Itching is a normal part of a sunburn’s healing process. The extent of the itch varies and while some suffer a moderate itch that can be easily contained, there are those that suffer extreme sunburn itch commonly referred to as hell’s itch. To help get rid of this and protect the skin from further damage, there are various sunburn itch relief options you could use. These range from home remedies to prescription treatments for the itch. Sample them below.
Sunburn Itch Relief Home Remedies
In most cases, sunburn itch occurs hours after the skin has been exposed to direct ultra violet rays. To prevent worsening of the skin, it is important to protect the skin from further sunburns. To facilitate quick healing of the burns, make use of any of these sunburn itch relief home remedies.
1. Vinegar Fast Sunburn Itch Treatment
Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps in balancing the skin’s pH levels. This not only relieves sunburn itching but also facilitates quick healing. There are various ways through which you can use vinegar to your advantage.
- In a spray bottle, combine apple cider vinegar in the ration of 1:1. Spray the resulting solution on sunburned skin and allow it to drip. Reapply whenever itch strikes.
- Where a spray bottle is not viable, use a wash cloth to dab the solution above on the sunburned area, opt for a vinegar treated soak.
- In case you are dealing with a large part, opt for a vinegar rich bath. Add a cup of vinegar to your bathtub and soak for 15 minutes.
CAUTION: Since apple cider vinegar is acidic, it should never be used on the skin undiluted. It should also not be used on skin that is severely burned and thus has open sunburn abrasions, blisters or bumps. In case there is any kind of reaction, quite the sunburn itch relief treatment.
2. Peppermint Oil for Sunburn Itch Relief
Peppermint has a calming and cooling effect on the skin and is thus used to relief itch and inflammation. While treating sunburn itch, peppermint oil is used as opposed to peppermint extract. Peppermint oil is highly potent and should thus always be diluted before use.
- Using a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil, dilute the peppermint oil. For every two tablespoons of a carrier oil, add six drops of it.
- Apply the resulting mixture on a small part of the sunburned skin to see if you might be sensitive to the oil and if no reaction occurs, rub it all around the itchy sunburns.
- The application may yield a cold or hot sensation followed by temporary itch relief.
3. Oatmeal Bath Instant Itch Relief
Oatmeal helps to normalize the pH of the skin. It also has a soothing effect on the skin since it moisturizes it. Colloidal silver is the best as it is ground and will float in a bath. This way, the surface of the skin exposed to it is increased. Uncooked oat meal can suffice where colloidal oatmeal is not available.
- Run a lukewarm bath and add colloidal oatmeal to it.
- Mix it up until it blends in completely and soak in it for 10 minutes.
- Use a towel to pat dry and repeat up to three times a day.
- Remember not to use hot water as this could further dry the skin and escalate the problem. Also pat as opposed to rubbing your skin dry.
4. Witch Hazel for Itchy Sunburns
This home remedy for sunburn itch relief contains tannis. This is a great sunburn itch and pain relief agent and can be used in place of hydrocortisone creams.
- Using a wash cloth or cotton ball, apply witch hazel on the affected part of the skin.
- Where you can’t get witch hazel, opt for with hazel cream.
- Witch hazel can be used up to six times in a day to relief itchy sunburn. Always conduct a patch test before using it on large areas.
5. Aloe Vera Home Remedy for Itching Sunburn
Succulent aloe vera acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-itch remedy. It will promote quick healing of sunburned through its medicinal properties. Its soothing and moisturizing qualities make it quite efficient in its sunburn itch relief.
- Get an aloe leaf and cut its edge.
- Squeeze out fresh aloe juice from it and apply on the affected part of the skin.
- Allow it to dry before rinsing it off.
6. Baking Soda
Also referred to as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is known to relief itch caused by various issues. It is especially great as a sunburn itch relief for hard to rich areas. It has a natural soothing and anti-inflammatory effect which helps relief itchy sunburns. In addition, it restores the skin’s pH thus preventing further skin irritation on the burned skin.
- For small sunburned skin patches, make a baking soda paste by mixing it with some water till consistent. Spread this on the skin and wait till it dries to wash it off.
- For large skin areas as well as hard to reach areas, add a cup of baking soda to your bath and soak for 20 minutes. Once done with the bath, do not use a towel to dry your skin. Instead, allow it to air dry to reap maximum benefits.
In case you are looking for herbal sunburn itch relief, thyme should do the trick. This herb works by numbing the skin and thus shutting of the itch. It also contains thymol which has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties. These will help eliminate inflammation and quell the itch.
- Make a thyme rinse by adding two tablespoons of dry thyme leaves in a liter of boiling water.
- Allow it to cool and strain
- Use a cotton ball to apply the rinse on the affected parts of the skin.
- Other herbal remedies for itchy sunburns that can be used in the same way are basil and mint.
Sunburn Itch Relief Topical OTC Products
Where the natural and home remedies suggested above are not available, there are some over the counter products you can buy for sunburn itch relief. These include:
8. Hydrocortisone Cream
One percent Hydrocortisone creams are over the counter steroids that are known to eliminate redness, inflammation and itch on the skin. They prevent skin cells from releasing inflammatory substances which helps in calming the skin and thus relieving the user off itch.
Get yourself a tube and use it as directed by the manufacturer. Hydrocortisone should not be used for more than five days.
At times, after the skin is exposed to the sun, the immune system may release antihistamines signaling the brain that all is not okay. Where this is the case, taking an antihistamine will help in suppressing the immune system reaction. This will act as a temporary sunburn itch relief.
10. Topical Anesthetics
Anesthetics numb the skin and as a result block the nerve signals in your body. This way the skin does not register the itching sensation. Over the counter anesthetics are available in the form of creams, ointments and sprays. Use your choice as may be directed by the manufacturer.
11. Benadryl Cure for Sunburn Itch
Benadryl itch stopping cream is a medication used to temporarily relieve itch. The product is available in the form of oral medication as well as an anti-itch stick and cream. The topical products work as skin protectants in addition to acting as an itchy sunburn relief.
Extreme Sunburn Itch Relief
Most people that have suffered extreme sunburn itch which is commonly known as hell’s itch claim that you cannot understand the agony of the victim unless you have gone through it. So intense is the itch that some swear they felt like they were losing their minds over it. Discussed below are some options for extreme sunburn itch relief.
Hot Shower Extreme Sunburn Itch Treatment
Although hot soaks are discouraged due to their skin drying nature, extreme sunburn itch could render you incapable of carrying out your day to day activities. Where this is the case, taking a shower that is as hot as your skin can stand may help.
The reason this is said to work is due to the fact that the brain can only concentrate on one sensation. As such, since the heat activates the pain nerves, the intense itching is suppressed.
Prescription Strength Medication for Intense Sunburn Itch Relief
To get relief from hell’s itch, you could talk to your doctor to prescribe some medication for you. High potency steroid creams may be your option in case you are suffering intense sunburn itch. This form of treatment is aggressive and will reduce inflammation thus calming the itch. Since this kind of treatment can weaken the immune system, they should only be used in cases of extreme sunburn itch and at the prescription of a qualified doctor.
Tips to Help Relief Sunburn Itch
Below are some tips which if put into place can help in the sunburn itch relief process.
- Do not cover the sunburns in tight clothes as these will irritate the skin which makes the itch worse.
- While recovering from the burns, stay well hydrated. Staying out in the sun increases sweating and could leave you dehydrated.
- Apply a water based moisturizer on the skin to help cancel out the drying effect of getting sunburned.
- In case the sunburned area feels sore and painful, take some pain killers.
- After recovery, try and avoid further burns by staying away from the sun when the rays are most intense. This is between midday and 4.00PM.
- Always wear sun protection when venturing out.
Where the above treatments for sunburn itch relief fail to work, always consult your dermatologist.