How to treat and prevent sunburn

How to prevent sunburn

  • Wear an effective sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, or 30 if you are prone to sun sensitivity.
  • For children under six months of age, do not apply sunscreen. Instead, cover up your child to avoid exposing skin.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and every two hours afterwards for maximum protection.
  • Apply water resistant products before swimming. However, if you are very active in the water, you should re-apply after swimming.
  • Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours, which are generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How to treat sunburn

  • Avoid further exposure to the sun if you are sunburned.
  • If you have a severe sunburn with fluid-filled blisters, leave the blisters intact. 
  • Use cool compresses and calamine lotion or aloe vera to soothe the skin.
  • Use a painkiller to deal with the pain of sunburn. (See your pharmacist for recommendations.)
  • For minor burns, you may use a skin protectant such as petroleum jelly after the first 24 hours to help protect irritation from clothing.
  • Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter products that can help with itching.


Please note:
The information provided on this site is not medical advice and is not intended to replace a consultation with your pharmacist or physician. If you have questions about your medication(s) or are experiencing a health concern, please talk to your pharmacist.

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