Summer is here and we’re spending more time outdoors than ever, which means we should be paying extra attention to our sunscreen game. But accidents happen, and so do sunburns. In the case that you get one, you’d better know which sunburn remedies work best (and which don’t work at all).
The internet is saturated with DIY sunburn remedies (mayonnaise and sour cream are a couple rumored options), so in order to determine what actually works, we tapped two board-certified dermatologists to break down the best (and worst!) sunscreen cures that will cool and soothe burned skin, and speed up the healing process altogether.
From over-the-counter products to cow manure (yes, really), here are all the sunburn dos and don’ts to keep in mind next time you get a little too toasty.
Take NSAIDs as needed.
To reduce any inflammation and discomfort associated with a sunburn, dermatologist Dr. Kemunto Mokaya advised taking pain relievers within the NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) family.
These include ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin, she explained, which can easily be found at your local grocery or drug store.
“NSAIDs work best for sunburns when they are taken immediately after it occurs,” she told HuffPost. “However, some people have medical conditions (kidney problems) that limit their ability to take NSAIDs. This makes it important to share any medical underlying conditions with your physician first, before you proceed to take any NSAIDS at all.”
Apply cold milk to your skin.
Yep, this old wives’ tale actually has merit, as Mokaya said that the proteins inside cold milk can help soothe inflamed and sunburned skin.
Similarly, dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse suggested that cold milk also contains lactic acid, which can help buff away any peeling or flaking skin associated with your burn.
“The lactic acid inside milk can help mildly exfoliate the peeling skin caused by sunburn, especially as the burn sheds and...