Itchy Sunburn Remedies
Have you ever been badly sunburned? The first few days are the worst, as your skin will burn with pain and redness. After a couple of days though, most of the pain has subsided. Unfortunately, you’re left with the worst itching and peeling ever. The good news is that itching skin is a sign of healing. The bad news for many sunburn sufferers is that the itching is even more unbearable than the initial pain caused by the sunburn. Remember, it’s always safer to apply sunburn rather than not and being burned.
How Can I Stop Severe Itching?
First, don’t scratch! Scratching seems like it would help, but it will do nothing except worsen the irritation and possibly introduce infection into your body. Scratching can also lead to scarring, which is something you definitely don’t want.
Secondly, stay out of the sun until you are completely healed. Warm sunlight will aggravate your damaged skin and lengthen the time it needs to heal.
Here are some itchy sunburn remedies to help you deal with the temporary discomfort caused by a healing sunburn.
Tips to Stop Scratching Sunburns
1. Try a lukewarm shower or bath. Add some oatmeal to your bath water because it is good for moisturizing and protecting the skin.
2. Look in your pantry or refrigerator. Many natural food products make great itchy sunburn remedies. Spray your skin three or four times a day with pure white vinegar and allow it to air-dry. Wipe plain yogurt or buttermilk over the damaged area, or soak in a mixture of strongly brewed tea. Slice cold cucumbers and gently rub them into your skin, or make a cool paste of water and baking soda.
3. Place cold compresses or ice packs on the burn. These will reduce any swelling that is present, as well as control intense itching.
4. Keep your skin moisturized. Rub the affected area with some type of moisturizer or over-the-counter sunburn treatment. Petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, A+D Original Ointment, aloe vera gels, shea butter and vitamin E moisturizing lotions will soothe irritated itchy skin and reduce peeling. Avoid harsh soaps that will only dry your skin out more.
5. Try coating the itchy skin with calamine lotion. Some people recommend following the lotion with a covering of Gold Bond Medicated Powder.
6. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you aren’t drinking enough, your body has no way to correct the fluid imbalance caused by the sunburn. Dehydrated skin remains itchy and heals slowly.
7. Lidocaine spray or gel will numb your itchy skin. For best results, use an aloe vera gel that contains lidocaine.
8. Apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. Any cream that contains 1% hydrocortisone should provide relief by reducing swelling and encouraging quicker healing.
9. Take an oral antihistamine. This is probably one of the best itchy sunburn remedies available. Non-prescription allergy medications contain diphenhydramine, which will ease intense itching. As an added bonus, diphenhydramine also has sedative properties that can help you sleep through an especially severe bout of itching. Look for Benadryl or an equivalent generic brand.
10. Avoid wearing rough clothing that will scratch your skin and further aggravate the itching. Dressing in loose 100% cotton clothing will do a lot to make you more comfortable.
In addition, vitamins A and E are extremely good for the skin. Taking regular supplements will keep your skin supple and help it heal quickly if the sun damages it. Vitamin D is also helpful, but it can be dangerous if you take too much. Be cautious with it.
Keep in mind that this discomfort is only temporary. No matter how bad the itching is, it will go away eventually. Do what you can to take your mind off the itching. Read a good book, or watch an engrossing movie to get you mind on something else other than the itching. For extremely severe sunburns or itching that doesn’t clear up in a few days, you should see a doctor to make sure there isn’t anything serious going on.
Finally, remember that prevention is key when it comes to sunburns, and just a little bit of prevention is worth hundreds of itchy sunburn remedies. You should always use a high-quality sunblock with an SPF of at least 15, keep delicate skin covered and stay out of the sun during its brightest hours.