Sunburn itch is a common and uncomfortable symptom of sunburn that can occur one to three days after exposure. It is caused by inflammation and damage to the top layer of the skin, which contains many sensitive nerve endings. Sunburn itch can range from mild to severe, and in some rare cases, it can be unbearable and known as hell’s itch or suicide itch. How to Stop Sunburn Itch. In this article, we will discuss How to Stop Sunburn Itch and how to use a Cool Compress.
Fortunately, there are some simple and effective ways to soothe sunburn itch and prevent further complications. Here are some tips to relieve sunburn itch fast.
Use a Cool Compress
As with any burn, it is helpful to cool down sunburned skin as soon as possible to help reduce inflammation and itching. You can make a cool compress by putting a few ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapping it in a soft cloth, and holding it to the sunburned area. Make sure to avoid putting ice directly on your skin, as this can cause more damage.
Take a Cool Shower or Bath
You can also take a cool shower or bath to cool down your skin, but make sure not to stay in the water for too long, as this can dry it out. This is because the water can remove the protective oils on your skin’s surface that help to trap moisture. In the shower, be sure to avoid harsh, oil-stripping soaps, as these can cause more skin irritation.
Instead, try shower products made with oatmeal, which can help soothe itching. You can also try soaking in a cool or lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal, which helps moisturize and calm inflamed skin.
One important step to soothing sunburned, itchy skin is to keep it moisturized since dry skin can increase itchiness. Moisturizer even “brings down inflammation and helps skin repair”.
Make sure to use a fragrance-free moisturizer that contains hydrating and calming ingredients, like ceramides, oat extract, aloe vera, and vitamin E (as long as you have no known allergies or sensitivities to them). Avoid petroleum- or oil-based products, as they can trap heat in the skin.
You can also try the “soak and smear” technique. Simply apply your body lotion to damp skin after soaking in a cool bath for 10 to 20 minutes to lock moisture into the skin.
Apply Hydrocortisone Cream
Applying an over-the-counter topical steroid, like 1 per cent hydrocortisone cream, can help reduce inflammation and soothe sunburn itch. You can apply it up to four times a day for up to two weeks. However, avoid using it on your face or genitals unless directed by your doctor.
Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Taking oral anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation from sunburn itch. However, make sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label and consult your doctor before taking them if you have any medical conditions or allergies.
Taking oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine, can help block the histamine receptors that cause itching. However, be aware that some antihistamines can cause drowsiness or other side effects. Make sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label and consult your doctor before taking them if you have any medical conditions or allergies.
Scratching a sunburn is not only painful but can also increase your risk of infection and scarring. Scratching also worsens the itch by causing more inflammation and damage to the skin. Therefore, resist the urge to scratch and use the above remedies instead.
If you have severe itching that does not respond to these treatments or lasts longer than two weeks, you may have a hell’s itch or another condition that requires medical attention. In that case, see your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.