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What do I do…to treat a sunburn?

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Got a sunburn? Act fast to soothe pain and minimize skin damage.

If you’re near water… …jump in to cool your skin and prevent blistering. Then get out of the sun ASAP.

Take frequent cool showers and avoid harsh soaps.

Apply lotion to damp skin to lock in moisture. Don’t use petroleum jelly ointment, which can trap heat on your skin.

Treat blisters and small sunburned areas with ice packs wrapped in a cloth or paper towel. Ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen can ease pain and swelling. Drink lots of fluids until the burn stops hurting and skin begins peeling.

Call your doctor if you experience vomiting, fever, chills, confusion or blisters that appear infected. For severe pain or a blistering burn covering much of your body, head to urgent care.

Be sun smart: Wear SPF 30+ every day Aetna. You don’t join us, we join you. 

Sunburns are bad news. They’re painful, itchy and can spoil your vacation.

But that isn’t the only reason to avoid them. The more sunburns you get, the higher your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. "Repeated sunburns are very dangerous," says dermatologist Fredric Haberman, an expert on sun-damaged skin and a clinical assistant professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "People have to commit to protecting themselves from the sun every day, all year long."

Still, even the most prevention-minded person can slip up. You might miss a spot while applying sunscreen or spend more time in the sun than you intended. The result is a red-hot rash you can't ignore. Follow the steps in the video above to limit the damage and ease your discomfort.

Find out whether a burn or other serious condition requires a trip to urgent care or the ER. And it's a good idea to check with your doctor before taking any new over-the-counter pain relievers.

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