Sunburns – How to Limit the Damage

Okay…… so you just forgot, or got caught out longer than you meant to. Or, in the case of my 15-year old son, maybe you missed a big spot. Now what?

Can you help a sunburn to heal faster? To some extent yes. Here are some tricks.

  • Start taking your NSAID of choice (like ibuprofen) right away – the anti-inflammatory effect will limit the discomfort and the redness.
  • Ice it if it feels hot!
  • You must cover it up – sunscreens are not adequate in this situation.
  • Use over-the-counter hydrocortisone on it 3-4 times a day for 3 days – also an anti-inflammatory.
  • If you have Biafine (prescription cream anti-inflammatory), use that too.
  • After the first 3 days, just protect it from all sun (clothing again) and lube with a lot of moisturizer.
Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!