How long does sunburn itch last? A look at the sunburn itch, how long the sunburn itch last, causes, severity, peeling, bumps, treating, relief and pictures.
What Causes Sunburn Itch
Along with the redness, peeling, as well as pain, sunburns may also lead to itchiness. A sunburn normally damages the top layer of the skin, which is usually full of the nerve fibers that are very much responsible for the itching sensation.
The sun damage leads to the nerves to fire, making a person to feel itchy until the burn has completely healed. In the meantime, you might apply home remedies or even over the counter or the prescription medications so as to relieve the itching and let the skin to heal.
Sunburn normally is a form of skin damage brought about by overexposure to the sunlight and its harmful ultraviolet rays. It usually arises within many hours after an exposure and also continues for a period of several days or weeks. In addition to all other symptoms of the sunburn, you can develop an itchy skin. You can also develop sunburn itch as a symptom of the chronic dry skin after the sunburn.
Why does Sunburn Itch
The skin has protective pigment cells known as melanin. Sunburn happens when the skin receives more ultraviolet light than the pigmentation is able to absorb or even reflect. If the skin has low amounts of melanin, it can burn in as little as 20 minutes of the noonday sunlight.
If the skin has a higher amounts of melanin, then you can be able to sustain the same level of exposure for several hours without developing a sunburn. In addition to the sun exposure, you may also develop moderate or even severe sunburn from the exposure to the ultraviolet sources in the tanning lamps or even the tanning beds. People who have darker skin might not be able to burn as quickly as people who have a lighter skin.
In addition to the low melanin content, sunburn susceptibility factors are the exposure to the sunlight between the period of late morning and also mid afternoon, thus living at high altitudes or even closer to the equator, applications of medications like doxycycline, and also the exposure to sunlight reflected off of snow, or sand. Since roughly 75 percent of the sunlight penetrates cloud cover, you may also get a sunburn on the cloudy days. Children as well as infants are especially susceptible to the sunburn.
The UV rays responsible for the sun burns do not normally penetrate deep into the skin. They also tend to destroy the surface layer which is packed with the C-fibers. These are the special nerve fibers that are responsible for skin itch.
Itch is the skin’s method of protecting the skin against any of the minor injuries that are not deemed much strong enough to lead to pain. Since sunburns happen on the same surface hosting the C-fiber nerves, then there is a resultant itch until the period that the skin heals.
How long does Sunburn Itch Last
After the skin has been fully exposed to the UV rays, sunburn begin to form and the skin starts to turn red. Skin reddening is usually at its peak between 15 and 24 hours. At this particular point, it is very much likely that no sunburn itch is experienced.
Depending on how severe is the sunburn, hell’s itch can manifest 24 to 72 hours after the exposure. For the mild burns, any accompanying discomfort can disappear within 72 hours.
This can be able to continue for about one week while the skin heals itself. To increase the healing process, interventions are vital. These can come in the form of the sunburn itch relief products.
Sunburn Itch Bumps
In some other cases, certain people can have sunburn itch rash. This is also known as sun poisoning and results from photo-sensitivity. In some other cases, scratching the area may cause bumps.
With time and as the sunburns heal, blistering might be experienced. This can range from the fine blisters that normally arise from the itching or even the large ones that are filled with fluid that are surrounded by the raw skin underneath.
Once these appear on the skin, the sunburn itch can be irresistible. The best thing to do though is to soothe the itch so as to give room for them to pop on themselves. Once this occurs, the skin around will begin sloughing.
Sunburn Peeling Itch
Itchy sunburn peeling is a very normal part of the healing process. As the skin fully heals, the dead sunburned cells can start to shed off so as to give room for the newer ones. This assists to even out the burns and also restore the skin pigmentation.
Sunburn Itch Relief
To soothe the skin area, use the simple sunburn itch relief products as well as the home remedies so as to stop sunburn and provide some relief as indicated;
Topical steroid creams like the 1% hydrocortisone cream are much effective in getting rid of the itching. Available over the counter, these might assist to alleviate and also soothe the itch. Apply as directed by the manufacturer.
Calamine is a skin soothing lotion that can assist to curb sunburn itch. It contains a soothing effect and can assist to relieve the itchy sunburns. This is also available over the counter.
Aloe vera assists to moisturize and also soothe the sunburned skin. Some of the aloe creams have lidocaine which is an anesthetic that normally assists relief sunburn itch as well as pain. In the healing process, it can assist to moisturize the peeling skin and thus protect it from excessive dryness and flaking.
This natural remedy for the sunburn itch have antioxidant as well as the analgesic properties which are essential in the soothing the skin. You might mash or even blend cucumbers so as to obtain a paste for use on the skin. Use it on the sunburns so as to soothe itchy peeling skin.
In case you want to have a home remedy that can perform well for the skin, baking soda is the go to product. Alkaline in nature, it can assist to restore the pH of the skin.
To cure the itchy sunburns, make a baking soda paste through combining of a reasonable amount using clean water. Mix it until a consistent paste if well-formed and use this on the affected skin area of the body. Where a large area is also sunburned, then add a cup or three of baking soda to a bath tub and soak in it for a while.
Turmeric has soothing elements that are helpful to an itchy skin. Mix some turmeric powder with water and then stir it into a fine paste. Apply the paste on the sunburn itch and then allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Apply some cold water so as to wash it off afterwards. Do not let it stay on the skin for very long as it might lead to a temporary skin discoloration.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is usually acidic in nature and therefore assists in balancing the skin’s pH. As a result therefore, faster healing is normally promoted. It also contains antiseptic properties that can assist in healing and also eliminate all the secondary infections. Spray the apple cider vinegar on the skin and then allow it to dry before washing off. Reapply when the itch strikes again.
Oatmeal is a very common product that is found in our kitchens. It assists to serve more than a single purpose and may also be applied to sooth sunburn itch. Colloidal oatmeal may be applied to soothe the burns.
Add one cup of oatmeal into the bath tub and then soak in it. You might also grind oatmeal into powder and then add some water to it to make a thin paste. Use this on the skin and wait for about 20 minutes before washing it off using warm water.
In addition to the indicated remedies, here are the additional tips that may assist in dealing with the itchy sunburns:
- Avoid exposure to the sun until the itch is completely resolved and when you unintentionally do, remember to apply sunscreen protection.
- Use the cold compresses every 20 minutes when the itch strikes.
- Stay in a loose clothing so as to reduce friction and thus prevent more irritation on the skin.
- Where the sunburn itch is usually accompanied by any form of pain, then take some painkillers.
- For the severe sunburns that won’t be able to get better with the above remedies, see the dermatologist.
Treating Sunburn Itch
- Use 1% hydrocortisone to relieve pain and itching. Hydrocortisone is usually an over the counter steroid cream that is normally successful at reducing of the inflammation, and itching. It stops the cells from releasing the inflammatory substances, which usually calms sunburn itch.
- Use hydrocortisone to the sunburn about 5 times daily, by rubbing it into the skin.
- Apply hydrocortisone much sparingly on the face and for no more than 5 days.
- Take an over the counter antihistamine. Sometimes the sunburn itch is brought about by immune-system cells that normally release histamines so as to notify the brain that something is wrong. An antihistamine may suppress the reaction and thus temporarily relieve the itching and also the swelling.
- Take a non-drowsy antihistamine (like the loratadine) during the day. Follow the directions as indicated on the box for the dosage and use.
- At night you might take a diphenhydramine, which can lead to extreme drowsiness. Don’t ever try to drive, operate any machinery, or even do anything that could endanger yourself or even other people when taking an antihistamine.
- If the itching is very much severe, then you should talk to the doctor about the hydroxyzine. It is the prescription drug that sedates the central nervous system and also acts as an antihistamine.
- Use a topical anesthetic to numb the skin. Available as sprays, and ointments, which is a local anesthetic blocks the nerve signals in the body so that you won’t feel any sunburn itch sensation.
- To apply the aerosol spray, you should shake the can very well and hold it about 6 inches from the skin. Spray it on sunburn and then rub in gently. Be very much careful not to spray it into the eyes.
- For the creams, or ointments, use the cream to the dry skin and then gently rub until it is distributed. Look for the brands that include aloe that can assist to soothe your skin.
Treating using home remedies;
- Seek medical advice for the severe burns. Home remedies may be much helpful, but they’re normally intended to treat the mild burns. If you are having blistering, fever, or possible infection (red streaks or increased tenderness) then you should contact the doctor before treating the sunburn by yourself.
- If you or even a friend are feeling much weak and thus unable to stand, or even passes out, then you should call an ambulance.
- Skin that is waxy and also white, or raised and leathery are indications of a third degree burn. It is much rare, but it is sometimes very possible to suffer a burn that is this severe from the sun. Seek medical help urgently.
- Spray the sunburn using apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is a very weak acid that can sometimes be used as an antiseptic. It normally balances the skin’s pH, which in turn then promotes faster healing and might also relieve the sunburn itch. Vinegar do also have a very strong smell, but it must dissipate after about 15 minutes.
- Fill a clean spray bottle with the apple cider vinegar. Test it by first trying to spray it on a small skin part of the sunburned skin and wait to see if you have the pain or any kind of reaction.
- Spray the cider vinegar on the sunburned part of the skin, allowing it to drip-dry. Do not rub it into the skin.
- Reapply if the skin starts to itch again.
- If you don’t get a spray bottle, then pour a few drops on the cotton ball or even washcloth and the dab it on the sunburn.
- Some also claim that regular white vinegar has the same effect as apple cider, so you can try using the white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar if none is found.
- Take a warm oatmeal bath. Oatmeal normally moisturizes the dry skin and can normalize the skin’s pH, which is usually at a higher level when skin is very dry and itchy.
You can also apply colloidal oatmeal, which is the ground and can float in the bathwater, thus increasing the exposure to the skin. Otherwise you might put about 3/4 cup of uncooked oatmeal in a clean pair of the panty hose and tie or even knot it.
- Run a warm bath (hot water can dry out the skin and lead to more itching).
- Add the colloidal oatmeal to the running water so that it mixes much completely. If you are applying by use of the stocking, toss it into the bath at this moment.
- Soak for about 15 minutes. If you feel that it is sticky afterwards, then rinse using lukewarm water. You may also take an oatmeal bath up to four times a day.
- Make sure that you pat dry using a towel—do not try to rub. This can lead to further irritation to the skin.
- Treat the area using diluted peppermint oil. Available in most parts of health stores, peppermint oil contains a cooling and also a calming effect on the skin. Do not apply peppermint extract–it is not similar to peppermint oil.
- Dilute the peppermint oil in a carrier oil. Add about 16 drops per ounce of the oil for adults. For children, or those with sensitive skin, add about 5 drops.
- Test the oil on a small skin part of the sunburn so as to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction.
- Rub the oil into the sunburn. The skin should feel a cold or a hot sensation, and the sunburn itch might subside temporarily.
- Apply witch hazel to the sunburn. Witch hazel has tannis, which can also reduce swelling, pain, as well as itching. It is a perfect alternative if you don’t want to apply hydrocortisone cream.
- Rub a small amount of the witch hazel cream into the sunburn
- Use a cotton ball in applying witch hazel water to the skin.
- Use witch hazel up to about five times a day so as to relieve pain and itching.
Best Thing for Sunburn
- Take a hot shower for very severe sunburn itch that do not respond to treatment. If you are having what is called the Hell Itch which is normally the extreme itching that sets in about 24 hours after a burn, then a very hot shower can be the best course of action. The Hell Itch do not respond to any other treatments, and is very persistent and much severe it can cause sleep deprivation, aggressiveness, and also suicidal thoughts.
- If no other available treatment works, including those that are recommended by the doctor, you can choose to try the method. If you are under 15, talk to your parents first.
- Take a shower that is turned up as hot as the body can stand. Don’t use soap or even scrub the skin–the hot water can dry the skin out and soap can also make this worse.
- Continue using the extremely hot showers until the sunburn itch disappears (normally about four days).
- The hot showers perform better as the brain can only process one sensation at a time. The heat of the water then activates the pain nerves, which can suppress or even shut down the sensation of the itching.
- Talk to the doctor about prescription of a high-potency steroid cream. If the sunburn itch is very bad that you can’t concentrate on anything else, then the doctor can be able to assist with an aggressive treatment. A high-potency steroid cream is also able to reduce inflammation and calm the itching.
- These medications are found by the prescription only, and may weaken the immune system and lead to other serious side effects. They might only be applied in the most extreme cases.