My skin is peeling after sunburn. Why does my skin peel after sun? How can I prevent sunburn from peeling off? These are all commonly asked questions and it is easy to tell why: sunburn is the top factor for skin peeling. If you can relate to them, then keep reading to learn how to stop skin peeling after sunburn. These tips will put you in control and help you get your natural, supple, and soft skin back in no time.
Why Does Skin Peel after Sun- My Skin Is Peeling From Sunburn
According to Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist based in Los Angeles and the author of Feed Your Face, the skin usually peels of when the top layer of the skin dies off and starts to slough off. This can occur as a result of numerous reasons but sunburn is the most common culprit.
Sunburn Skin Peeling
Sunburn follows prolonged exposure to the harmful Ultraviolet rays from the sunlight which as Joshua Zeichner, MD, The Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC points out “…kills off skin cells”. When that happens, the skin then sloughs off the dead skin cells to allow room for new skin cells to grow. This manifests itself as skin peeling on the affected areas of the skin.
Skin Peeling After Sunburn – How to Stop Skin from Peeling after Sunburn
So you have sunburn after spending a long time in the sun and your skin has just started peeling off which you hate with all your heart. What can you do to stop that? Well here is how to stop skin from peeling after sunburn.
Moisturize your skin: Moisturizing is always a safe bet in as far as stopping skin peeling is concerned and as Zeichner puts it, “If you are already peeling, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize”.
Moisturizing your skin is as simple as applying a moisturizing lotion or cream after cleansing your skin to get rid of some of the dead skin. Water based lotions and creams make the best option for sunburn induced skin peeling since the heavy moisturizers can retain in heat, which is often counterproductive.
Apply some milk: Milk is a great natural remedy for skin peeling after sunburn. It helps to soothe the skin while nourishing it with essential proteins to enhance the healing process. [See the next section for instructions for preparing a cold milk compress]
Hydrocortisone cream: Applying a hydrocortisone 1% topical cream is also a great way to stop skin peeling after sunburn. Such creams are available over the counter under various brand names. Talk to your pharmacist for instruction on using them.
Apply honey: Honey is without doubt one of the most helpful ingredients in your home in as far as home remedies are concerned. In addition to all the useful uses that honey can be put into, it can also help to stop skin peeling after sunburn. Here is how to stop skin from peeling after sunburn with honey:
- Apply a thin layer of honey on the affected area of the skin
- Allow it to set in for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water
- Pat your skin dry with a towel (NB: don’t wipe the towel across the skin)
How to Stop Skin Peeling from Sunburn with Cold Milk Compress
Cold Milk Compress
If you didn’t know, that packet of whole milk in your refrigerator is not only a great ingredient for breakfast but also a great way to relieve that ugly sunburn on your face. A popular way to do this is to prepare a cold milk compress.
Milk is rich in proteins which help to soother the peeling sunburned skin. The lactic acid in the milk gives anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to the peeling skin.
Here is how to prepare a cold milk compress for use on your peeling skin:
- Drop a handful of ice cubes in a small basin or bowl
- Pour enough chilled whole milk into the basin and shake it a bit
- Soak a clean wash cloth with the milk and place it on the affected area of the skin for 10-15 minutes
How to Keep Sunburn Skin from Peeling
Can someone tell me how to keep sunburn skin from peeling? If that question rings bells in your mind, then you should first of all consider protecting your skin from further damage by applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
Taking anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. ibuprofen can also help. It is also important to moisturize your skin with a water-based lotion or cream and avoid using harsh soaps and warm water on the affected area (use cold water).
What to Put on Sunburn Peeling Skin
If you are wondering what to put on sunburn peeling skin, then your best bet would be water based moisturizing lotion or cream or Aloe Vera gel. You can buy an Aloe Vera gel from your local drugstore or use a fresh Aloe Vera plant sap on the sunburn peeling skin. A sunscreen is also recommended to stop further exposure to UV rays.
How to Prevent a Sunburn from Peeling – Prevent Skin Peeling After Sunburn
How to Prevent a Sunburn from Peeling – Sunscreen
Peeling skin, redness and pain are all common signs of sunburn and a perfect indication that you have spent a little too long in the sun. This happens as the skin attempts to get rid of the skin cells damaged by the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Peeling skin is not only unsightly but can also make you embarrassed and uncomfortable especially if it is itchy.
Peeling skin after sunburn cannot always be prevented but there are various options you can take to reduce the chances of getting an onset of peeling skin. Here is how to prevent sunburn from peeling:
Take an anti-inflammatory medication immediately: anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help to prevent sunburn from peeling. Such medications help to reduce inflammation, but as The Mayo Clinic notes, such drugs should be taken as quickly as possible following the exposure to sun.
Use cold water to shower: using hot water can further irritate the sunburn affected area of skin and lead to an onset of peeling.
Cleanse your skin gently: Avoid using harsh soaps to bathe as this can worsen the sunburn and increase the chances of peeling of the skin. After shower, pat your skin gently with towel to dry it as opposed to rubbing it harshly across the skin.
Apply a suitable water based moisturizer on the sunburned area: This is important to ensure proper hydration as dry skin is a common trigger of skin peeling. The best time to apply the moisturizer is immediately after a shower when the skin is still damp. You can use any water based lotion or cream or use a moisturizer specifically formulated for use on sunburned skin which you can find OTC in most drugstores.
Other ways to prevent sunburn from peeling are:
- Slather on a sunscreen to prevent further damage to your skin
- Avoid scratching the affected area
- Drink plenty of water and fluids to stay adequately hydrated
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat or cover yourself with an umbrella when outdoors
Suggested Further Reading
- Skin Peeling – Causes, Disease, on Mouth, Nose, Eyelid, Hands and Feet
- Skin Peeling on Fingers, Hands and Between Fingers
- Newborn Skin Peeling – Why, Infant or Baby Skin Peeling
- Skin Peeling on Face and How to Get Rid of It
- Skin Peeling on Fingertips – Why, Dry, Cracked and Causes
- Skin Peeling between Toes and Peeling on Toes
- How to Stop Skin from Peeling, Prevent and Keep Skin from Peeling
- Peeling Skin on Hands – Why, Dry Peeling Hands, Fingers, Palm
- Peeling Feet – Causes, Dry Peeling Feet, Itchy, Cracked and Treatment
- Peeling Skin on Feet, Causes and Dry Scaly Feet
- Bottom of Feet Peeling Causes, in Children and Toes