Follow this step-to-step guide to tackle the sunburn:
STEP 1 Cool the burnt skin: First thing to do after your skin gets burnt is to cool it, by cold compress. Dip piece of cloth preferably muslin in cold water and put it on burnt area. Sitting under the fan might accelerate the cooling of your skin and reduce the sensation of pain and burning. You can repeat cold compresses if needed. Meanwhile, keep a cream in refrigerator to cool.
STEP 2 Moisturise your skin: The cold compresses and sunburn shrivels your skin off water, so apply cooled soothing aloe vera based or any lightweight cream on the burnt area. Avoid thick creams, oils, ointments, petrolatum jelly etc. because they might act as insulators preventing the heat loss. Keep on moisturising until the peeling of skin stops and the skin appears normal.
STEP 3 Take pain killer: It is better to take a tablet of Paracetamol or other painkillers after eating your meal, even if the burn is not that severe. This will not only reduce discomfort but also halt the inflammatory process in your skin. Repeat after 8 hours after taking meal until the pain subsides.
STEP 4 Apply Hydrocortisone: Use it especially if the redness refuses to settle with above measures, and keep in mind the steroid will work in earlier stage of sunburn only. There is no role of steroid or Paracetamol once the redness is gone and peeing begins.
STEP 5 Do not burst open blisters: Blisters might appear in case of severe sunburn, all the measures should be taken to keep them intact and get them drained preferably from a medic. Any raw area formed after bursting of blister should be covered with antibiotic cream. Avoid Detol or spirit or any other antiseptic because it might irritate the sensitive skin further.
STEP 6 Seek medical help: This should be done immediately if extensive area of skin gets sunburnt or if symptoms of dehydration or heat exhaustion are evident. Any sunburn that does not settle despite taking above measure needs medical opinion as well.
STEP 7 Stay hydrated: Drink liquids may it be plain water, coconut water, juices, smoothies.
STEP 8 Take rest: Severe Sunburn can take a toll on your body, give yourself a rest in cool place for a day or so.
STEP 9 Avoid any harsh chemicals on sunburn: Avoid anything more that cold water and mild cleanser on the sunburn; do not experiment around with any home remedy suggested by your friend without doing patch test.
STEP 10 Protect the burnt skin: Ensure that the sunburnt skin does not see sun for another 2-4 weeks. This will not only promote healing but also reduce the chance of getting pigmentation after healing of this area. We recommend covering up the area with thick cloth if possible or else use a physical sunscreen generously to cover up. For obvious reasons, avoid any kind of harsh chemicals or overzeolous procedures to aid peeeling of burnt skin like facials, bleach, toners, hair removal, waxing, peels etc.