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You're fried -- red, itchy, uncomfortable. It happens. We understand. To ease the pain and help save your skin, try this three-step strategy from Susan H. Weinkle, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of South Florida.
STEP 1 (2 minutes): Stop the inflammation that leads to wrinkles and brown spots by taking aspirin or ibuprofen every four hours. (Acetaminophen will only relieve pain.) Apply a topical steroid cream, like hydrocortisone, to keep the area moisturized.
STEP 2 (5 minutes): Steep a few tea bags (black tea is best), cool them in the fridge, and place them on the burned area. The tannins in tea take the sting out of a burn and help soothe skin.
STEP 3 (3 minutes): Once the burn has started to heal, use an antioxidant-rich lotion that contains at least one of the following: vitamin C, vitamin E, or coenzyme Q10. One to try: Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Lotion ($11.99, drugstores). Antioxidants fight off the free radicals in your body that stimulate sunburn and damage skin cells.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2007.