7 Solutions to Relieve Peeling Skin

If summer sun has left you burned, dry, and peeling, try these seven tips to restore your skin to its natural beauty.

  1. Take a Cool Bath or Shower. Bathing in cool water can help cool down your skin and slow down the peeling process. Choose a moisturizing soap; don't use any that could irritate skin. Pat skin dry with a towel - don't rub.
  2. Drink Water. Rehydrating from the inside out may help skin, but most importantly, it can help cool down the body and start the skin's natural healing process.
  3. Apply a Protective Layer and Keep Skin Moist. Sunburn breaks down your epidermis' ability to protect deeper skin from infection. An after-sun cream can help seal skin and protect it from future damage. Choose a moisturizer formulated for sun-burnt skin, or use a natural reliever like aloe vera gel. A moisturizer that's too oily can keep skin from cooling down properly.
  4. Don't Scratch or Peel It. When you scratch or peel damaged skin, you put your skin at risk for infection. Peeling healthy skin can lead to scarring. If you can't stand the itch, holding an ice cube to your skin can soothe the sting.
  5. Protect Blisters. Be sure to cover up any blisters with gauze, a bandage, or an antiseptic cream. Never pop a blister, as that can spread infection and delay healing.
  6. Take a Pain Reliever. An anti-inflammatory like aspirin or ibuprofen can help alleviate symptoms and make it easier to avoid scratching at tender skin.
  7. Stay Out of the Sun! Sun-burnt skin is even more susceptible to further burning than healthy skin. Be sure to stay out of the sun until your skin is fully healed.

The full effects of sunburn are usually not apparent for 12-24 hours, but if you think that you may have damaged skin, you can start these treatment steps even before your skin starts to peel. While there's no need to seek medical attention for a mild to moderate sunburn, you should see a professional if your skin is peeling without sun exposure; your sunburn is severe, or you're suffering from fever, nausea, severe pain, blisters, or dizziness.


MayoClinic.com: "Peeling Skin". Mayo Clinic. Web. March 20, 2010.

MayoClinic.com: "Sunburn Treatment: What Works?" Mayo Clinic. Web. Aug 16, 2008.

Skincancer.org: "Worst Case Scenario: Treating Sunburn." Skin Cancer Foundation. Web. 2010.