A few years ago, I received a frantic call from a friend visiting family hundreds of miles away. She needed me to immediately run over to her apartment and check on her boyfriend … her horribly, painfully, sunburned boyfriend. And she wasn't lying. When I discovered Rod, his skin was an unnatural shade of red, and his feet were so swollen he could barely walk. Let's just say this little incident kept Rod away from the beach for the next three years.
Always wear sunscreen. We hear it over and over again. (It even made its way into a really bad techno advice song.) But let's face it, everyone experiences a sunburn at one time or another … OK, maybe not as extreme as Rod's burn. While we can't magically cure that lobster-like hue -- and all the pain and peeling that comes along with it -- there are ways to ease the burn. Here are some tips for the next time you forget to lather up:
- Stay cool. Literally. Take cold baths or showers. Place cool washcloths or towels over the skin.
- Moisturize. Repeat. This is a no brainer. Look for lotions that contain aloe vera and/or vitamin E. You probably have a few in your medicine cabinet already, if not check out these. Some brands many people -- er, my mom -- swear by: Solarcaine, Chamomile, Eucerin, and Bag Balm (a thick butter-like consistency originally made for cow udders -- don't question, it works!).
- Don't Pick. You'll peel, and probably blister. If you're like me, nothing is better than a good pick. I'm a notorious pimple popper no matter how many lectures I receive from my dermatologist. But, try really hard not to pick or pop or scratch; it will just injure your skin further. Continue to moisturize and eventually your skin will heal.
- Ease the ache. Sunburn doesn't just affect your skin; it can cause headaches, dehydration, and fever. Pop some aspirin or ibuprofen, and keep the water flowing.
- Wear Sunscreen. Sorry, I had to say it, but it's true! Prevention is the best medicine. The next time you leave the house, lather on that sunscreen -- after you've read up on these sunscreen facts. Your skin will thank you.
What product do you use to cure bad sunburn? Do you have any other advice?More from BeautyRiot.com: