Sunburn help: Should you have a hot or cold shower for sunburn? Does coconut oil help?

Now Spring has sprung hotter and sunnier days are forecast, making it easier for people to get sunburnt. As sunburn can increase your risk of skin cancer, it’s really important to protect your skin with sunscreen and stay out of direct sunlight to avoid burning. But if you do get sunburn, what are the best ways to treat it?

Should you have a hot or cold shower for sunburn?

Although some people believe a hot shower can help relieve sunburn, experts do not endorse this.

To relieve sunburn, the NHS recommends having a cool bath or shower.

You can also use a cool damp cloth on the affected area.

The NHS states if your baby or child has sunburn, it’s important to take care not to let them get too cold.


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Does coconut oil help cure sunburn?

Coconut oil is frequently cited as a good natural remedy for sunburn.

However, the evidence to support coconut oil as a cure to sunburn is largely anecdotal, and there is little scientific research to prove its benefits.

The NHS website states a number of ways you can treat sunburn at home, including applying an aftersun cream or spray, such as aloe vera.

You should also drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration.

To relieve any pain, you can use painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

You should also get out of the sun as soon as possible if you are burning, and cover any sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until it has completely healed.


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As noted above, you can also cool your skin with a cool shower, bath or damp towel.

The NHS also recommends you avoid certain things when treating sunburn at home.

You shouldn’t use petroleum jelly, ice or ice packs on sunburnt skin.

If your sunburn blisters, you shouldn’t try to pop these, and you should avoid trying to scratch or peel sunburnt skin.

You should also avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes while your skin is burnt.

You can speak to a pharmacist about the best treatments available for sunburn.

You should contact your GP or NHS 111 if your skin is blistered or swollen, your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery.

You should also seek medical attention if you feel very tired, dizzy and sick, have a headache and muscle cramps, or your baby or young child has sunburn.

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