Different Ways To Treat Sunburn

There is always that moment of realization, “I think my child is sunburnt”. Maybe you dozed off, lost track of time, or just forgot to reapply sunscreen at the appropriate intervals. If you notice it while you are out in the sun, be aware that it can take several hours for the full extent of the damage to be revealed.

As soon as you notice the first sign of sunburn, find someplace shady and start working to minimize the pain with the following tips and tricks. 

  1. Chill Out – One of the best things you can do to fight inflammation is cool your child’s sunburn. So, if you are near a pool or lake, have them take a quick dip to cool their skin. Don’t let them stay in the sun though. Cover up and continue the cooling process with compresses or a brisk shower. Do not apply ice directly to a burn. Be sure to have them wear loose, breathable clothing and stay out of the sun until they are healed. 
  2. Moisturize – Use a light lotion while their skin is still damp and reapply frequently for several days. Do not use petroleum or oil based ointments, which can trap the burn and make it worse. 
  3. Fight Inflammation – As soon as you realize they are burnt, reach for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.). This helps with both the inflammation and discomfort and can be used as directed until the burn begins to feel better. Cortisone cream applied directly to the burn can also help calm the redness and swelling.   
  4. Chug Fluids – Fluid is drawn to the skin’s surface when a person is burned, so the rest of the body ends up dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks and water are an important factor in determining how long it takes to heal. Make sure they are staying hydrated by drinking extra liquids as their skin heals. 
  5. See A Doctor – If your child has severe blistering over a large area, or develops a fever or chills, you will want to see a doctor. Severe sunburn can also cause wooziness and confusion, which are signs of more serious issues. Scratching and popping blisters can lead to infection, so be sure your child is taking care of their burn appropriately. If you see red streaks or oozing pus, see a doctor immediately. 

Your child’s skin will heal with time. However, it is important to remember that it has been damaged. The risk of melanoma doubles with every five sunburns a person encounters. Commit to protecting your children from the sun and preventing sunburns.