If you are sunburned, you will be anxious to relieve the intense burning as soon as possible. An easy homemade remedy for mild burns includes cold compresses that use a mix of equal parts milk and water. Another common home-treatment is to apply a cream or an aloe lotion, a few varieties of which should be available at any drugstore.
Don't use a lotion with a topical anesthetic, however, as these can cause an allergic reaction on sensitive skin. Also, do not use an ointment that might prevent air from getting to the skin, which will only delay natural healing.
A plain cool bath could also relieve the burning. It's best to not include soap or salts, etc. Your skin is very sensitive after a burn and these substances will likely sting. And be sure to draw the bath with cool water -- not cold. Likewise, it's good to drink cool -- not cold -- water. You'll need to stay hydrated, but cold water can promote chills. After a bath, be gentle when drying the affected skin: Use soft towels and pat dry.
Another option is silver sulfadiazine, which is a topical cream that treats and prevents infection for burned skin. Taking a painkiller or anti-inflammatory drug can help, too. Painkillers include things like acetaminophen (Tylenol), and a common anti-inflammatory is ibuprofen (Advil). Taking these early will help in particular. If you do see a doctor, he or she may prescribe stronger painkiller medication instead.
And, if you go to the hospital for dehydration, they will likely give you IV fluids. Going to the hospital might be a matter of life and death. It isn't common, but sun poisoning has been known to lead to death. Repeated sunburns or sun poisoning can also cause death later in life due to skin cancer. Read on to the next page to learn more about these dangers as well as the best ways to prevent sun poisoning.