Consumer Reports

Got a sunburn? Here's how to handle it

Consumer Reports

Fun in the sun can come to a screeching, or scorching halt with a nasty sunburn. If you've ever gotten one you'll know how unpleasant they are - but there is some good news- Consumer Reports has some tips you can use to help alleviate those sunburn pains.

Getting a sunburn is never fun. Your skin feels like it's on fire and anything that touches you hurts, not to mention the potential long-term health effects -- like aging your skin and the risk of skin cancer.

Preventing sunburns should be priority one, by wearing sunscreen and covering up. But for those times you may have forgotten to apply sunscreen or even re-apply after a swim or working out and ended up getting a wicked burn - there are things you can do to help relieve the discomfort.

Like taking frequent cool baths or showers. Pat your skin dry, don't run the towel over your skin. You'll want to leave your skin a little damp and then apply moisturizer.

Look for moisturizers that contain aloe vera or soy.

Since getting burned inflames the skin, taking an anti-inflammatory like aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and alleviate any discomfort.

Be sure to also keep hydrated, even drinking more water than you usually do.

If your skin blisters, don't pop or peel them. Allow them to heal.

If your burn is severe, be sure to see a doctor, especially if you feel unwell, have chills, a fever, or nausea.

After the burn, if you go outside, cover up by wearing clothes that cover the burned areas and stay in the shade as much as possible.

And to help prevent getting a sunburn in the first place - wear sunscreen! A top-performing sunscreen with a perfect score that's also a Consumer Reports Smart Buy -- Coppertone Water Babies Lotion SPF 50 - and despite its name, can be used by adults as well.

Be sure to use a teaspoon per body part or area that's not covered up with clothing.

If you're using a spray, hold the nozzle about an inch from your skin and spray until your skin glistens, then rub it in.

And for all types of sunscreens, reapply every two hours and after swimming.

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