Stop the Burn

Cream for Sunburn
Soothe burns that hurt with a calming cream or aloe spray.

Gone are sunscreens touting SPFs over 100 since federal regulators put the kibosh on the sky-high numbers that proved more hype than help. New labels now advise shoppers when to reapply and whether products protect from burns, cancer, or both. But when sunburn strikes (and it can happen to the best of us), get out of the sun and head to the first-aid and skin-care aisles of your pharmacy for products that can stop the burn.

For burns that hurt:Try an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, a low-dose hydrocortisone cream, aloe spray, or Eucerin Calming Cream that’s been refrigerated for a few hours. Other skin soothers include Noxzema Original cold cream, taking a lukewarm bath with Aveeno Collodial Oatmeal (and no soap), and covering unbroken skin with a tea- or vinegar-soaked cloth.

For burns that bubble: Blisters heal best on their own, so resist the urge to pop them. Instead, cover sensitive areas with sterile gauze secured with medical tape, and wait them out.

And a final caution: Numbing sprays such as benzocaine can feel great at first but are notorious for causing an itchy rash. Additionally, aloe gels containing alcohol can worsen already dry skin. Leave them on the shelf.