My experience working in a level-2 trauma center has taught me the best treatment for moderate-to-severe sunburn. The night of the burn, cover the skin with a cool, damp cloth to minimize late effects. Starting the next day, apply regular non-mentholated shaving cream to the burn a few times a day to relieve the discomfort. — R. Dennis Rieke Jr, PA-C, MPAS, Omaha

A number of interventions are available to alleviate the pain and discomfort following sunburn. Some of these are: (1) systemic OTC anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., aspirin [only in adults], nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen], or acetaminophen); (2) cold compresses, cool baths, or gentle showers; and (3) application of soothing lotions, such as those containing aloe vera or a least-potent (Class 7) corticosteroid (0.5%-1.0% hydrocortisone). An Internet search did not find any studies that specifically addressed use of regular non-mentholated shaving cream for the treatment of sunburn. — Philip R. Cohen, MD (103-21)


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