Honey, milk, and oatmeal aren't just for breakfast -- they're also used in home remedies for sunburn relief.

By Belle: University Chancellor
May 02, 2012

If your child gets sunburned, make sure she drinks plenty of fluids since sunburns are dehydrating, and keep her out of the sun until she's healed. Contact your pediatrician immediately if your child is under age 1 or if she has blisters, severe pain, lethargy, or a fever higher than 101 degrees. For mild sunburns, try these all-natural skin soothers.


Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies in a soft towel and apply to the burn. Never place ice directly on skin as it can cause frostbite and more damage.

Cool Water

A cool (but not too cold) bath, shower, or moist compress takes away heat and pain. Don't scrub skin or use products like bath oils, soap, or bubble bath.

Aloe Vera

The gel from inside this cactus plant eases discomfort, speeds healing, and moisturizes skin. Either split a plant leaf and apply the sap directly to skin, or buy pure aloe vera gel at your local drugstore.


The sticky stuff's been used as a topical burn salve since Egyptian days. "Studies suggest it may work better than some antibiotic creams at speeding up healing, reducing infection, and minimizing pain," says Kathi Kemper, M.D., author of The Holistic Pediatrician. Note: Skip this remedy for babies younger than 12 months, as accidental ingestion of the honey could put them at risk for developing infant botulism.


Finely ground oatmeal (sold as colloidal oatmeal in drug stores) works as an anti-inflammatory when mixed with bath water. Make your own by pulverizing a cup of instant or slow-cooking oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it has a smooth, fine consistency. Pour into tepid bath water and soak.

Witch Hazel

Wet a washcloth or cotton gauze with this anti-inflammatory astringent and apply to the skin three or four times a day for 20 minutes to minimize pain and itching.


Place a washcloth or cotton gauze soaked in cool milk on the reddened area to create a protein film that eases discomfort and reduces heat.

Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Soaking in bathwater mixed with baking soda or cornstarch can relieve inflammation and itching.

Cider Vinegar

Acetic acid in vinegar alleviates pain, itching, and inflammation. Pour one cup of white cider vinegar into tepid bath water and soak.

Coriander Oil

Studies suggest rubbing this essential oil onto sunburned skin may reduce inflammation.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Comments (1)

January 26, 2020
Noxema. I was surprised to not find this on your list. The summer of 2009 my niece and I fell asleep for a couple of hrs. on the beach in Florida (I was laying on my stomach). For over a week I tried everything that I could buy and anything anyone would abuse me on. Oh the things I applied to my back side of my body. Then this lady that I thought might not be completely stable.mentally, who was a friend of my older sister's told my sister to tell me to get some Noxema and put it on it. Well me and my pompous opinion thought she was incompetent and so I didn't get any that first evening. After another 10 hr day of work the next day and the misery of every twitch most less actual body movement , I bought a big jar of Noxema went home and applied it. When I got in the shower later that evening my skin wasn't so red and the pain was exceedingly less severe. I applied more after my shower and when I woke to get dressed for qorknthe very next morning I had a very thin small pink not cherry red line (the outline of my sunburn) going around my sunburn. The rest of my back side was brown or tanned. By the next day no one would have ever known I had suffered one of the worst sunburns I had ever known of. Noxema has got to be added to your list. People need to know about it. That lady I discredited so carelessly was a godsend with her advice and I am forever grateful to her for her help and knowledge!