8 Comforting Tips on How to Stop Sunburn Peeling

December 8, 2022
6 minutes

Table of Contents

What is the situation that brought you here today? Was it because you were having too much fun at the beach to remember the sunscreen, or did you go on a hike without reapplying sunblock? Whatever the adventure, now your skin is peeling, making you uncomfortable. 

Stay a bit to learn how to stop sunburn peeling and how to prevent sunburn peeling. Simple treatments may boost the life of your skin! And although sunburn peeling is natural, there are things to consider to avoid crossing a deadly path. The sun may sometimes be similar to an oxymoron. It is lethal, but humans benefit from its natural synthesis of vitamin D and endorphins in the skin. 

Do not fear peeling skin! Skim through these skin facts to learn more about the organ that protects our internal organs.

How to Stop Sunburn Peeling
8 Comforting Tips on How to Stop Sunburn Peeling

Skin Facts

  • The body mass of the skin is approximately 16% making it the largest organ of the human body. 
  • The skin has three layers; the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis. 
  • The epidermis is the outermost layer and is the body’s point of contact with the environment. 
  • The dermis is the middle layer of skin and contains various structures such as sweat and oil glands, nerves, blood vessels, and hair follicles. It also produces substances like collagen and elastin, which help to keep our skin elastic and firm. 
  • The human skin is renewed in 28 days entirely. 
  • An average human may shed up to 9 pounds of dead skin cells in one year. 
  • Humans’ dead skill cells make up 1 billion tons of the total dust found in Earth’s atmosphere. 
  • The skin has varied stretchiness and strength, designed especially for every inch of the area it covers. The type of skin you have in your belly or underarms is not the same as your knuckles. 

Sunburn Consequences

The harness of sunburn can produce two types of effects. 

Short-term effects

Experiencing a sunburn may include the following

  • Redness
  • Peeling
  • Blistering
  • Dehydration. 

Long-term effects

When overly unprotected and exposed to Uv-rays, the consequences are severe. 

  • Premature aging of the skin
  • Skin Cancer
  • Eye damage
  • Immune system suppression 

Sunburn can cause premature aging of the skin. Exposure to UV rays can break down collagen, the protein that gives skin its elasticity. This exposure can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. Sunburn can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

How to Stop Sunburn Peeling
8 Comforting Tips on How to Stop Sunburn Peeling

Skin Degree Burns 

Your skin might go under two types of burn degrees. 

  • First-degree burns: occurs when the epidermis isolates sun damage. Side effects experiences may be mild discomfort, redness, peeling, and itchiness.
  • Second-degree burns: UV radiation penetrates deep into the dermis, where sweat glands and capillaries locate. Damaged dermis leads to swelling and blistering on the skin's surface and is often terribly painful. 

Peeling starts two days after sun exposure for first-degree burns. And it can take up to 1 to 2 weeks for the second-degree burn skin peel to heal. However, treatment can shorten the wait.

Why does skin peel after a sunburn? 

UV radiation penetrates skin cells and causes direct damage. The exposure causes free-radical damage to your skin. A process known as programmed cell death is when the skin cells shut down for being too damaged to live appropriately. The body rejects the sun-damaged skin cells as part of its natural healing process as new skin regenerates. 

Do not fear peeling skin!

Worry more if the skin doesn’t shed! 

In some cases, if the cells survive despite severe damage to their DNA, they can become cancerous. And while it is fun to poke at yourself, control the urge to peel off the skin manually. 

The consequences are:

  • Poor or prolonged healing. 
  • Increases irritation & inflammation. 
  • Prone to infections.
  • Damage the surrounding healthy skin.
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How to prevent sunburn peeling

There are actions you can do to find comfort in your unplanned sunburn and prevent it from worsening. Start by taking a mildly cold shower to ease the irritating pain. 

  1. Use a cool compress to help reduce pain and peeling

Low temperatures can speed up the healing process. A sunburn may aggravate if left untreated. Residual heat gets trapped inside your skin, permitting ongoing damage and killing skin cells. Do not place ice directly on your skin, as it also harms it. 

Place a cool compress twice daily for 30 minutes until the skin heals and improves for severe sunburns. 

  1. Aloe Vera

Extract the gel directly from the leaves and apply it to your skin. Aloe vera can also moisturize and decline inflammation. 

  1. Moisturize 

Avoid using oil or petroleum-based products such as Vaseline. Oil-based products create a seal over the skin that traps heat. Instead, search and rub water-based moisturizers with ingredients that can help reduce the peeling skin severity. 

  • Glycerin/Glycerol is a natural humectant. 
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can soothe flaky and dry skin and decrease inflammation. 

Sooth your skin with ÆTHEION® ZC5 After Sun!

A gentle spray to quickly restore moisture from excessive sun exposure to your skin & hair. Our lightweight, non-greasy formula with rapid absorption can repair the damage from UV rays. It combats free radicals and regains skin vitality with a spritz or two! Maintain elasticity, a smooth tan complexion, and hair that shines and is soft. Get your After Sun Lotion here!

How to Stop Sunburn Peeling with AETHEION
8 Comforting Tips on How to Stop Sunburn Peeling

How to treat sunburn peeling once it starts

  • Oatmeal bath

The reason for this is that oatmeal is proprietary of anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits. For mild treatments, grind the oatmeal into a powder and mix it with water. Use your hands to spread the oatmeal around the damaged area. Try to shower twice a day, soft tapping with a towel. 

  • Pain reliever

If the irritation persists, take some ibuprofen or naproxen to ease the pain and inflammation. Please don’t take more medication than the label indicates, even if the discomfort continues. 

  • Drink water

The habit of drinking water does wonders. With treating sunburns, staying hydrated is also crucial. Doing so will boost the skin’s moisture from the inside, therefore helping the skin heal faster. 

  • Loose cotton wear

While you are in the process of getting better, avoid friction between the skin and clothing. 

Loose attire will be more comfortable, and cotton is the best material; lightweight and breathable. 

  • Leave blisters alone but treat broken blisters!

Infections are not fun, so as inviting as it might be to burst blisters, do your future self a favor and let them do their thing. Once they break on their own, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it with a sterile non-stick gauze bandage. Look after it and change the bind frequently. 

UV safety tips 

How to Stop Sunburn Peeling
8 Comforting Tips on How to Stop Sunburn Peeling

From this sunburning peeling experience, there are things to learn. Here are a few things to keep in mind when stepping outside. 

  • Minimize outdoor activities from 10 am to 4 pm. Know the sunlight bounces off reflective surfaces, making shade almost obsolete. 
  •  More than five sunburns may double the risk of skin cancer. 
  •  Don’t forget to cover your ears, lips, neck, legs, feet, eyes, and scalp when applying sunscreen.
  •  Wear protective clothing. Wide-brimmed hats protect the head, face, ears, and neck. If you’re a baseball cap person, smear sunblock around your neck and ears. 
  •  UV protective sunglasses are handy! Wear some. 
  •  Supplement Vitamin D from diet and capsules rather than UV exposure. 
  •  Tanning beds were so yesterday. They are more dangerous than sunlight. 

Sunburn Risk Factors 

Several factors can increase your risk of sunburn:

  • Altitude: The higher you are, the closer you are to the sun, and the greater your risk of sunburn.
  •  Sun angle: The sun's rays are more direct in the spring and summer than in the fall and winter. They are also more direct at lower latitudes (closer to the equator) than at higher latitudes (farther from the equator).
  •  Skin type: People with fair skin are more likely to get sunburned than those with darker skin.
  •  Sun exposure: The extended amount of sunlight is dangerous. 

When to seek medical care?

As you examine your body, notice if any sores aren’t healing. Or if there are changes in moles, growth, irregularity, asymmetry, color changes, elevation, pain, or itching. 

Remember that skin cancer is highly treatable when caught early. 

Sun poisoning 

Also known as polymorphic light eruption, it may present in different aspects based on your sensitivity to the sun. Medical help is needed to prevent complications.

Apart from the known sunburn symptoms, sun poisoning denotes the following:

  • Blisters & peeling skin 
  • Severe redness & pain
  • Fever with chills sometimes
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches

Sun poisoning does not implicate being poisoned by sun exposure. It is a severe burn from UV-ray exposure. 


In short, you cannot stop sunburn peeling as it is the skin's natural response to regenerate new skin cells. You can comfort the process to relieve the pain. Avoid harm's way and plan when stepping outside to provide complete protection. Check your skin routinely—at least once a month from head to toe. Use mirrors or have a partner involved.

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