ZocdocAnswersWhat should you put on a sunburn?

Question

What should you put on a sunburn?

I've never really had a bad sunburn but got one on my shoulders and back two days ago. It is very painful and it's blistering. What should I put on it to make it go away fast?

Answer

I highly recommend that you get in to see your primary care doctor about your sunburn as soon as possible. Simple sunburns, where there is just redness and pain of the skin, can often be managed with just over the counter soothing agents, cool baths, and anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofren. However, once there is significant blistering of the skin, like in your case, you need to see a doctor, because these blisters are signs that this is potentially not just a simple sunburn. Severe sunburn with blistering can lead to multiple complications. For example, as the blisters rupture, bacteria may get in under the damaged skin, causing a serious skin infection. Also, there may be potential scarring of the skin if the burn is deep enough. Your doctor will be able to take a look at the burned areas and help you determine how serious the burn is. Based on this assessment, they may prescribe some topical prescription creams to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. They will also help you decide what medications you should take for the pain and which home remedies may be safe to use. Please make an appointment right away. I hope you are feeling better soon!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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