No one means to get sunburned. You either lost track of time, or took a nap on the beach like I did in Bimini this weekend (sorry I had to brag), the next couple of days you think you will be miserable. It can take hours for the full damage to show. So as soon as you notice you look a little bit on the lobster side, get out of the sun and follow these steps:
1. Cool Your Skin Down
If you’re near a cold pool, lake or ocean, do a back flip into the water (only if you have done that before) and cool your skin, but only for a minute so you don’t prolong your sun exposure. Get to a shade immediately and cover up. Take a cool shower or bath, but not for too long, you don't want to dry out your skin even more, and avoid using a harsh soap, use a gentle moisturizing body wash instead.
2. Moisturize While Skin Is Damp
While skin is still damp, use a gentle moisturizing lotion or Aloe Vera gel. Repeat to keep burned or peeling skin moist over the next few days.
3. Decrease the Inflammation
Taking an anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can help with discomfort and inflammation. You can continue with the anti-inflammatory drug as directed until the burn feels better. You can also use an over-the-counter cortisone cream as directed for a few days to help calm redness and swelling. Wear loose, soft, breathable clothing to avoid further skin irritation, and stay out of the sun.
4. Replenish Your Fluids
It’s important to re-hydrate by drinking lots of water. Drink plenty of water or Gatorade to help replenish electrolytes, immediately and while your skin heals.
5. See a Doctor If …
You should think about looking for medical help if you have severe blistering, have a fever and chills, or is woozy or confused. Don’t scratch or pop blisters, which can lead to a gross infection. Signs of infection include red streaks or oozing pus.
The great news is your skin will most likely heal, but real damage has been done. Repeat sunburns put you at a higher risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging (NOOOOO!!!). Remember how bad your sunburn felt, then commit to protecting your skin from the sun every single day, all year long.