Sunburn - Home Treatment
Home treatment measures may provide
some relief from a mild sunburn.
- Use cool cloths on sunburned
- Take frequent cool showers or baths.
soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas. Topical steroids
1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with sunburn pain and swelling.
Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age
2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in
children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache. Lie down in a
cool, quiet room to relieve the headache. A headache may be caused by
dehydration, so drinking fluids may help. For more
information, see the topic
There is little you can do to
stop skin from peeling after a sunburn—it is part of the healing process.
Lotion may help relieve the itching.
Other home treatment measures, such as chamomile, may help relieve your sunburn
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
- Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than the
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
Care of blisters
Home treatment may help decrease
pain, prevent infection, and help the skin heal.
- A small, unbroken blister about the size of a pea, even a blood blister, will usually heal on its own. Use a loose bandage to protect it. Avoid the activity that caused the blister.
- If a small blister is on a weight-bearing area like the bottom of the foot, protect it with a doughnut-shaped moleskin pad. Leave the area over the blister open.
- If a blister is large and painful, it may be best to drain it. Here is a safe method:
- Wipe a needle or straight pin with rubbing alcohol.
- Gently puncture the edge of the blister.
- Press the fluid in the blister toward the hole so it can drain out.
- If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you do not want to drain a blister because of the risk of infection.
- After you have opened a blister, or if it has torn open:
- Wash the area with soap and water. Do not use alcohol, iodine, or any other cleanser.
- Don't remove the flap of skin over a blister unless it's very dirty or torn or there is pus under it. Gently smooth the flap over the tender skin.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. If the skin under the bandage begins to itch or a rash
develops, stop using the ointment. The ointment may be causing a skin
- Change the bandage once a day or anytime it gets wet or dirty. Remove it at night to let the area dry.
Watch for a skin infection while your
blister is healing. Signs of infection include:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth
around the blister.
- Red streaks extending away from the
- Drainage of pus from the blister.