Tips for Soothing A Sunburn Itch

For some people, a sunburn is a marking that symbolizes the summer and fun in the sun, but for others, a sunburn is the cause behind a dreaded condition known as “sunburn itch.” This is a term that is used to describe the irritating itching feeling that accompanies a fresh sunburn and can last for days if it is not treated. If you have suffered from this condition before then you’ve probably heard the same old advice; to simply ignore the itching sensation and to stay out of the sun. This is fine advice, but it isn’t always practical for those of us who are afflicted by the true sunburn itch condition, which causes a deep feeling of intense itchiness. Keep reading to learn about a few things that you can do to sooth sunburn itch and speed up the sunburn healing process in general.

Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is one of the best things that you can put on your sunburn. Aloe vera gel is soothing to dry and damaged skin, primarily because it invokes a cooling sensation on the skin, which encourages the release of heat that has been trapped inside the skin. Aloe vera also contains naturally occurring antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Both of these traits are important when dealing with a sunburn because inflammation can trigger sunburn itch, swelling, redness, and discomfort. The antibacterial properties in aloe vera are especially handy if you haven’t been able to suppress the urge to scratch your skin and have caused open sores or blisters to develop on your skin. The gel will work as a barrier against infectious bacteria and can even help to clean the area of any existing bacteria that may have found its way to the skin. Aloe vera gel can be applied as much as you want, so feel free to smooth on a thick coating of the gel onto your sunburned skin and lay back as it begins to work its magic. For the first initial moment you may feel the itchiness increase; however this is short lived and soon you will feel significant relief from the itchiness that you had before using aloe vera.

Increase Circulation to the Area

One of the possible causes behind sunburn itch is the lack of circulation in the damaged skin. Itching can be the body’s way of sending out a signal that all is not well. In order to get the blood flowing a bit better you can do a bit of total-body stretches—but avoid things that will get your blood pumping so much that you breathe heavily or become tired. If your sunburn is mild enough that you can touch the skin without sever pain then you could also use your hands to massage the skin, which will encourage blood flow to the area. This task can be made easier if you use aloe vera gel as a sort of lubricant against the skin to prevent your hands from tugging on the damaged skin. Ibuprofen tablets, such as Aleve or Motrin name brands, can be used to improve circulation as well as cut back on any inflammation that you may be dealing with.

Soak in a Tea Bath

Although this may sound like an odd remedy, it’s actually quite a good way to soothe sunburn itch and get your skin on the right track for healing. Tea—as you would purchase in everyday tea bags from the store—contains two elements that are good for skin healing: tannin and caffeine. These elements work to reduce the swelling that can cause tightness and discomfort and they also provide a general soothing feeling to the skin without drying it out. To do this treatment, just pop about six to ten orange pekoe tea bags into your bath water and allow them to sit for a while until the water has turned the color of very light tea. Soak in the bath for about 10 minutes to allow your skin to really absorb the healing properties of the tea.

Hydrocortisone Cream

For some, sunburn itch is caused by a rare allergy to the rays produced by sunlight. In this case, the itching sensation can actually be a side effect of an allergic reaction. The best way to get rid of sunburn rash associated with an allergy is to break out the hydrocortisone cream and apply a thin layer to your skin. Try not to put too much hydrocortisone on your skin as it could clog your pores and keep the heat trapped within your skin due to its greasy consistency.

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Of course, you’ve probably been told a thousand times that dry skin can lead to itchiness but we tend to forget just how drying a sunburn can be for the skin. When choosing items to moisturize your skin, be sure to avoid anything that is greasy or too thick to be easily and quickly absorbed by your skin, as it could cause heat retention which can lead to further skin damage. Try using gentle products that are specifically designed for sensitive or sunburned skin. Never put Vaseline on your skin unless you are told differently by a medical professional. You can also keep your skin moisturized by applying cool compresses to the affected area and to run a cool mist humidifier in your room while you sleep. Vitamin E capsules and plenty of water are great for encourage moisture retention from the inside of the body out.