NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Lots of people will be hitting the beach for the holiday, and some may be soaking up a little bit too much sun.
Even after years of telling people to use sunscreen, sunburns still seem to be pretty common.
So how to cool the burn? Here’s a few things that may surprise you.
First, aspirin or ibuprofen not only ease the pain, they also cut the inflammation that’s a hallmark of a sunburn. But remember, no aspirin for children.
Another anti-inflammatory for sunburns is cortisone cream as long as you don’t use it over too much body area.
Cool water or green tea compresses also ease the burn and soothe the skin.
Then there’s something you might already have in the refrigerator.
“You could use milk compresses. If you’re going to use milk it’s better to use full fat milk,” dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman said. “A lot of people drink skim milk but the fat is very good. It’s very soothing to the skin so that’s very important.”
You could use yogurt. Greek yogurt is very good because it also has a lot of fat content so it’s very soothing as well.
A poultice of baking soda in cool water is soothing because the pH level is similar to skin.
Aloe vera gel is healing, but avoid those with fragrance that can irritate the skin.
Even though it sounds like a good idea, ice is a big no-no.
“That’s the worst thing you could do because then you’re putting a cold burn on top of a hot burn,” Dr. Jaliman said.
Likewise, avoid creams with local anesthetics.
“While it may feel good, they tend to sensitize people and we’ve seen severe allergic reactions from that,” Dr. Jaliman said.
CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported that it’s also good to avoid butter or petroleum jelly on a sunburn, noting both keep the heat in the skin.
Instead, use lots of light moisturizer to soothe the skin. If you start to feel dizzy or weak, or develop fever and chills, it’s best to go see a doctor.