Can someone explain to me how to stop sunburn itch? If this sounds familiar to you, then you have come to the right place. We’ll not only highlight common remedies but also give you an insight into the options available to alleviate associated pain.
How to stop sunburn Itch or what stops it?
How to stop sunburn itch is a common concern amongst our readers and it is not hard to see why; it can make you pretty uncomfortable and affect your overall productivity. Luckily, there are numerous options available to stop the itching including:
1. Topical creams
Thee itching often responds well to treatment with 1% hydrocortisone creams which are available over the counter in local drugstores. These creams also help to relieve pain and inflammation. It is however very important that you follow the directions given to the letter.
According to the WebMD website, such creams should not be applied to the vaginal and rectal area.
Soaking in an oatmeal bath is also a great remedy for sunburn itching. Simply pour a cup or two of oatmeal into your bathing water and soak in it for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can purchase a colloidal oatmeal bath powder such as Aveeno at a drugstore.
Vinegar is also beneficial to sunburn itching. The acetic acid in vinegar helps to balance skin’s pH. Vinegar should however not be used on areas of skin with abrasions e.g. an area that was recently shaved. It should also not be applied on blisters.
Since vinegar is usually very acidic, it is also important to dilute it with water before applying it to the skin. A good approach is to add a couple cups of vinegar into your bathing water and then soaking in the tub for 15-20 minutes.
For smaller areas of skin, you can dilute vinegar with water in the ration f 1:1 e.g. ½ glass water to ½ glass vinegar, and then use a small washcloth to apply it to your skin.
4. Oral antihistamines
Over-the-counter oral antihistamines the likes of Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton can as well offer relief from this itching. These should however not be administered children unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
5. Calamine lotion
Applying calamine lotion is also beneficial to sunburn itching and also helps to dry oozing blisters.
6. Wear appropriate clothing
Your choice of clothing is critical to reducing further skin irritation. Ideally, you should wear loose-fitting cotton clothing.
7. Avoid further exposure
More UV damage can make the skin drier and worsen the sunburn, ultimately leading to more itching. So, stay out of the sun and slather on a good sunscreen with as close to SPF30 as possible if you have to go outdoors.
Whatever remedy or combination of remedies you choose to use to treat sunburn itch and related symptoms, keep in mind that prevention is always the best remedy.
As a matter of fact, the damage caused to the skin is permanent and it is in your skin’s best interest that you prevent future incidents by protecting your skin (sunscreen is your best friend).
For fast results
What should I apply on a sunburn to soothe the itch fast? This is a question asked to us the other day by one of our valued readers. Your best bet for speedy relief of sunburn would be a baking soda, oatmeal, or apple cider vinegar bath followed by moisturizing with calamine lotion.
If that doesn’t seem to help, you may want to try an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream.
Stop the pain
Sunburned skin usually feels sore to touch and can make changing your clothes a moment of agony. Luckily there are a number of remedies available to relieve you of the pain and inflammation. Here is how to stop sunburn pain:
1. Keep cool and hydrated
The pain and inflammation respond well to keep the skin cool with cool soaks (or cool showers), followed by moisturizing with a good water-based moisturizing lotion.
Cool soaks entail cooling your skin with a washcloth soaked in cool (never ice) water for 15-20 minutes a number of times daily. This draws out the heat retained in the skin and alleviate pain while promoting healing.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a fantastic home remedy for sunburn inflammation and pain. This African succulent plant contains natural ingredients that soothe the skin and keep it moisturized while at the same time promoting healing.
Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to prove the efficacy of aloe vera and existing scientific evidence shows aloe vera being so effective in promoting the healing of burns (including those from the extreme sunshine) that it is now used in hospitals to treat patients with burns.
An effective, yet cost-effective approach is to split a fresh leaf from an aloe vera plant into two along the length and apply the juice directly onto the site affected but if that is not an option to you, you can always use an over the counter aloe vera gel or an aloe vera containing lotion.
3. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs
Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and aspirin (Bayern) can also help to stop sunburn pain. Although acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a commonly used pain reliever, it only relieves pain but does not help the inflammation often associated with this condition.
Potato juice also helps to get the pain out of the sunburned skin. Simply blend some clean potatoes that have been sliced into small pieces and apply the resulting paste to the skin. Once dry rinse with cool water.
5. Topical 1% hydrocortisone creams
Topical 1% hydrocortisone creams also help to reduce associated pain. They are sold over-the-counter in local pharmacies (drugstores).
More ore extra remedies
Here are even more remedies that you may want to incorporate into your treatment regime:
1. Baking soda
Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate if you like) is as well a great intervention for sunburn itching. Simply add a few tablespoons of baking soda into bathing water and once through, allow the skin to air dry as opposed to drying it with a towel.
In case you use a bathtub, don’t soak for more than 20 minutes lest you risk ending up with an even drier skin which may then exacerbate the itch.
Splashing some cornstarch on affected areas of skin can also help to relieve itching.
Vinegar including white
The question, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, often arises in online forums in the comments section of our website. Well, dilute white vinegar will take the itch out but apple cider vinegar is the best option.
The soothing effect of peppermint oil makes it one of the remedies available to relieve sunburn itch. Using peppermint oil relief option is as easy as applying the oil all over the sunburned area of skin several times daily.
You should, however, ensure that peppermint oil doesn’t come into contact with your eyes.
You can buy peppermint oil in health food stores. Some drugstores also stock peppermint oil. Just be keen to ensure that peppermint extract is not what you go home with.