7 Tips to Fix Sunburned Peeling Skin
Redness, pain and peeling skin are unmistakable signs that you have spent too much time in the sun. Peeling after a sunburn is the body’s attempt to rid itself of sun-damaged cells and protect you from premature aging and skin cancer, according to the University of Heidelberg. Unfortunately, peeling skin is also itchy and unsightly. While peeling cannot always be avoided, you can reduce the likelihood that your skin will peel by taking proper care of it immediately after sun exposure.
1. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDS
Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs such as Ibuprofen reduce sunburn pain and inflammation and decrease the risk of peeling. The Mayo Clinic states that anti-inflammatory drugs are most effective when taken very soon after sun exposure.
2. COOL IT DOWN
Take a cold bath or shower to cool your skin down. Do not use harsh soaps on sunburned skin and avoid rubbing your skin dry after bathing, as these may increase the likelihood of peeling.
Apply moisturizer to sunburned areas immediately after stepping out of the shower. Moisturizers that are specifically designed for use on sunburned skin are available in most drugstores. Most contain aloe vera to soothe the skin, reduce inflammation and help prevent peeling.
Drink extra water to encourage skin healing and prevent peeling. The Mayo Clinic states that sun exposure can cause increased fluid loss and dehydration, which makes drinking a lot of water especially important in the few first days after getting burned.
5. DON'T SCRATCH
Do not scratch your skin. Burned skin is often itchy, but scratching it will only increase tissue damage and increase the risk of peeling. If you get the urge to scratch, apply some cool aloe directly to the itchy areas, or apply an ice cube wrapped in cloth to your skin. Both should offer temporary relief.
6. IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR MORE SUNSCREEN
Slather sunscreen on your skin. Using sunscreen should already be part of your normal routine, but it is especially important when you have a sunburn. Spending time outdoors without protecting your already damaged skin will increase the risk of peeling and worsen your burn.
Things You’ll Need
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication
Moisturizer with aloe
Sunscreen, SPF 30 or greater
7. BONUS TIP BY SPA INDEX
One of the best tips for avoiding peeling sunburned skin is to avoid the sunburn in the first place. Did you know sunblock has an expiration date? Buy fresh sunblock every season (our preferred brand is CeraVe).