Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Sunburn treatment doesn't heal your skin or prevent damage to your skin, but it can reduce pain, swelling and discomfort. If at-home care doesn't help or your sunburn is very severe, your doctor can prescribe medications. These include:

  • Pain relievers. Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers may help control the pain and swelling of sunburn, especially if you take them soon after sun exposure. Your doctor may recommend ibuprofen or naproxen. Some types of pain relievers may be applied to your skin as gels.
  • Medications that control itching. Corticosteroids that you apply to your skin may help control itching as your skin heals. These medications are often combined with pain relievers.
May 01, 2014