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 healthcare 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, take a cool bath or shower or apply cool compresses to the area.
  • For pain, take acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin).
  • If blisters form, don't break them.
  • Protect your skin from further sun exposure.


WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 16, 2020



Skin Cancer Foundation: "Sunburn."

CDC: "Extreme Heat: A Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety."

Intermountain Healthcare: "Sunburn -- Adults."

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