backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor

How to Treat Sunburn Fast: 5 Things to Remember

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jan 22, 2023

How to Treat Sunburn Fast: 5 Things to Remember

Whether it’s at the beach, at the park, or just walking around outside, sunburn is one of the most common types of skin damage. Because of this, it is important to know how to treat sunburn fast in order to help it heal faster, and prevent infection.

How to Treat Sunburn Fast: 5 Ways

Being a tropical country, it’s not uncommon for people in the Philippines to be familiar with sunburn. However, there are a lot of so-called remedies that can actually do more harm than good! This includes using toothpaste, ice, or even butter to soothe the sunburn.

Instead, make sure to follow these 5 important reminders on how to treat sunburn fast and effectively:

1. Get out of the sun fast

The first thing to do is to get out of the sun. The longer you stay directly under the sun, the worse your sunburn gets.

As much as possible, try to stay indoors and not just under an umbrella or in a shaded area. This is because indirect heat from the sun can still cause sunburn, and staying indoors can help block this indirect heat.

If that’s not possible, you can cover your skin lightly with a cloth to block out the sun.

2. Cool the skin

Another important thing you need to do is to cool the skin. You can do this by taking a cool bath (don’t scrub your sunburnt skin!) or soaking a towel in water and using that to cover your skin.

Avoid putting an ice pack or ice directly on your skin, as this might do more harm than good. This is because placing ice directly on sunburnt skin can potentially cause frostbite and further damage your skin.

Instead, you can use ice to cool down some water and use the cold water on your skin instead.

3. Apply a soothing lotion or gel

It’s always a good idea to keep a soothing lotion or gel handy whenever you’re going out in the sun. These gels and lotions are available in most drugstores and are very useful when it comes to soothing and treating sunburn.

Simply apply the soothing lotion or gel to your skin, and let it do its thing. In a pinch, using aloe vera gel can also have a cooling effect on your skin.

Calamine lotion also has a similar effect, so you can use that if you don’t have a lotion or gel for sunburn.

4. Don’t pop any blisters

If you get sunburnt and develop blisters on your skin, don’t pop them. This is because once you pop a blister, you are opening up your skin to possible infection.

In case you do accidentally pop a blister, make sure to disinfect the entire area as soon as possible. You can also cover the area loosely with gauze to help protect it from infection.

5. Don’t peel the skin

You might also notice that after having a sunburn, your skin starts to peel. While it might be tempting to hasten the process by peeling your skin, this is not a good idea.

This is essentially your body’s way dealing with the damaged skin. Peeling it off prematurely or even exfoliating your skin can be painful, and it can inhibit the healing process.

If it feels itchy, you can use a moisturizing cream to help soothe the itching. Be sure to use a water-based cream, and avoid using oil or petroleum-based lotions as these can do more harm than good. The oil content may further harbor heat  and delay healing in the affected area.

Key Takeaways

Treating sunburn is relatively straightforward. So long as there’s no serious burns or scalds, it can easily be treated at home using the tips above.

However, if it seems that the sunburn is more serious, visit the doctor. They can help with treatment, and making sure that the sunburned skin recovers fully.

Learn more about First Aid here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jan 22, 2023

ad iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

ad iconadvertisement
ad iconadvertisement