Warnings against getting too much sun are everywhere, but still about half of Americans over 30 have had a sunburn at least once in the past year.
To take the edge off of a painful sunburn, try a washcloth soaked in milk. Because milk has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help to soothe irritated skin. Just make sure it’s cow milk.
Moistened tea bags also take the sting out of a burn. Tea contains tannic acid, a substance used in World War I to treat burns. Another benefit is drinking two cups a day may prevent a sunburn in the first place.
Finally, try cucumbers. The veggie contains vitamin C, so rubbing a piece of cucumber over a burn can decrease the inflammation damage in the skin.
If you want to lower the risk of getting sunburned in the first place, eat lots of red fruits like watermelon and tomatoes. These fruits are loaded with lycopene, a type of carotenoid that protects skin from sunburn. In fact, a recent study showed people who ate two and a half tablespoons of tomato paste a day had 50% less skin reddening after being exposed to UV light.