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What do I do…to treat a sunburn?

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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. (Read more about preventive care.) 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.