Consumer Reports: Treating sunburn

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Consumer Reports has some tips to help you soothe your burning skin and make your recovery more bearable. (WLS)

If you're planning a trip to the pool or the beach this summer, don't forget your sunscreen and remember to reapply regularly. But if you still end up a sunburn, Consumer Reports has some tips to help you soothe your burning skin and make your recovery more bearable.

It started off as the perfect beach day, but maybe you forgot to reapply your sunscreen, or you missed some spots. However it happened, now you've got a sunburn!

While there's nothing that can undo the damage, Consumer Reports suggests some steps you can take to make the sunburn look and feel a bit better while it heals.

A cool or lukewarm shower can help take some of the heat out of sunburned skin.

As soon as you get out of the shower or bath, while skin is still damp, apply some moisturizing lotion, especially if it contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that helps bind water to the skin.

Aloe could work too.

"Applying the plant's pulp to the sunburned area helps hydrate the skin and calm the inflammation," said Consumer Reports Health Editor Trisha Calvo.

And if the pain is hard to bear, you can take aspirin or ibuprofen.

Also, resist the urge to peel your skin or burst any blisters.

"Exposing the affected skin increases the risk of an infection. If a blister bursts on its own, you can use a topical antibiotic, like bacitracin," Calvo said.

If you reached the water with sunscreen in hand, don't forget to apply it regularly if you plan to stay under the sun for a long time. Just one application is not enough to avoid getting sunburned.

For a more immediate relief, try a cold compress or even apply a thin layer of cold plain yogurt. If you develop blisters be sure to see your doctor.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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