Sunburned? Don’t Get Burned Again with Worthless ‘Cures’

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If you get a little too much sun on the Fourth of July or later this summer, here are some things you definitely don't want to apply, along with some cheap alternatives.

We recently shared how to get the best sunscreen for your money. But if you skimped on lotion or just forgot to apply it, there are some remedies to avoid.

ShopSmart magazine, published by Consumer Reports, has a list of things that won’t help with a sunburn:

  • Pain-relief sprays. Most of these contain benzocaine or another anesthetic, which some people are allergic to. Don’t risk making the burn worse.
  • Vaseline. Petroleum jelly does nothing to cool burnt skin. It’s designed to help with dryness, not heat.
  • Noxzema. “Even the manufacturer does not recommend the use of its products for sunburn relief because they haven’t been tested for that purpose,” ShopSmart says.
  • Vitamin creams and oils. It’s best (and cheaper) to get these naturally through your diet.

What does work? Glad you asked. Check out the video below for 20 home sunburn remedies:

Over-the-counter itch creams (hydrocortisone) help, as do painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin, ShopSmart says.

Do your best to avoid getting burned at all next time. Sunburn significantly increases the risk of skin cancer, the Skin Cancer Foundation says.

Stacy Johnson

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