How to Fix Today's Inevitable Sunburn

By Gary Cutlack on at

Been outside? Warm, isn't it? At least that's what the weather forecasters are all saying today anyway, while I sit here in a cold room generating content. So here, if you've been caught out by the sun and currently have arms as pink as a Disney character's chuff, are some of the best common sunburn remedies, as used by housewives and recommended by pharmaceutical giants for generations.

The good old NHS doesn't bother with the homemade recipes at all though, it instead concentrates on the sensible first steps to take -- cooling the skin with cold water. Sponge yourself down, you idiot, if your shoulders are all suddenly pink. Do it now, in the work toilets. It also suggests putting reliable old Vaseline or other water-based, chocolate flavour lubes you may have knocking about in the bedside cabinet on the burnt bits, as these lock in moisture and stop the skin drying out.

If you've really taken it too far, hydrocortisone cream from the GP might be called for, but steer clear of anything with alcohol in as that'll make everything dryer and worse.

As for DIY remedies, one of the most common burn healing solution is said to be colloidal oatmeal. Basically a posh porridge bath made with finely ground oats, this should soothe the skin thanks to the polysaccharides in the oats making that same slimy layer over your body as they do in the porridge pan -- but don't soak for too long or it'll end up drying out the skin yet more.

Vinegar is also recommended, as is milk, plain yogurt, and various other things you might have in the cupboard or fridge, but then again most cold liquids will probably do the job, and there's not exactly a huge pile of evidence for the medicinal properties of vinegar. It smells odd so is probably good. Yogurt has bacteria in it, so is probably good. A lot of it's guesswork.

Cocoa butter is said to be good too, pale people say, as is popping a common anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, as this heal-all painkiller is good at reducing all kinds of stresses on the body.

Basically raid the fridge and tip it all over yourself like you're in 9½ Weeks and sit on the internet for a couple of days and drink lots of water, and you'll be back to normal and moaning about it always being too cold again in no time.

Image credit: Sunburn from Shutterstock