At home remedies for that summer sunburn

HOUSTON – More than 31,000 people are found to be neglecting proper sunburn prevention, according to the American Medical Association.

It gets so bad, people are sent to the hospital for sunburns every year. Doctors say it's particularly bad in Texas.

Here are some treatments to try soothing your skin in a pinch.


You know aloe helps, but did you know there's almost no difference between the plant and what's in the store-bought bottle?

Dr. John Griffin, a dermatologist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, said that what you buy at the store may apply easier because of glycerin added to the bottle, but the store-bought aloe and the plant work the same.

Menthol foam shaving cream

A Texas mom is going viral after posting that her secret behind a quick sunburn heal was menthol foam shaving cream.

She said leaving the foam on for 30 minutes made a sunburn disappear in about a day for her, but she recommended repeat treatments for people with more severe burns.

Griffin said anything with menthol may do the trick to soothe a burn.

“The menthol portion of that can be soothing, but there's no real benefit to doing shaving cream over finding menthol in another product,” he said.

He said shaving cream is perfectly safe to try, unlike other popular holistic products.

Essential oils not recommended

“The limitation of essential oils is that they're very high in concentration and there is a significant risk of irritation,” Griffin said.

He warned it would be hard to determine the concentration of oil to lotion or oil to water that is safe to apply directly on the skin.

“It's hard to find what a good concentration would be," Griffin said. "You'd be playing your own chemist.”

Vitamin D

Over-the-counter treatments are mostly intended to comfort your skin while it heals. Griffin said there's no scientific evidence that anything can speed up healing sunburns.

Although, he said, there are studies showing Vitamin D can lessen the severity of burns if taken before going out into the sun.

“Seems to make it less likely that you get a sunburn and then when you have it, less likely for it to stick around for a while,” Griffin said.


Caladryl, which contains calamine, is numbing. Griffin said it can also help soothe sunburns.

Symptoms that need medical treatment

Sunburns can cause symptoms like a fever or chills severe enough to land you in the hospital.

If anyone suffers large blisters or is feeling light-headed, Griffin recommends medical treatment since it could be a sign of major dehydration.