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First Aid & Emergencies

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Sunburn Treatment

Call 911 if the person:

  • Does not seem to be responding appropriately
  • Has a seizure, visual changes, or any other neurologic symptoms; these could be symptoms of severe heat illness.

Call a health care provider if:

  • The burn has blisters or the skin is white-appearing or numb. These are symptoms of a more-serious sunburn.
  • The sunburned person is a child under one year old.

1. Rehydrate

  • Replace body fluids with water, juice, or sports drinks.

2. Treat Symptoms

  • Apply aloe or over-the-counter moisturizing lotion to skin as directed.
  • To soothe and cool skin, bathe in lukewarm water or apply cool compresses to the area.
  • For pain, take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 19, 2013

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