do anything, but in about five minutes I noticed the red was basically completely gone. I took ibuprofen because it said it helps the swelling. I had huge swelling and it also helped the pain. Also remember to drink lots of water to keep you hydrated. Try to treat you sunburn as fast as you can, even if it's not all the bad. Always be smart by wearing sunscreen!

By Janessa

Cucumbers For Burnt Eyes

I had burnt under my eyes really bad. I work with the ambulance and have to go into the hospital with a patient and one of the nurses told me to go home and try the cucumber thing. You bite the cucumber slice in half and place it under your eyes not only did it take the swelling away but the burning and redness away. Try it, it worked for me.

By Amy

An Old Mid-East Trick

Mix power "Starch" with "flower water" to calm and cool sensitive skin from sun burns. Trust me, it's not my first time.

By guest

Tea Tree, Olive Or Lavender Oil

Both for the burn and the itch here is what seems to have worked pretty well. The day of the burn apply a ton of aloe (pure) if possible. Rite Aid sells the clear kind and it works well. The idea is to keep your skin cooled and moisturized. Then when the itch begins after a day or two, try tea tree oil (not the same as tea oil). Tea tree oil is usually available in a health foods store and GNC may even sell it. This stuff works for many things (bites, burns, ivy) so the $12 or $13 for a small bottle is worth it. It is an extract so you can save by mixing it with another kind of oil.

Olive oil works well or lavender oil. Mix about 1 drop of tea tree oil per 10 drops of olive oil. Or a teaspoon of tea tree oil per 10 teaspoons of olive oil. Mix it good and pat it on with your fingers or a soft small towel or tissue. DO NOT RUB IT ON. Apply this and take some Tylenol every 4-6 hours (no more than 4 in 24 hours though). Reapply when the itch starts again. It will last cause it is oil and the peeling will be minimized. Also apply after a shower as many times the chemicals in water can dry the skin more than anything.

By Ephro

Tea Tree Oil

I have sun sensitive skin and I have found that tea tree oil helps. I dab it on with cotton balls. My skin feels cold and tingly and the pain subsides.

By SusannL

Baby Oil

The absolute best relief from the pain, not the red color, is baby oil. Take a cool shower then dry off and generously apply baby oil to the burned area. It keeps the skin loose so that it will not tighten up and you can move normally, and not like a person in a body cast.

By Hawk

Don't Use Baby Oil For Tanning

Recommendation for those who like me enjoy tanning and have not much time! I was currently on my spring break at Miami for only 4 days, I wanted to get a tan because I was looking very light. After my 2 time going to the beach and using the tanning oil, I couldn't see any difference so on my 3 day I decided to use the baby oil because I knew I was going to tan faster.

After only 30 minutes, I was completely burnt. Today is Friday and I am at work complaining of this horrible pain I have in my entire body. This is not what I was expecting form this baby oil. I will continue to read what you guys have recommend for my situation. Please guys do not use baby oil to tan.

By Carmela

The Best Solution!

Here is the grand pooh bah of remedies for your sunburn relief and recovery. I got second degree sunburns on my arms and my doctor actually told me this and it really DOES work.

Go to your bathroom and get out shaving cream, apply it to your hands and lather it up, then apply it to the burned area, Not only does it stop the burning sensation and pain IMMEDIATELY, it also helps to take the red away. Apply this every couple hours if you want. Folks, this really works. It is so good I almost want to sell it. Anyways, hope you all get better and remember. Put that darn sunscreen on and this wouldn't be a problem! I learned the hard way too!

By Travis

Shaving Cream Works Instantly

Yes, shaving cream is instant. I am doing it now. Check back soon to tell the whole results.

By Bryan

Thanks For The Shaving Cream Tip

Hey to the guy that said to try shaving cream, wow thanks! I feel soooooo better, instant relief! I looked funny with shaving cream all over me but wow, thanks again! I can go back to bed now and try to sleep; smelling like a man, but not in pain.

Thank you, thank you!


Plain liquid glycerin works wonders on sunburn, apply to a cotton ball and put straight on sun burn. Helps a lot, and the it stays on longer than Aloe Vera gel since it doesn't absorb into the skin as fast.

By Amber

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil takes the heat out. just kinda of hold a piece on your sunburn. its only temporary but you'll feel a little better

By Rebecca

Ice Pack

I've found that a blue ice pack (like the ones you stick in your coolers) helps alleviate some of the burning if you put it on soon after you get burnt

By Angeline

Gels, Lotions And Aftercare

Fresh Aloe Gel

Fresh aloe vera gel works wonders! I was very, very red and on medication which reacts with UV rays, therefore sun exposure should be keep to a minimum, but I got burnt. After applying the clear, sticky jelly of some home grown aloe vera (not the yellow liquid, as this is an irritant), I lay down in front of a fan. After sleeping with the aloe-mask, I woke up to find the aloe had hardened, coating my skin, and the redness has almost disappeared. A bit uncomfortable when it hardens, and feels gross when it's sticky, but much better then dry, peeling, red and sore skin! Hope this helps! :-)

By Linda

Wal-Mart For Aloe

Wal-Mart has inexpensive bottles of pure aloe vera gel. It's close to the pharmacy department. It's the easiest thing to use.

By Ardis

Refrigerate Your Aloe

I have very sensitive skin and burn very easily. The best thing that I have found is to use aloe vera gel that has been refrigerated. It is really cold at first, but it does cool down a sunburn in a hurry.

By TonyaG

Alternate Aloe With Moisturizer And Drink Water

Aloe vera jelly, thats 99% or so works, your average moisturizer alternating with aloe every few hours and (I'm surprised no one mentioned this,) but drink water, a liter in the next hour you are at home and realize your red. Even if you buy the most expensive most "reliable" skin healer you still need extra water because your skin is dry. I put aloe on once or twice when I get home at night, and the next morning I put on moisturizer with coconut oil in it and boom! I'm tan within 24 hrs. I have very fair skin but I rarely get a bad burn. :)

By asdfgh

Banana Boat's Sooth-a-caine

Banana Boat makes this stuff called Soothe-a-caine. It has aloe, vitamin E, and lidocaine in it. It works even better if you keep it in the fridge before you use it.


Aloe With Lidocaine

They make pure aloe with lidocaine, which work great for peeling, itching, and a little bit of the pain; but a gallon of white vinager and about 30 tea bags, in a lukewarm tub for about 30 minutes works extremely well. Give it a try.

By Tonya

Lidocaine Cream

You can buy the lidocaine in a cream, like for example LANOCAINE brand cream advertised for "Itching" or a less expensive generic brand. Unfortunately this isn't a spray, but a cream instead, but it will definitely help! You can also ask a pharmacist, or go to a medical supply place. They have all kinds of creams and sprays with lidocaine in them made for seniors and bedridden people that have dry itchy skin. Just look in the yellow pages.

By Cyinda

Neutrogena After Sun Treatment And Dermoplast

I use Neutrogena After Sun Treatment. I think it might have been discontinued, though. My bottle's a couple of years old. However, you can get it on I've always used that, aloe vera gel, Dermoplast. With those three combined, the effects of my sunburns have been decreased. Less pain, less swelling, less peeling.



I have really light skin and I've always put Noxzema on my sunburns. I apply a layer and just let it dry, then apply a cool towel. It helps relieve the pain and itching, also, I take some advil.

By Jessica

Noxzema Takes The Heat

We use Noxzema (or the generic brand) to take the "heat" (I.e. pain) out of a sunburn. Just reapply as needed for the first 24 hours or so. You do smell like eucalyptus/menthol, but it's a "clean" smell. I see that other readers recommend the vinegar treatment to prevent peeling -- as a veteran of beau coup sunburns as a redhead in the pre-sunscreen era, I'm not sure that is so -- if you burn badly enough, you're gonna blister and peel, regardless. My Mom always used the vinegar, though, because it did ease the pain some. (We used to joke about her wanting to "pickle" us along with the cucumbers.) Just my 2 cents.

By Karen

Noxzema Originally Developed For Sun

Noxzema really does work and I'll tell you why. Originally it was marketed as a sunburn cream, but one customer found it to help her eczema and it was renamed 'Noxzema' and sold as a cleanser instead.

By the way, if you don't have anyone around to rub it on your back (in that middle area that's hard to reach) - use a rubber cooking spatula to spread it. Works like a charm!

By Rebecca

Corn Huskers Lotion

I had a bad sunburn, so I talked to the pharmacist about the best product to use. She recommended CORN HUSKERS LOTION. I tried it and will never go back to plain old aloe. The Corn Husker's Lotion doesn't sting, and works just as well (if not better) than aloe. Try it for yourself! I found my at Osco Drug, but you should be able to find it at any drug store.

By Judy

Gold Bond Medicated Lotion

Gold Bond Medicated Lotion is my new ointment of choice now. It took away the pain and itchiness that I had from a sunburn and left it feeling cool and tingly.

By Mike

Use Gold Bond Instead of Aloe

Hi, I have very fair skin and I burn very easy. Aloe vera doesn't really take the heat out of my burns so I use this: Gold Bond Body Lotion triple action relief for extra dry and itchy skin. It soothes and cools with aloa and vitamin E. After you put it on, it starts to make your skin cool right away and it stays like that for awhile. It's also great because since it's a lotion, it keeps your skin from peeling. It's a great alternative to shaving gel =]. Hope you all get better soon!

By Katie

Cocoa Butter

I was also badly burned, so I used Cocoa Butter with moisturizer in it, and it helped relieve the pain, and also helped make the redness turn into a nice golden color after a little while. It works every time. Make sure you apply it every 3 hours or so to make sure your skin stays saturated with moisture, because it will help prevent lots of unsightly peeling. Good Luck!

Cocoa Butter And Vinegar

If the burn is not really bad, then I suggest pure Cocoa Butter. Apply it liberally.

If the burn is bad, first apply vinegar all over, let dry and then apply the cocoa butter.

The cocoa butter will moisturize the skin so you will not peel.

I have been doing this for myself and my kids for about 10 years and we have never had any peeling.

By Kathy

Cocoa Butter Holds In Heat

Lots of fluids, water is the best. Try some aspirin as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Cocoa butter will not prevent peeling and will probably hold in the heat. The top layer of your skin is burned and will peel. Commercial Aloe gels are wonderful for sunburn. I've heard all my life that vinegar is good but. I know aloe works.

Treat the symptoms and if you don't improve in a day or so, get some medical attention.

By Vicka

Preventing Chafing And Redness

I would use some powder in whatever form you like: baby powder, cornstarch, Gold Bond etc., actually Gold Bond makes a lotion with powder in it or look for anything that's meant for chafing.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste is great for the redness, it's a diaper rash cream but works on just about anything.

I would also drink lots of water to help your skin repair itself quickly!

Good Luck!

By Madelynnsmama

Aveeno Oatmeal Bath

I got so burned this weekend. I was sitting in cold baths putting on green gel and blue gel, regular lotion. Could not get any relief. It hurts to walk like I am getting shocked almost. I set in a cold bath with Aveeno Oatmel Bath in it, I used two. I got out still having some little shocks but my skin was cool and just had a nice pink color instead of red. It lasted for about 7 hours. It was great. I actually was able to sleep. I still have blisters but I am doing this about every 5 hours when I can. Got some Aveeno lotion has menthol in it and chamomile it is great both are expensive but they work.

By cesca

Milk of Magnesia

Apply Milk of Magnesia to the burn. It will take the sting right out.



Beside cooling bath with whatever you use and any topical stuff like vinegar, aloe vera or whatever, take aspirin, not Tylenol or anything else. Aspiring will help relieve the inflammation as well as relieve the pain.

By Linda

After Sun Product Recommendations

Aquaphor (from Euceric) is great for the blisters, and soothe-a-cain or Aloe After Sun are great. Also generic ibuprofen every 4 hours makes sun burn manageable.


Editor's Note: Be sure to follow recommended dosages for all painkillers.

DNA Repair Cream

Best product, will remove burn in 4 hours and leave a tan is 'DNA Repair Creme' by 'Synergy Worldwide' health product line.

By ur_g0d


My father got severe wind and sunburns on his face years ago. The doctor told him to buy Cetaphil (it has a green or blue label with white lettering). It is about $8 a bottle, and is sold and most supermarkets and at Wal-Mart, but one bottle usually lasts me one or more summers. We have been using it for years! My skin is very sensitive so aloe sometimes burns, not to mention that for the past 3 years, all sunscreen burns. I was on vacation in South Carolina and my cousin and I got very bad burns, we had blisters and all. We got Cetaphil at the supermarket that night and we missed a whole day of vacation, But it was only one day. Then we were able to get back out in that 100 degree humid weather and party for July 4th.

Just rub in as much as you can then leave a layer on top, you look like a freak but it will soak in. Repeat as often as it will soak in. AND drink as much water as you can!

By Rachel

Cortizone Cream

A friend of mine was burned ALL OVER and she was in horrible pain, she could hardly move! I looked up natural remedies, and found these ideas. She felt so much better after. Take an Ibuprofen to relieve pain and inflammation. Take a cool bath with baking soda and/or oatmeal (she used soda). Then apply cream with cortizone in it (usually 1%). She said the cortizone made the biggest difference in the pain. She also applied aloe interchangeably. Give it a shot!

By Drea

Furacin And Reiki

For the medicine-minded, good old-fashioned Furacin (the stuff before Neosporin) works like magic on burns. I believe it is still a prescription item and you should check with your doctor before using it.

For the alternative medicine-minded, find a Reiki practioner. I am fair-skinned and got a nasty lobster red sunburn from being in sun over 4 hours and forgetting to put on sunscreen. My friend, a Master Reiki practitioner and teacher, said let's try it. I - whimpering in pain and with my red skin radiating heat like the sun - said OK. The pain stopped within minutes. The red faded to pink the next day and normal color 2 days later and my skin did not peel at all. Normally I would have been bright red for days, pink for another week and peeling like old wallpaper. She has treated other sunburn victims and found it to work every time. She now guarantees her Reiki treatments for sunburns!

By Anonymous


Forget everything you have ever tried before! I have never experienced sunburn like I have today.I was so badly sunburned I thought I needed to go to the hospital. I used "BURNAID" ( I was going through the medical cabinet and found this cream, honestly it relieved me completely. Please give this a go because it truly works.

Kind Regards

By Melinda

PreVentin-AT Advanced Scar Therapy

I'm red as a pickled beet and burning like crazy. I have read through all of the tips and realized, I have no vinegar, maybe a half cup of milk and no tea bags. So I thought I would search the cabinet for something that may help. I came across a tube of PreVentin-AT Advanced scar therapy. It cools it down, no greasy feeling and hopefully it will last. It also has tissue repair. I am really hoping this works. I have 2 tubes of it and need to use it on something. (I got it on clearance and had a coupon for it, I only paid a little under 2 bux for it). I will try to report back on this if it works. Fingers crossed X

By Cat

Sunburn Relief Hydrating Mist From Bali

I got a nasty sunburn surfing in the tropics and happen to find this AWESOME product while in Bali: It is INCREDIBLE, it eased the pain straight away and I was surfing again the next day ;-) They sell it online too so i can get it even in California. Sweet website too, it reminds me of the great times had while in Bali.

By Trent

Bee Pollen Jojoba Moisturizing Cream

Rachael Perry Bee Pollen Jojoba moisturizing cream sold only at organic food stores. If they don't have it order it. There's nothing better, it even cures the burn really really bad ones. I am not afraid of any burns.

By Robin C

Burt's Bees Diaper Ointment

I'm a black woman and never thought that I'd get sunburn. I found out that I'm allergic to the sun. I cannot use sunscreen that has PABA in it because that will break me out too. Anyway, I used a lot of sunscreen yesterday at Water Country USA, but it didn't help. I still got burned. I had my children rub my back with "Burt's Bees Diaper Ointment", I got immediate relief. I could sleep peacefully and I'm not in pain. This stuff is wonderful for sunburns!

By Monique


Use Sunscreen And Keep Your Skin Beautiful

Ibuprofen will help with some of the pain, we always used Noxzema for sunburn as kids. Now we wear lots of sunblock, reapply often and wear hats! Part of getting dressed for my kids is putting on sunblock since we're outside pretty much all day. I'd rather be white and pale then have to deal with melanomas and skin cancers on me or my kids. I love their beautiful skin and want to keep it that way!

Now to get off my soapbox ;-)

By mygirlsmomma

Beware Continuous Spray Sunscreen

Don't use the continuous spray sunscreen stuff if you're going to be outside for a long time. First of all, even though it says it's waterproof, it washes off pretty easily. Second, it doesn't always cover all your skin and you will end up with a polka dotted sunburn (trust me I learned these thing the hard way, twice)

By anonymous

Watch Out For Allergies To PABA

For those who have said they used sunscreen and still got burned, check to see if it contains the ingredient PABA. You may be allergic and you could have SPF150 (if there was such a thing) and still burn as if you hadn't used sunscreen at all.

By Karla

Allergic To Coppertone Faces Only

I got the worst burn of my life by using Coppertone Faces Only sunscreen. It is PABA free but made my face swell up. Now I only use Neutrogena sunscreen for sensitive skin. If you are allergic to a sunscreen it will hurt instead of help.

By SusannL

Don't Bother With Over SPF50

I just want everyone here to know that anything over SPF50 is the same as SPF 50. Scientists have yet to invent anything better. So if you pay like 10 bucks for SPF 90 and 5 for SPF 50 get the 50 or your wasting your cash. I left school early since it was allowed today and I walked around. I burned badly. I'll go do what I usually do.Vinegar works WONDERS in like 23 hours after I get a serious burn. The redness is really light pink and I cant feel it ^^ Try it, it works great. Then I take a shower and use a moisturizer so my skin doesn't feel as weird (the vinegar makes your skin feel funny because of how it soaks in. Don't worry about that just take a shower, dry off REALLY GOOD then use a moisturizer on the weird parts).

By Nick

Sunburn Experience

Step By Step Treatment For Bad Sunburn

A couple years ago my son began a job as a lifeguard at a waterpark here in Arizona. He neglected to put sun-block on and ended up with first and second degree burns across his shoulders.

Here's what I applied:

  • Vitamin E oil: The brand I used was J/A/S/O/N Pure Beauty Oil (Vitamin E Oil). I bought it at the health food store. It was just under $6.00 for a 1 ounce jar. They also sell larger bottles that are less concentrated (and less expensive ounce for ounce), but the higher the IU of vitamin E the better. You can also buy pure vit. E oil; or buy the capsules and pierce with a pin or toothpick and squeeze out the oil.
  • Silvadene Cream: (my doctor gave me a small jar). This is what they use in emergency rooms to treat burns. It contains silver which is a natural antibiotic and it doesn't sting when applied (good stuff). Another consideration for reducing the risk of infection is Colloidal Silver which comes in a liquid form; the higher the PPM (parts per million) the better. It can be taken internally (follow instructions on bottle) or can be applied directly onto skin. You can buy this at a heath food store as well.
  • Editor's Note: Make sure you don't take too much colloidal silver, it can turn you blue. Silvadene is however a wonderful burn cream.

  • Aloe Vera: I used it strait from the plant, as the gel that I had contained alcohol which burned when I put it on. If you don't have access to a plant, you can buy pure aloe vera gel at a health food store.

After I applied these 3 things, I covered the area with non-stick gauze pads (taping them on with paper medical tape). I did this once a day.

When he returned a week later for a follow-up, the doctor was astonished at how well the burn was healing (it was almost completely gone).

Note: Another thing to consider is taking an antioxidant formula containing Vitamins A, C, and E; Zinc and Selenium. These destroy the free radicals that are caused by sun exposure and they protect the cells, thus reducing risk of skin cancer. (Remember: do not take more than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) unless advised by a health professional as some of these have the potential to become toxic if taken in high doses).

Hope this helps.

By T Babe

Watch Acne Meds In The Sun

Milk or vinegar applied onto the burn. Then sunscreen the next time. If you are taking acne meds, it's best to stay outta the sun all together. Besides, pale skin is MUCH cooler than skin cancer!

By michawnpita

Baking Soda, Vinegar And Milk Remedy

We went fishing yesterday and forgot our sunblock. (we've now decided that the sunblock needs to be in the tackle box as part of our regular fishing supplies.) Anyway, we came home after stopping at Wal-Mart to get aloe gel with lidocaine for the pain. Immediate application of that helped temporarily. I got on this site and read through the tips, I vaguely remembered hearing about vinegar, but I wanted to verify it. After all my reading I took these steps: I got a small bowl with baking soda and poured some vinegar in (I use this as a home remedy to bring down high fevers fast. Rub it all over the body with a wash cloth.) Anyway I let it bubble then dipped a wash cloth in like I would for a fever and soaked the burned areas with it, redipping and adding more vinegar to the bowl as necessary. The reaction of the vinegar being neutralized by the baking soda produced a cold effect which feels great on hot skin. After I soaked all the burned areas, I let the mixture dry on my skin (you will have a white crust on your skin). Then I got all the canned milk I could find in the house (we were out of fresh :P) and filled a tub with canned milk and cool water (as cool as you can bear) and soaked the burned areas as long as I could stand being in the cold milk mixture. After all that I rubbed my skin with Crabtree and Evelyn's Sweet Almond Oil lotion and went to bed. My skin was definitely cool at that time and when I woke up it felt tight from being dry, but it wasn't hot and super sensitive like a burn normally feels. It was multi step and fairly gross, but I'll take smelling like salad and canned milk for a while over the pain of a long lasting burn.

By Fried Fishy

DermaDoctor Link

Ok, after saying I wouldn't go to the Indy 500 race again, I did, and I burned AGAIN. I have olive skin, and don't burn easily but the first time out can be iffy. I applied 'sweatproof and waterproof' sunscreen, 3 times while I was there, and STILL came home to find myself almost crying with intense pain within two hours in the lobster colored areas.

Aside from the obvious which is drink LOTS of water while the burn exists, to help keep you hydrated! Take ibuprofen and a multivitamin OR a vitamin C and vitamin E pill. This helps with the pain and inflammation and the free radical damage that's going on.

First, take a cool bath with ground oats (or buy the oatmeal bath packets) and a few tea tree oil drops if available. Secondly, when you get out PAT your skin then mist your ouchies with a spray bottle filled with vinegar/water (I found undiluted vinegar can sting). Allow that to dry up just so it's not dripping, heck, drink a bottle of water while waiting! Then use a GOOD moisturizer preferably without fragrance (I used Vanicream, which can be hard to find and Gold Bond's ultimate healing) and don't be greedy with the lotion/cream, as keeping the skin protected from losing even more moisture will help a TON with the tightness!

You can even alternate and/or overlap taking the ibuprofen and Tylenol. Just remember to drink lots of water while recovering.

Hope this helps someone. I did have relief. Thankfully! I still feel some warmth in the burn, but it's honestly NOTHING like the crazy pain I felt before treating it.

This link has some nifty tips

By Karen

Personal Experience

I got burned at the lake after using Baby SPF 50. Solarcaine worked good, but only for a few minutes and then left my blistered arms stinging. I just applied Noxzema or the store brand and caked (and I do mean caked!) it on! I looked like a ghost when I was done, but my arms feel so much better. I topped that off with Gold Bond Extreme Relief with Menthol (the green bottle). I feel so much better, still stings a little, but make sure to turn your fan on before you go to bed and, girls, I would suggest sleeping with no shirt on if you burn your arms or chest. It allows your skin to breathe! Vinegar does not work two days later, so do not waste your time. Cold showers are suggested. Also, when you need to shower, just gonna have to bear the coldness!

By Kayla

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Read 6 Comments

June 12, 2012

Boil your water and let a tea bag steep in it, until it is cool. Then take a cotton ball and apply it to your sunburn. Do this twice. It's better at bedtime, so that the tea can work it's magic while you sleep. Don't wash it off until morning. It takes the sting right out of the burn.

Tea for a Sunburn

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August 19, 2011

Having fair skin and loving to swim, I have had sunburns since I was a child. For mild sunburns (reddened skin, mild heat), I suggest a cool water bath that has vinegar added.

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By 4 found this helpful
August 19, 2011

First, take a cool bath to cool the burn. I add lavender which helps take the sting feeling out of the burn. Soak 15-20 minutes. Pat dry.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

May 5, 20051 found this helpful

I recently got a terrible sunburn/windburn while at an all day air show. I was blistered and swollen, it was so bad. I've found THE cure for the worst of sunburns - Solarcaine sunburn pain for the pain plus an anti-inflammatory.

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By 2 found this helpful
August 19, 2011

I live in Florida where we see a lot of sunburn cases. The most effective and natural remedy is the Aloe Vera plant. They grow wild here in Florida. Remove one leaf of the aloe plant and keep it in your refrigerator crisper drawer.

Aloe Vera Slices

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June 20, 2012

I really like the Arnica Gel that you get from your health food stores. I find it works really well right after coming in from outside! Awhile back I had burned my cheek with a curling iron and I put Arnica on it right away.

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September 26, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about using aloe vera for sunburns. Aloe vera is well known for its soothing effect on burns.

Woman hugging an aloe frond

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August 19, 2011

I keep a bottle of aloe vera in the fridge. It is very soothing.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 19, 2011

When I was younger and also many times over the years I have heard, read, and had people tell me to put vinegar on a sunburn. DO NOT do this! Sure, it may work on some people, but for those of us who it doesn't work on, it can cause a lot of pain!

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June 30, 20060 found this helpful

Here is a great idea for summer. Freeze aloe vera gel in an ice cube tray.

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December 9, 20050 found this helpful

Add honey or egg yolk to crushed green grapes and leave on damp skin for 15 minutes. Also, try applying a chamomile extract, crushed strawberries or liquid from a split fresh Aloe Vera leaf.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 2, 2012

I have painful, peeling sunburn. It started out with just my chin peeling, because I had used different acne lotion and I went into the sun. Now my face is peeling, the chin, then it went to the nose, the next day it went to my cheeks. My chin is so painful, it burns like crazy when I put moisturizer on to help the tightness and peeling. I can't stand it and I want to know what will at least stop the intense pain.

By Alex

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sounds like you have more going on beside sunburn; possibly an allergic reaction to the new acne medicine. You might consider seeing a doctor pronto.

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March 29, 20120 found this helpful

How can I help take the sting out? I can't even sleep it's so bad. What can I do? I also have a pretty bad sunburn on my entire face, do you have any ideas on how to help the sting?

I have tried aloe on my windburn and it didn't work.

By Gabrielle A. from Titusville, FL

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 29, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you don't mind the smell you can use cider vinegar. You can also brew tea and use the tea bags. These have always worked for me.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 8, 2010

For about 2 weeks I've had a sunburn on my scalp. It's annoying and it looks like I have dandruff. It's flaky and looks really bad. I read online to put aloe After Sun on it. I found this stuff around my house called Key Lime Lotion and it's an after sun product. I put a glop in my hair, used a comb and brushed it through. I have to leave this in for 2-3 hours. Is there something easier I can do to get rid of the flakiness, without my hair looking greasy?

By Lovey from MD

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

The best thing I've ever tried I just learned on a site called Earth Clinic; however, i don't know how it will work for an old burn because I use it for new burns to prevent peeling. Won't hurt to try though. Just take apple cider vinegar (or white will do if you don't have access) and put it on a cotton ball. Gently apply to the burned area and let it dry. It is the only thing I have ever used that seems to instantly allow that trapped heat to escape and your skin goes from hot to the touch to cool to the touch. It prevents blistering and peeling too.

For the dry skin thing, I use extra virgin olive oil... just like someone else said. I use it for an everyday moisturizer too... even on my scalp and face. If you put it on straight out of the shower, it won't be too thick and heavy. I just blot any areas that are too thick with a towel and it feels great!

If you're worried about your hair looking greasy then try (overnight) raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered honey. Just rub some on and wash it out in the morning. Raw honey helps wounds heal so much faster than on their own. Also, I heard that coconut oil works wonders for any sun/skin related thing but I haven't had a chance to try it yet. Coconuts aren't easily accessible here :).

By the way, if you tried or are going to try soaking your hair in olive oil and it doesn't wash out easily, try rinsing it with ACV. After shampooing, dump about a cup on your head (keep your eyes closed! Ouch!) and try to let it set for about 1 minute before rinsing it out. I know it is a great solvent for oily or greasy things because I once put Bag Balm on my scalp to try overnight and when I woke up my hair was matted down with it. I washed it six times within two days and it still didn't come out till someone told me to try vinegar. It came out on the first rinse then.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 1, 2017

It's been a week since I swam and got sunburned. My face has peeled. The only problem is both sides of my face, where my cheeks meet my jaws still hasn't peeled! It has a different color there. I don't know if it's going to peel like the rest. Will it?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 3, 20170 found this helpful

do you mean to say it will even out eventually without peeling off right?

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 8, 20100 found this helpful

I got sunburned really bad on my face, arms and legs over the weekend and now my nose is starting to peel. Looks awful, even starting to get a sore on the side. Is there a homemade recipe or suggestion I can use to lessen the ugliness of this? I am embarrassed to go out, but have to for work. I try to keep moisturizer on it, doesn't seem to help much. Thanks in advance for any and all help with this.

jmz2005 from illinois


Treating a Sunburn

Aloe Vera gel works great. (05/16/2007)

By glowgirl

Treating a Sunburn

I live in Florida, so Bactine or Noxzema works great to help heal the burn. I then use a darker shade of foundation on the face to help hide the redness and blotchy skin. It works for me and I hope it will help you. Another hint is to go to the dollar tree and get the baby 40 SPF sunscreen. We have a pool and none of our 10 grand-kids ever got burnt. For a $1.00 you can't go wrong. Good luck. (05/16/2007)

By bonnie

Treating a Sunburn

I know firsthand what you must be going through and can empathize with you. The best product I have used to date when I get sunburned is Aveeno's Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal. It relieves and protects Dry Skin for 24 hours and is fragrance free. Being a redhead, my skin is very sensitive and dries easily when I get even the slightest bit of sun, and this is the only product that I can use that doesn't dry out my skin and make it feel worse then it already does when I get too much sun. Hope this helps even a little bit, and I hope your burn feels better real soon.

Melody (05/16/2007)

By ladydragonfly

Treating a Sunburn

This is my Grandmother's old Norwegian recipe--

Use sour cream straight from the refrigerator. It soothes the burn very well. When it begins to dry, just wash it off and add more as needed. (05/16/2007)

By rc53

Treating a Sunburn

Thank you all for the great suggestions. I will be trying them out. (05/16/2007)

By jmz2005

Treating a Sunburn

Now that you are peeling, use a gentle exfoliate. You can buy them of course. But you can make your own using plain oatmeal and farina/grits/cream of wheat (depending of which part of the country you're from) and blend them into a fine powder. Add a little warm water and make it into a scrub/mask that helps remove the old/burned skin. After rinsing off, use a good moisturizer that doesn't clog your pores. This is a great scrub for your face as it isn't too harsh. You can use it about once a week or so all the time. (05/17/2007)

By Angie

Treating a Sunburn

We keep our Aloe Vera in the fridge. Great on a burn. Just for future use. Hope this helps. (05/21/2007)

By Christine L.In

Treating a Sunburn

Noxzema. I used to burn when I was in my twenties, before I decided to avoid the sun, too late now, but for the future, the idea is to cool the skin ASAP. Believe it or not, if you submerge the skin in ice water for awhile right as you notice the burn, it will slow down the damage. Then you cake on Noxema which actually cools down the skin more, treats the burn medically (and it's cheap). Leave it on awhile, when it's no longer white it's probably served its purpose and you can rinse it off (always with very cold water until the red is completely gone) and then use the Aloe Vera.

A word about the Aloe, it's actually not always 'active' in all its skin protection properties if it's not very fresh. There are two things you can do to ensure this, use only the health food store variety, and it has to be pure gel. Or, do what I do and keep a plant. Open a leaf by splitting it down the middle and either rub it directly on the skin for immediate relief or squeeze out the gel and use it straight from the plant. Don't wash this off.

So, cool the skin with ice water, reinforce that with Noxzema, and follow with truly fresh aloe which you would reapply often. If you have trouble sleeping at night, repeat the ice water and Noxzema. Should reduce the discomfort until you can fall asleep. I hate this situation, and wish you luck! If the sore seems infected, or you are truly miserable, call a doctor or ER and ask for an advice RN. I'm an RN student, and I know they'll talk to you if you call an ER and insist on talking to an RN. Take care! (05/23/2007)

By MAnne

Treating a Sunburn

Noxzema will burn some people. I can't use it at all. I would suggest buying some Carnation canned whole milk, refrigerate it, and then dab on the sunburn with cotton balls as needed.

You could even add milk to cool bath water for a "milk bath." (05/26/2007)

By dibbs

Treating a Sunburn

Hi. My son went swimming last weekend and got sunburned (ouch!), he is at the peeling stage too. He was going out today and was embarrassed at the peeling on his face, until I got the bottle of St. Ives Alpha-Hydroxy Facial Renewal Lotion out and he applied it. It smoothed it out. It is great for replenishing the skin and soothes it too.

Also, I have found that when you're at the just sunburned stage, here are a few home remedies: first take Ibuprofen immediately and every 4 hrs., mix in a large bowl, one cup of skim milk, 3 cups cold water, add a few ice cubes. After a few minutes, soak a white cotton cloth (a t-shirt will do) in this, and squeeze out excess. Apply to burned area (s) and let it soothe. Repeat every 2 hrs. I learned this from a nurse. When you have to leave the house, use vinegar to spray from a bottle and mix it with cold ice water. Hope this helps! (06/14/2007)

By Rhonda

Treating a Sunburn

We always use Aloe Vera gel. If we run out, soak a cloth in milk and apply to skin. Keep skin covered for a few days afterward with a long sleeved cotton shirt. (07/28/2007)

Treating a Sunburn

Try covering your body with honey! It will soothe your sunburn and honey is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture. Just smear on honey, leave on for 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Then apply some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to moisturize skin. (09/01/2007)

By Anonymous101

Treating a Sunburn

I began to peel after getting sunburned and I did a really "dumb" thing. I used an exfoliator that was too strong to hasten the peeling, and after a week or so I am experiencing burning that is very painful. I hope I haven't done nerve damage to my skin. Bottom line, don't be an idiot and make the mistake I have made. I have made an appointment with my dermatologist. Old enough to know better! (09/02/2007)

By Judy

Treating a Sunburn

Noxzema. (06/02/2008)

By kaitlyn

Treating a Sunburn

I also use Aveeno moisturizing lotion. Works great. (06/08/2008)

Treating a Sunburn

This seems extreme but it works; get a small bottle of rubbing alcohol and a small bottle of aspirin. If you want to use it right away, crush the aspirin up and place in alcohol, shake for a minute, then apply to the affected area. It works wonders, but it also promotes peeling so the next day, treat with a skin lotion. It works every time! (06/09/2008)

By Joe

Treating a Sunburn

You can try plain yogurt, not the flavored one, but the plain yogurt. It's supposed to be good. (07/29/2008)

By S

Treating a Sunburn

As a pharmacist, we are often first line in sunburn treatment. There is a new product out this year called Sunburn911. I was a skeptic but results back up this product's claims. Really good stuff and gives up to 6 hours of relief as it claims and that is a big plus when you are hurting from sunburn. (07/28/2009)

By rxdawg2005

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January 16, 20110 found this helpful

What is something that you can use to relieve sunburns other than aloe vera gel. I have sensitive skin and I am very light skinned and can't tan.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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