There’s nothing fun about a sunburn, especially one that causes itchiness and peeling. Unfortunately, these symptoms are difficult to avoid if you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun without proper UV protection. At this point, prevention is no longer an option, so the next best approach is to help your skin heal and up your sunscreen use next time. If you’re struggling to find relief from an uncomfortable, itchy sunburn, take a look at these tips to calm and soothe your skin.
What Causes an Itchy Sunburn?
Sunburn happens when the skin is exposed to UV rays, whether from natural sunlight or indoor tanning beds. This UV light causes permanent damage to skin cells, as well as depletes your skin of its water content. As a result, the topmost layer of damaged skin will begin to peel away, revealing a new layer underneath. This process often creates an itchy sensation, in addition to the warm, uncomfortable feelings that are also often associated with a sunburn. In some cases, a severe, almost unbearable sunburn itch known as “hell’s itch” can occur. While we still don’t know exactly what causes this condition, an estimated 5 to 10 percent of people experience hell’s itch at some point in their lives . Some people describe this severe sunburn itch as feeling like ants are crawling over their skin, or even throbbing itching that might last for days at a time. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms like these, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about using oral or topical medications that can help to reduce pain.
How to Calm Sunburn Symptoms
If you’re dealing with an itchy sunburn and skin that is tight and warm to the touch, there are a number of steps you can take to help make yourself more comfortable and speed up the skin’s healing process:
- Cool your skin. Applying a cold compress or taking a cool shower can help to relieve itchiness and discomfort due to a sunburn. While some sources suggest that taking a hot shower can help with hell’s itch, this is not recommended. Hot showers and baths can dehydrate the skin even more, which can make itching and other symptoms even worse .
- Don’t scratch. While it’s tempting to scratch an itchy sunburn, this is only going to prolong your skin’s healing process and could make you more susceptible to infection.
- Moisturize. Because your skin has been depleted of much of its water content, properly moisturizing your skin is one of the best things you can do to help get over a sunburn. You’ll want to use a moisturizing lotion that contains amino acids, as these ingredients are vital components of your skin’s natural moisturizing factor, and have also been shown to aid in the wound healing process . AminoGenesis HEFF is an excellent option, as this effective amino acid moisturizing cream is able to hold up to even the toughest of skin conditions, including sunburns and other irritating skin injuries.
- Drink plenty of water. In addition to replenishing your skin’s water content using an amino acid moisturizer, you can also rehydrate your entire body by making sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
- Avoid further sun exposure. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your skin while it’s healing from a sunburn. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen if you’re going to be outside, but it’s best to give your skin a break from the sun altogether while it’s healing.
While taking steps to prevent a sunburn is the most effective way to keep your skin healthy and looking its best all summer long, if you do find yourself with an itchy, uncomfortable sunburn, follow the steps listed above for rapid relief and a fast-track to healing. For even more skin care tips and tricks, and to get access to exclusive deals and offers on AminoGenesis products, be sure to sign up to become an AminoGenesis Insider today!