How to Treat Sunburned Feet
Try these dermatologist’s tips to feel better fast.
Forgot to apply sunscreen to your feet? The aftermath can be painful, but luckily there are some dermatologist-approved home remedies that are quick and easy. Sharyn Laughlin, a dermatologist in Ottawa and co-creator of The Sunscreen Company recommends this soothing treatment: Combine high-fat plain yogurt with a bit of honey and apply to tops of feet. Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing with cool water. “The honey is an antimicrobial agent, which is good for wound healing, and the yogurt’s lactic acid will gently exfoliate the dead skin,” says Laughlin. Take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to relieve redness and discomfort, too.
Peeling skin? It’s not a bad thing, says Laughlin. “It just means the surface skin cells have been damaged to the point of dying and the body is exfoliating them.” Don’t pull at the peeling skin as that could cause further damage and could lead to infections. Keep the area covered during the day with a hydrocortisone cream (0.5 to 1 percent) applied every four to six hours to help with pain and swelling. At night, apply a thin layer of olive oil and then put clean loose cotton socks on.
If you have to go outside, first apply a sunscreen with a concentration of 20 percent or more zinc oxide to the entire foot except the soles. “The zinc also promotes soothing and healing, so it’s an added bonus,” says Laughlin. Wear cotton socks and avoid sandals and products with fragrance,which could cause further irritation.
See your doctor if red streaks begin to radiate from the area or if you have a fever or chills.