These sunburn remedies might be a little unorthodox, but consider giving them a try the next time your burnt skin twinges.
Soak in milk
“Soaking in milk will have a drawing effect on a burn—it’s due to the pH, fat, and cold temperatures,” says Francesca Fusco, MD of Wexler Dermatology in New York City. If you don’t have enough milk handy to fill up an entire basin, simply soak a washcloth in a bowl of cool milk, then gently lay the milky compresses on the burnt areas of your body. The milk will help create a protein film along your skin that reduces heat, pain, and sensitivity. Want to avoid getting sunburned in the first place? Avoid these common sunblock mistakes.
Refrigerate a tub of Vaseline
“When you have a sunburn, it is important to keep your skin well-hydrated and moisturized, as it will improve the pain and accelerate the healing process,” says Samer Jaber, MD of Washington Square Dermatology in New York City. “A great trick is putting Vaseline in the refrigerator for a few minutes so it goes on cold. The cold will soothe your sunburn, and the Vaseline will help restore your skin barrier, improving the healing process.” Find out the sunscreen myths that make dermatologists cringe.
Take an oatmeal bath
One of the worst side effects of a bad sunburn is the insatiable urge to itch peeling skin. Drawing a lukewarm bath is just one of the many sunburn remedies that can quell the itch and soothe the burn. Add at least one cup of finely ground oats to the bath water and use your hand to swirl the water and evenly distribute the oatmeal. Then soak your body for 15 to 20 minutes. “Oatmeal is a humectant, meaning it helps moisturize skin, and it contains inflammation-quelling compounds,” Ranella Hirsch, MD, a Boston-based dermatologist, told Prevention. You’ll enjoy the itching relief so much that you’ll probably want to repeat this oatmeal bath a few times a day. Here’s more about how to treat a burn—sun-induced or otherwise—using oats.