Best Sunburn Relief
Also known as devil’s itch or fire ant itch, some people describe it as an unrelenting itch that can keep them awake at night and persist for days while the skin heals.
Read on to learn how to treat hell’s itch and what to avoid while the skin is healing.
Treatment for hell’s itch
Most treatments for hell’s itch are home remedies. People can take a variety of steps at home to help soothe the itch and enable the skin to heal itself as quickly as possible.
The following treatments may be helpful:
- Take cover. The last thing sunburned skin needs is more sun exposure. Avoid the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, and seek shade when outside. Sunburned skin may be too painful or sensitive for sunscreen lotion, so wearing long-sleeved clothing and staying in the shade is often a more comfortable choice.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen can help relieve the pain and inflammation from hell’s itch.
- Try an oral antihistamine. Drugs commonly used for allergy symptoms, such as Benadryl, may reduce itching and help a person sleep at night if hell’s itch is keeping them awake.
- Use cool compresses. A cool, wet towel or washcloth can provide relief from the burn and may help ease the itchy feeling.
- Take a lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal. This remedy has been known to help stop the itch from chicken pox, poison ivy, and eczema. Colloidal oatmeal also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Use aloe vera. This traditional sunburn remedy also has wound-healing effects. Use aloe vera extract or gel without added ingredients, such as numbing agents, fragrances, or alcohol, which may irritate the skin. Natural aloe vera gel can be purchased here.
- Cortisone cream. An over-the-counter cream that contains cortisone can help with hell’s itch. Cortisone helps calm inflammation in the skin and may ease the itching temporarily.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water helps the skin stay hydrated and reduces dryness. Drinking a sports drink with electrolytes may be helpful if there is a risk of dehydration.
What not to do
Some things may make hell’s itch worse or cause further skin injury. People with hell’s itch should avoid: