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I_Know_Nothing
08-14-2006, 11:23 AM
Someone told me that the best thing for a sunburn is to take a hot shower, which doesn't make any sense to me. Is this true?

Jayrot
08-14-2006, 11:42 AM
Is that before or after you apply Aloe?

gabriela
08-14-2006, 11:45 AM
No, it's not true. A sunburn is a first-degree burn. Although it is a very minor burn, it is still a burn. Treating burns with heat guarantees increase in injury and worsening of the burn. You may find yourself developing blisters in areas of sunburn that you treat with hot water that would not blister unburned skin.

Please do not put hot water on your sunburns.

simster
08-14-2006, 11:46 AM
before...

works for me because **I think** it helps to desensitise you a bit....or it finishes the cooking process...one or the other.

A.R. Cane
08-14-2006, 11:57 AM
IANADr., but from practical experience, I think the only thing you can do is treat the symptoms. Aloe is good, as are used tea bags (tannin). Cool showers and topical anesthetics also help.
Hot water? Only if you're a masochist!

Patty O'Furniture
08-14-2006, 12:14 PM
Very hot water depetes the skin's local supply of histamine and therefore provides relief from itching. But I'm not sure if histamine has anything to do with burn sensation. You'd have to get the water very hot to get a really good histamine flush and that would just make the burn worse.

Don't put hot water on burns.

DrDeth
08-14-2006, 12:32 PM
NO! Cool (or even as cold as a shower will come out, but not ice-water) water.

Aloe.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sunburn/page6_em.htm
"Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are useful, especially when started early.

For mild sunburn, cool compresses with equal parts of milk and water may suffice. You may also use cold compresses with Burow solution. You can buy this at a drugstore. Dissolve 1 packet in 1 pint of water. Soak gauze or a soft clean cloth in it. Gently wring out the cloth and apply to the sunburned area for 15-20 minutes. Change or refresh the cloth and solution every 2-3 hours.

Anyone raised in a beach community knows the secret of aloe-based lotions. There are many commercially available types. Ask the pharmacist at your local drugstore. Tearing apart your aloe plant in the yard and applying the cool jellylike substance inside the leaves is no longer necessary.


Cool (not ice cold) baths may help. Avoid bath salts, oils, and perfumes because these may produce sensitivity reactions. Avoid scrubbing the skin or shaving the skin. Use soft towels to gently dry yourself. Don’t rub. Use a light, fragrance-free skin moisturizer.

Avoid lotions that contain topical anesthetic medications because you can become sensitized and then allergic to that medicine.

Obviously, stay out of the sun while you are sunburned"
"Cool (not ice cold) baths may help"

http://www.webmd.com/hw/skin_and_beauty/hw82649.asp

"Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.
Take frequent cool showers or baths.
Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas. Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with sunburn pain and swelling. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache. Lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve the headache. A headache may be caused by dehydration, so drinking fluids may help. .
"Take frequent cool showers or baths"

Cool/Cold- NOT Hot.


Very Hot Water is sometimes good for poison oak/Ivy, rashes, itchy stuff, not burns. Now, maybe after the burn heals, and it's peeling and itchy, then try it- working your way up slowly.

Cardinal
08-14-2006, 12:32 PM
www.webmd.com sez:

Sunburn Treatments

To ease the discomfort of sunburn:

* Apply a cold compress to the affected area(s).
* Take Aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve discomfort and inflammation.
* Apply a cooling gel or ointment containing aloe vera to the affected area(s).

In cases of severe sunburn or sunstroke, see your doctor immediately.

Home treatment measures may provide some relief from a mild sunburn.

* Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.
* Take frequent cool showers or baths.
* Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas. Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with sunburn pain and swelling. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.

A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache. Lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve the headache. A headache may be caused by dehydration, so drinking fluids may help. For more information, see the topic Dehydration.

There is little you can do to stop skin from peeling after a sunburn—it is part of the healing process. Lotion may help relieve the itching.

Other home treatment measures, such as chamomile, may help relieve your sunburn symptoms.

Small, unbroken blisters [less than 1 in.(2.5 cm) across] usually heal on their own.

* Do not try to break the blisters. Just leave them alone.
* Do not cover the blisters unless something such as clothing is rubbing against them. If you do cover them, apply a loose bandage. Secure the bandage so the tape does not touch the blisters. Do not wrap tape completely around a hand, arm, foot, or leg because it could cut off the blood supply if the limb swells. If the tape is too tight, you may develop symptoms below the level of the tape, such as numbness, tingling, pain, or cool and pale or swollen skin.
* Avoid wearing clothes or shoes or doing activities that rub or irritate the blisters until they have healed.

More info at http://www.webmd.com/hw/skin_and_beauty/hw82649.asp

DrDeth
08-14-2006, 12:41 PM
SIMULPOST! :cool:

ZipperJJ
08-14-2006, 12:54 PM
Very hot water depetes the skin's local supply of histamine and therefore provides relief from itching. But I'm not sure if histamine has anything to do with burn sensation. You'd have to get the water very hot to get a really good histamine flush and that would just make the burn worse.

Don't put hot water on burns.


Does this explain why during the 2 weeks of intensely hot, humid weather we experienced a couple weeks back my moqsuito bites didn't itch...and as soon as the weather got cool again and I stopped being hot and wet 24/7, they itch again?

Surly Chick
08-14-2006, 01:11 PM
You know, I thought my dad made up that particular "remedy" to torture me when I was younger but apparently not. He said that's what they were told when he was in the Navy (Korean War. Oops, sorry - I mean "Conflict").

Hmmm, maybe they made it up to torture him. Although probably not - that was the same era people were putting butter on burns...

simster
08-14-2006, 01:15 PM
Ignorance fought....

Just wish I hadn't gone down in such a blaze of glory....

:)

oboelady
08-14-2006, 03:19 PM
Someone told me that the best thing for a sunburn is to take a hot shower, which doesn't make any sense to me. Is this true?

When I was a youngster, I got a really bad sunburn at the beginning of one summer. My dad put vinegar in a spray bottle and repeatedly (over several hours) sprayed it on my back and the back of my legs. It took away the pain, and I never peeled. At first I wasn't going to write about this, thinking it was my memory of a childhood experience going bad, but I Googled vinegar for sunburn and got a lot of hits verifying it.
Anyone else ever hear of using vinegar?

DrDeth
08-14-2006, 04:36 PM
When I was a youngster, I got a really bad sunburn at the beginning of one summer. My dad put vinegar in a spray bottle and repeatedly (over several hours) sprayed it on my back and the back of my legs. It took away the pain, and I never peeled. At first I wasn't going to write about this, thinking it was my memory of a childhood experience going bad, but I Googled vinegar for sunburn and got a lot of hits verifying it.
Anyone else ever hear of using vinegar?

I am slightly dubious. :dubious: I don't think it's likely to be harmful on mild sunburn (which hot water could well be harmful), and some dudes think it helps.

http://www.dermadoctor.com/pages/newsletter204.asp?WID=%7B4A513AE6-413B-4630-815E-6D1E2C23B218%7D

"My strongest olfactory memory of childhood is smelling like a freshly tossed salad during the summertime. Back in the dark ages of the 60’s when one’s summertime goal was to soak up as much sun as possible and sunscreens were unheard of, I had more than my share of unnecessary preteen sunburns. Every night mom opened the kitchen cupboard and pulled out her bottle of plain old distilled white vinegar. Dousing us liberally, she unwittingly was using home therapy with some real science behind it.

The acetic acid in white vinegar is essentially a topical NSAID. Of course this helps reduce the inflammation, the pain and hopefully some of the UV damage occurring in the skin. Unless you have a pentient for the gourmet-flavored variety, pick up some inexpensive white vinegar to keep on hand for that unexpected burn. "

And, part of it was likely that the vinegar is 90% cool water.

Seems like a home remedy that's a definate "maybe". But aloe, cool water and the other things listed in th ecites above above are tested and true. Stick with 'em.

Mangetout
08-14-2006, 06:34 PM
I've heard a lot of people bandying the supposed 'hot shower; as hot as you can stand' remedy. Interestingly at least a few of these folks were ex-Navy too. I was always extremely skeptical of the supposed remedy and never the least bit tempted to try it. Soaking in a cold bath to subdue the inflammation and general feeling of heat, followed by buttering myself with repeated thick layers of skin moisturiser works for me; every time the moisturiser soaks in, apply more (keep the bottle in the fridge too).

Salt Seller
08-14-2006, 07:39 PM
Never heard the hot water or vinegar theories, but my father swore you could alleviate a sunburn by putting bleach on it. I have a violent reaction to the smell of bleach, so I never tried it, but it sounds like BS anyway.

Guinastasia
08-15-2006, 04:54 PM
The last time I had a bad sunburn, any attempt to take even a warm shower was extremely painful. So I just took cool, near cold showers. It felt much better.

I've also found that Noxema feels good on sunburned skin.

CynicalGabe
08-15-2006, 05:07 PM
I've heard that salt can sooth open wounds, too.... ::rolleyes::

Valerieanne
04-04-2014, 07:17 PM
Someone told me that the best thing for a sunburn is to take a hot shower, which doesn't make any sense to me. Is this true?

Heat heals and I've gotten through the worst part of a sunburn by getting the water as hot as I can stand it and stepping into it as long as I can. Followed by a super lot of lotion.

So cold is not that good either and could cause a blister. I'm 44 and also rarely peel with this method.

Geek Mecha
04-04-2014, 08:51 PM
Never heard the hot water or vinegar theories, but my father swore you could alleviate a sunburn by putting bleach on it. I have a violent reaction to the smell of bleach, so I never tried it, but it sounds like BS anyway.
You're not supposed to let bleach come in contact with healthy, intact skin, much less sunburned skin. Don't do this.

panache45
04-04-2014, 09:39 PM
Is that before or after you apply Aloe?

This. I have a large aloe plant on my patio. Whenever I get burned I just break off a piece and apply it.

Learjeff
04-04-2014, 10:46 PM
Someone told me that the best thing for a sunburn is to take a hot shower, which doesn't make any sense to me. Is this true?I seriously doubt it.

No, it's not true. A sunburn is a first-degree burn.Not necessarily. I've had a 2nd degree sunburn. Not fun. I could do nothing but lie in bed and sleep for 3 days, my legs swollen like elephant legs, until the massive water blisters popped and my skin came off in a few long, wide, and thick strips. Thank goodness it was only my legs, and only on top of my legs. (Sailing, wearing a tshirt, and having arms that had a bit of tan, unlike my white lets.) Also thank goodness I was only 15 with healthy skin that rebounded quickly.

I'm a very fair-skinned person who spent lots of time at the beach, and I've had so many sunburns that now when I get them, they hardly even hurt (they certainly look a lot worse than they feel). No doubt I will make a skin doc rich as I age. I do try very hard to avoid them now, after three or four carcinomas.

The advice above by DrDeth and Cardinal is good advice, in my experience. Even a warm shower is painful, with a sunburn. The main benefit to a very hot shower would be like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: it feels so good when it stops!

Aloe works wonders, reducing pain, peeling, and longevity of the burn. Analgesics help too. I'm more of an Ibuprofen guy, but I don't really know what works best.

A hot bath or hot tub is the best way to alleviate the pain of a kidney stone, though. At least, for me. Too bad it's too hot in there to stay in long, though! But thank goodness for even 30 minutes of relief.

The last time I had a bad sunburn, any attempt to take even a warm shower was extremely painful. So I just took cool, near cold showers. It felt much better.Yup!

I've also found that Noxema feels good on sunburned skin.My mother tried that when I was young. Nope, not for me! Worse than doing nothing.

This. I have a large aloe plant on my patio. Whenever I get burned I just break off a piece and apply it.Best stuff ever. The 99% pure Aloe bottles are great, too. Anything else is more money and less aloe, with no benefit that I ever noticed. I also dislike the aloe with pain killers, too -- not sure why, but that's what my body tells me. I'm not sure why I reach for Ibuprofen either. Could be the marketing, but I suspect it's just my body telling me what it thinks is best (and it could be jiving me too.)

USCDiver
04-04-2014, 10:59 PM
Heat heals and I've gotten through the worst part of a sunburn by getting the water as hot as I can stand it and stepping into it as long as I can. Followed by a super lot of lotion.

So cold is not that good either and could cause a blister. I'm 44 and also rarely peel with this method.

You're wrong and several physicians in this thread have already debunked this method. Please don't put hot water on a burn.

USCDiver, MD

The Holdsworth Effect
04-04-2014, 11:05 PM
The ibuprofen is anti inflammatory, and along with a cool bath (and aspirin in the days before the NSAIDS) has been a mainstay for sunburn relief. I like a couple of cups of baking soda in the bath, too, as it's soothing and reduces swelling. All of that adds up to less pain, always a Good Thing. I need to get another aloe plant...I seem to kill them...
I worked in a burn unit in Syracuse, in another life, and a little as an agency nurse at Harborview. There was a man in 1983 who fell into a cooling tank at Hanford(radioactive water) who was a bit parboiled; he had first, second, and deep second burns all over except his face. I wasn't allowed to care for him as he set the rad detectors off big time, and I was pregnant. Ibuprofen was new then, and prescription, and there was large discussion about its use for him.

california jobcase
04-04-2014, 11:20 PM
Please "realize as hot as one can stand it" may very well be a good bit cooler than a regular shower temperature when talking about the sunburn in a shower trick.
I have used the warm water on painful burns trick to stop the pain (usually on a burned finger), and it works well for me. Note I said warm, not hot water- I always check it with an unburned digit to make sure it's merely warm. I stick the burned finger in the warm water as long as I can stand it, then remove it. It then quits hurting pretty much for good, unlike the temporary relief cold brings. If the warm water is really cooler than normal bath temperature, can it cause any more damage?

Doughbag
04-05-2014, 11:58 AM
I've heard that salt can sooth open wounds, too.... ::rolleyes::

... but ground pepper can seal a small cut very effectively.

Salt and Water can be used as a disinfectant.

bob++
04-05-2014, 12:30 PM
I've heard that salt can sooth open wounds, too.... ::rolleyes::

Salt's OK but 5% iodine is much better.

CC
04-05-2014, 12:57 PM
After reading these posts, I looked on Wiki to see why Aloe seems so effective in treating burns. They've got basically nothing. They list only one recent (2007) study on the topic with indications that there may be something to the claim. I'm surprised that there isn't more data, given all the anecdotal evidence that seems to be out there. (We have our own family story about using it, effectively, to treat a hot stove burn once.) Maybe the Aloe Vera industry doesn't have a lot of money to throw around on research.

Jackmannii
04-05-2014, 01:24 PM
It's as bad an idea now as it was in 2006 - do NOT put hot water on burns.

It makes about as much sense as putting ice on frostbite.

california jobcase
04-05-2014, 01:47 PM
Please, define hot- what temperature? Body temperature water can feel plenty hot to a sunburn. Would 98 degree F water cause more damage to a burn? I'm not arguing, I'm asking at what temperature the water would have to be to cause more damage.

PurpleClogs
04-05-2014, 05:33 PM
I was told by a dermatologist once that aloe speeds the turnover (and therefore healing) of cells, but then in doing so it's more likely to scar.

rdemarce
03-26-2015, 11:21 PM
I live in Hawaii and deal with suburns all the time. Taking a hot shower is seriously the best way to eliminate the pain of a sunburn. The hot water works the same way as when people wash their face, the hot water opens the pores in your skin and the heat can escape faster. You caN put aloe on, but that covers the burn. Unless you have a severe burn, (bleeding) you never cover the burn.

panache45
03-27-2015, 03:26 AM
When I was a young child, I got a wicked sunburn while visiting my grandparents in Miami. My grandmother had a huge aloe plant in her yard. She broke off a piece and gently applied the slimy juice all over my sunburn. I remember how I felt instant relief.

To this day, I've grown a large aloe plant among my houseplants. Whenever I get any kind of burn, I just break off a piece for instant relief.

Hilarity N. Suze
03-27-2015, 03:50 AM
I know that taking a hot shower works if you have bug bites. I don't think it works for a sunburn. I think cool is the way to go there.

If you have bug bites AND a sunburn, I feel for you. (been there.)

I am also, weirdly enough, allergic to aloe. It gives me what looks like a sunburn, so I've never been brave enough to try it on an actual sunburn, in which case it might actually help, I don't know.

I've also heard of putting vinegar on sunburn.

kaylasdad99
03-27-2015, 06:48 AM
This. I have a large aloe plant on my patio. Whenever I get burned I just break off a piece and apply it.

When I was a young child, I got a wicked sunburn while visiting my grandparents in Miami. My grandmother had a huge aloe plant in her yard. She broke off a piece and gently applied the slimy juice all over my sunburn. I remember how I felt instant relief.

To this day, I've grown a large aloe plant among my houseplants. Whenever I get any kind of burn, I just break off a piece for instant relief.
What, STILL? :D

samclem
03-27-2015, 06:51 AM
Medical advice(much of which is wrong) belongs in IMHO rather than General Questions. Moved.

samclem, moderator.

Telemark
03-27-2015, 07:51 AM
The hot water works the same way as when people wash their face, the hot water opens the pores in your skin and the heat can escape faster.

This appears to be bad advice. Cold water applied directly is much better at cooling your skin than using hot water to open pores. What is exactly escaping from these open pores? I don't see how that would help heat escape since nothing comes out of your pores.

Cool showers or baths are the recommended treatment.

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/sunburn-home-treatment

GrumpyBunny
03-27-2015, 08:20 AM
Floridian here.

Cool bath/shower. Soap only where you get stinky.

I used to keep aloe with lidocaine in the fridge and apply on sunburned skin.

Also, Aleve while it hurts. I'd use 3 tablets with food.

You can try lotion as well, but it never helped me much. The sunburn always peeled.

YMMV on all of this. I'm pretty pale.

bump
03-27-2015, 08:31 AM
As someone who got sunburned more than I ought to have as a pool and beach loving kid and teenager, here's my take:

1. NSAIDS tend to work rather well- they really do knock back the overall pain and irritation.

2. Things like aloe work like gangbusters... for a short period, until they dry out. I suspect there's nothing special at all about aloe, and that you could probably slather yourself in some other kind of water-based gel/slime and you'd have the same exact effect.

3. The spray burn relief products with topical anesthetics like Dermoplast (the only one I can remember) work very well. A combination of those and NSAIDs will knock most of the serious discomfort out of a sunburn.

4. There isn't a thing you can do to prevent peeling, except not getting sunburnt in the first place. Peeling isn't a consequence of dry skin or anything like that, it's a consequence of the sunlight actually damaging and/or killing your skin cells and them sloughing off in a more uniform and rapid fashion than usual. Lotion does help with the itching somewhat though.

Honey
03-27-2015, 09:07 AM
Noxema is the best thing for a sunburn. It moisturizes and cools at the same time.

Doctor Jackson
03-27-2015, 02:22 PM
I live in Hawaii and deal with suburns all the time. Taking a hot shower is seriously the best way to eliminate the pain of a sunburn. The hot water works the same way as when people wash their face, the hot water opens the pores in your skin and the heat can escape faster. You caN put aloe on, but that covers the burn. Unless you have a severe burn, (bleeding) you never cover the burn.

I usually don't post in these type threads because I am not a doctor in real life, but this is just bad information all the way around.

1) As established previously by several real doctors and verifiable medical cites, cold/cool water is the best way to relieve the pain and swelling of minor burns.
2) Heat is not stored in, and therefor cannot be released from, skin pores - no matter how wide one opens them
3) Burns, even minor ones, can indeed be covered (familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention.../first.../first-aid-burns.html)
Soak the burn in cool water for at least 5 minutes. The cool water helps reduce swelling by pulling heat away from the burned skin. Treat the burn with a skin care product that protects and heals skin, such as aloe vera cream or an antibiotic ointment. You can wrap a dry gauze bandage loosely around the burn.
The key words there are "loosely" and "gauze". Tight wrappings, or ones made from cotton, can stick to the wound. That is no fun when removed. Here's a visual example (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100213_2.htm).