The sunny shores of Santa Monica provide endless opportunities for fun in the sun. But too much unprotected time out under those strong California rays can lead to painful, damaging sunburns. If you’ve fallen victim to sunburn after a beach day or outdoor activity in Santa Monica, don’t panic. The expert dermatologists of the Santa Monica Laser and Skin Care Center have recommendations for taking care of your burnt skin and relieving discomfort as it heals.

First and foremost, get out of the sun immediately after realizing you’re burned. Further exposure will only intensify the burn. Take a cool shower or use cool compresses to soothe the irritated skin. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams containing aloe can also help decrease swelling and redness. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation and lessens pain.

Resist any urge to pop blisters that may form, as this can lead to infection. See a doctor if severe blistering covers a large portion of the body or if you experience chills, dizziness, nausea, or fever, which could indicate sun poisoning or heat stroke. Otherwise, stay hydrated and focus on gentle skin care while your body recovers.

As your sunburn starts healing, there are some effective remedies to aid the process recommended by Santa Monica dermatologists. One of the best natural ingredients for sunburn is aloe vera gel, well known for its cooling and soothing properties. Look for a high-quality, pure aloe vera gel and apply it gently to burnt areas several times a day. The polysaccharides in aloe calm inflammation and help damaged skin cells heal faster.

Baking soda baths also help relieve sunburn irritation and pain. Add 1-2 cups of baking soda to a lukewarm bath and soak for 15-30 minutes. For targeted relief, make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it directly to burnt skin. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. The sodium bicarbonate neutralizes skin pH to reduce inflammation.

Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory compounds that protect damaged skin. Make an oatmeal compress by blending uncooked oats into a fine powder, then mixing with water to form a paste. Apply to sunburnt areas for 10-20 minutes before washing off. Colloidal oatmeal found in some lotions offers the same relief.

Cucumbers have natural hydrating and cooling abilities that aid sunburn recovery. Blend peeled cucumber into a puree consistency and apply to skin for 20 minutes, or place sliced cucumbers directly on the worst burnt parts for quick cooling. Cucumber also reduces swelling and irritation.

Dermatologists also recommend using gentle, fragrance-free moisturizers on healing sunburns to replenish hydration levels. Look for soothing ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, or coconut oil. While burnt skin flakes and peels, resist any temptation to pick, which can scar. Let the dead skin slough off naturally.

Recovering from a painful Santa Monica sunburn requires patience and TLC. With the proper dermatologist-approved home remedies, you can find relief, heal faster, and get your skin back to its usual radiant state. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher next time to prevent burn damage in the first place!