Best Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief: Soothe Your Pain and Inflammation Naturally

Published on

Disclaimer: We assess fitness products through an unbiased, multi-step process. If you decide to buy something using the links we provide, we might receive a commission. Check out our disclaimer page for more information.


When you have a sunburn, you don’t want to suffer for days. Even mild sunburns can cause redness, pain, and inflammation. You may also experience itching as your skin heals, especially if it peels off.

Fortunately, there are ways to relieve the pain and itch of a sunburn right at home or with a quick trip to the store. In this guide we are going to take a look at tips to help you get sunburn relief fast.

Home remedies for sunburn & lifestyle

Home remedies for sunburn pain are all around you. From soothing your skin to making yourself comfortable, there are many things you can do to relieve sunburn pain with everyday items you probably already have at home.

However, it’s important to test any topical remedy on a small area of your skin first to make sure you’re not allergic to it. This will help to safeguard your health and prevent further irritation.

Cool baths or showers

Hydrotherapy, such as brief baths, showers, and towel compresses, can help to cool down and hydrate sunburned skin. The water should be cool to lukewarm, as hot water can strip the skin’s natural oils and make the pain worse. Avoid using soap, as it can also be drying and irritating.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) after a bath or shower, pat your skin dry with a soft towel, but don’t completely dry it. Apply a moisturizer to trap the remaining water in your skin and prevent it from drying out further.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera is a plant native to Africa. The long green leaves contain aloe gel, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and speed up the body’s regeneration of damaged skin. It also moisturizes the skin and may help prevent peeling. Aloe vera has been used for centuries as a folk or home remedy to soothe burned skin and help heal wounds.

Pure aloe vera gel is available at many drugstores and health food stores. You can also use the gel directly from the plant. To do this, cut off a spear of aloe vera, split it open, and rub the clear gel from the inside of the leaf onto your skin. (Avoid the sticky yellow part.) To make the gel extra soothing, you can put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before applying it.

Note: Aloe vera gel and other home remedies should not be used to treat severe burns or wounds. These should be evaluated and treated by a medical professional.

Topical vinegar

Vinegar is a popular home remedy for sunburn, but there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. Some people claim that vinegar can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and peeling, but there is no research to back up these claims.

Vinegar is acidic, and if it is not diluted properly, it can cause chemical burns. Some people recommend using equal parts vinegar and water, but this is also not based on scientific evidence. If you do decide to try using vinegar to treat a sunburn, it is important to use caution and to dilute the vinegar thoroughly.

Here are some suggested methods of using vinegar diluted with water to soothe a sunburn:

  • Putting it in a spray bottle and periodically spritzing your skin: You can put the vinegar and water mixture in a spray bottle and spritz your sunburned skin every few hours. This will help to cool the skin and reduce pain.
  • Soaking washcloths in it and placing them on your skin: You can also soak washcloths in the vinegar and water mixture and apply them to your sunburned skin. This will help to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.
  • Taking a bath in it: You can also add a few tablespoons of vinegar to a bath and soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes. This will help to cool the skin and reduce pain.

Baking soda baths

Baking soda is another popular home remedy for sunburn, but there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. Some people claim that baking soda can help to reduce inflammation, itching, and peeling, but there is no research to back up these claims.

Baking soda is a base, and it is not acidic. This means that it is not likely to cause chemical burns if it is not diluted properly. However, there is no evidence to suggest that baking soda is any more effective than plain water at soothing a sunburn.

Some people recommend mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bath. They claim that this can help to reduce inflammation and itching. Others recommend mixing baking soda with water to form a paste and applying it to the sunburned skin.

While there is some evidence that baking soda can have anti-inflammatory effects, these effects come from drinking a baking soda tonic, not topical use. There is no evidence that applying baking soda to the skin has any beneficial effects.

If you do decide to try using baking soda to treat a sunburn, it is important to use caution. There is no guarantee that it will be effective, and it could potentially irritate your skin. If you have a severe sunburn, you should seek medical attention.

Essential oils

Some essential oils may have properties that can help relieve sunburn symptoms when applied topically. However, research on essential oils is limited, and there is no guarantee that they will be effective. Some essential oils that may be beneficial for sunburns include:

  • Lavender. Known for its calming and relaxing effects, may also help reduce inflammation and pain.
    Chamomile. Another oil with calming and soothing properties, may also help reduce inflammation and itching.
  • Sandalwood. Has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties.
  • Bergamot. Has a cooling and refreshing effect.
  • Cilantro. Has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
  • Spikenard. Has been used traditionally to treat burns.
  • Peppermint. Known for its cooling and refreshing effects, may also help reduce pain and inflammation.
    Tea tree. A natural antiseptic, may help prevent infection and promote healing.

It is important to note that essential oils should always be diluted before being applied to the skin. You can dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. It is also important to test a small amount of the diluted oil on a small area of skin before applying it to a larger area.

If you have a severe sunburn, you should seek medical attention. Essential oils should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.

Oatmeal baths

Oatmeal baths have some scientific backing for their use in sunburns. Although they have not been studied specifically for sunburn pain and other symptoms, research suggests that oatmeal has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and skin-repairing properties, all of which may benefit sunburned skin. This makes it an effective bath additive for atopic dermatitis (eczema).

You can buy commercial products made for oatmeal baths or make your own at home with a blender, oats, and water. To make your own oatmeal bath, simply grind oats into a fine powder using a blender or food processor. Then, add the ground oats to a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has been shown to have numerous benefits for the skin. It is a moisturizer, an anti-inflammatory, an antimicrobial, and a skin protectant.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support the use of coconut oil for sunburns. Some dermatologists have raised concerns that coconut oil may irritate a sunburn or may trap in the heat and make it worse.

If you are considering using coconut oil for sunburn, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you assess the risks and benefits of coconut oil and recommend the best course of treatment for you.

Here are some of the studies that support the benefits of coconut oil for the skin:

Although coconut oil is often recommended as a treatment for sunburn, there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. In fact, some dermatologists have raised concerns that coconut oil may actually irritate a sunburn or trap heat, making it worse (similar to butter).

If you are considering using coconut oil on a sunburn, it is best to wait until the burn has mostly healed and use it to help moisturize your skin. This is because coconut oil has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and protect the skin.

It is important to note that coconut oil is a natural product, and it may not be suitable for everyone. If you have any concerns about using coconut oil, you should talk to your healthcare provider.

Cool bath/shower
Aloe vera gelYesNo
Baking sodaNoNo
Essential oilsYesYes
Oatmeal bathYesNo
Coconut oilYesYes


The same hot, sunny conditions that can cause sunburn can also lead to dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. This can make it harder for your body to heal from a sunburn.

A sunburn can also contribute to dehydration because it draws fluids from other tissues around your body to the skin’s surface. This can leave you feeling thirsty, lightheaded, and fatigued.

Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration:

  • Intense thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Less urine and sweat than usual
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Severe dehydration can be a medical emergency. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately:

  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Going long periods without urinating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shock (weak pulse, loss of consciousness, sweating, pale skin, cool hands and feet). Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your body does not have enough blood flow. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of shock, it is important to call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and keep your body hydrated. You can also try applying a cool compress to your sunburned skin.

Use an air mattress

Sunburns can make it difficult to sleep because of the pain. This is especially true if your bed absorbs the heat from your skin and emits it back to you. This can make your sunburn feel even worse. An alternative to consider when you have a sunburn is using an air mattress. Air mattresses tend to be cooler than traditional mattresses, which can help to keep you comfortable while you sleep.

If you do use an air mattress, be sure to cover it with a sheet to prevent your skin from sticking to the plastic. You should also use bedding made of soft, lightweight, and breathable fabrics, such as cotton. This will help to reduce your discomfort and keep your skin cool overnight.

If you do not have an air mattress, you can try adding extra layers between you and the mattress on your bed. This will help to insulate you and keep you cooler. You should also try to keep your bedroom as cool as possible. This will help to reduce the amount of heat that your body absorbs and make it easier to sleep.

Loose clothing

Clothes that fit tightly can make your sunburn worse, so wear loose-fitting clothing. You should also avoid elastic bands and scratchy fabrics. These materials can irritate your sunburned skin and make it more painful.

When choosing clothes to wear after a sunburn, it is important to choose fabrics that breathe well. This will help to prevent your skin from overheating and becoming more irritated. Lightweight, natural fabrics, such as cotton, are a good choice. These fabrics are also good at blocking UV rays, so you can still wear them outside without getting burned again.

To make sure that your clothes are tightly woven, hold them up to the light. If you can see through them, they are not tightly woven enough to provide adequate UV protection.

Protective polyphenols

Some research suggests that polyphenols, which are compounds found in plants, may help protect the skin from sunburn and damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. Polyphenols can be consumed in food or applied topically.

Some of the foods that are high in polyphenols include:

  • Green and white tea
  • Cocoa
  • Romanian propolis
  • Scotch heather (Calluna vulgaris)
  • Grape seeds
  • Honeybush
  • Peruvian ginseng/maca (Lepidium meyenii)

It is important to note that more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of polyphenols in preventing sunburn and skin damage. However, the available evidence suggests that these compounds may be a promising natural way to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Over-the-counter- therapies

If you have tried home remedies for your sunburn and they are not working, you can purchase over-the-counter products at a grocery store or pharmacy. You may want to stock up on these items before the pools open for the summer so that you have them on hand if you get burned.

Aspirin & NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can help reduce the inflammation and pain from a sunburn. Aspirin may be the best choice because animal studies suggest that it can protect the skin from sun damage that can lead to skin cancer. Taking one of these medications early can help prevent the inflammation and pain associated with a sunburn.

Itch-reducing powder

If your sunburn is itchy, you can use an itch-reducing powder to help relieve the discomfort. This powder can be applied directly to the skin, added to a bath, or used to make a cold compress.

Hydrocortisone cream

Hydrocortisone cream is a topical steroid that can help relieve the pain and itching of a sunburn. It is best to apply a small amount of cream to the affected area and rub it in gently. Do not use hydrocortisone cream on large areas of skin or on children unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider.

Things to avoid

It is important to know what not to do when you have a sunburn, as well as what to do. There are some things that you might not expect to be a problem, but they can actually make your sunburn worse.


Perfumes, colognes, and body sprays typically contain alcohol, which can dry and irritate sunburned skin. It is best to avoid using fragrances on sunburned skin. If you must wear fragrance, apply it to unburned areas in small amounts. Some fragrance ingredients may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it is best to avoid them altogether before going outside.


Soaps can strip away the natural oils that protect your skin, making it dry and irritated. If you have a sunburn, it is best to avoid using soap on the affected area. Rinsing with cool water should be sufficient for a few days. If you need to clean your skin more than that, use a gentle, fragrance-free soap or skin cleanser.

Medicines ending in -caine

Some medicated ointments and topical pain relievers contain local anesthetics that end in “-caine,” such as benzocaine or lidocaine. These products can be helpful for relieving pain from other conditions, but they are not recommended for treating sunburns. This is because they can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.

Peeling your skin/Popping blisters

After a sunburn, the damaged skin cells will begin to peel off between three and seven days. This is a natural process called apoptosis, or “cellular suicide.” The peeling skin is the result of the body’s attempt to remove the damaged cells and prevent them from becoming cancerous.

In more severe sunburns, blisters may also form. Blisters are fluid-filled sacs that protect the underlying skin from further damage. They may appear soon after the sunburn or take a few days to develop.

Both peeling skin and blisters serve a protective function. They help to keep the underlying skin moist and prevent it from being further damaged. It is important to resist the urge to peel off the skin or pop the blisters, as this can lead to infection.

Allowing the skin to heal naturally will help to prevent scarring and other complications. If you have any concerns about your sunburn, please consult with a doctor.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you have a sunburn and you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Severe blistering
  • Severe pain
  • Signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, or oozing fluid
  • Symptoms that are worsening over time

It is important to seek medical attention for a sunburn if you have any of these symptoms, as they may be signs of a more serious condition.

Is it sun poisoning?

Sun poisoning is a more severe form of sunburn that can occur when you are exposed to too much sun. It is caused by a reaction to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sun poisoning can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • Blisters, especially on the lips
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath


Sunburns can be painful and uncomfortable, and they can also increase your risk of skin cancer. While it is important to know how to treat a sunburn, it is even more important to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Here are some tips for preventing sunburns:

  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly, and reapply every two hours, or more often if you are sweating or swimming.
  • Avoid the sun’s strongest rays, which are between 10am and 4pm.
  • Seek shade when possible.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves.
  • Cover up your skin when you are in the sun, even if you are wearing sunscreen.

By following these tips, you can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and reduce your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Related Articles

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to us via this website may be placed by us on servers located in countries outside of the EU. If you

do not agree to such placement, do not provide the information.

Get our awesome newsletter

We are here to help you find the best version of yourself through our articles and guides.