June 24, 2015 Emmy Graber Spotlight

Sunburned? How to Deal With Peeling Skin

Here at MDC, we would love to think that we have all the answers for you. However, there are certain issues that require the insight of a pro. Today we asked Boston-based dermatologist Emmy Graber to help us get to the bottom of a major summer skincare issue: how to deal with peeling skin.

How to Deal with Peeling Skin

You probably don’t want to hear this, but the best way to treat peeling, sunburned skin is to not get it in the first place! Now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk worst case scenario.  Suppose you goofed and forgot your sunscreen or stayed out just a little too long on the beach. Now you are left with bright pink skin which will inevitably become dry, peeling skin. What do you do? Check out my tips below!

Tip #1:  Don’t do it again! Let the peeling effect be a reminder of how bad sun exposure is for your skin’s health. Make a vow to be better about seeking shade and wearing sunscreen on your next summer outing. Equip yourself with an SPF of 30 or higher (like La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Mineral)

Tip #2. Feel like your skin is on fire?  Peeling skin often brings with it unpleasant irritation and itchiness. A cool bath with an oatmeal soak (try The Body Shop Deep Sleep Comforting Milk Bath Float) can help calm the burning, itchy sensation and restore moisture to your parched skin.

Tip #3: Try some aloe vera.  Although scientific studies are conflicted on whether aloe vera actually benefits peeling, sunburned skin, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try! At any rate, cooling aloe vera-infused gels or lotions (like Kiehl’s Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion With Aloe Vera & Oatmeal) feel great on your chapped dermis and can help keep it hydrated.

Tip #4: Apply some hydrocortisone cream. The anti-inflammatory properties can speed up healing and soothe your peeling skin.

Tip #5: If you have  blisters, don’t pop them. Seriously. Let them decrease naturally. The healing process will be much faster than if you intervene and pop them.

Check out more tips and tricks for the best skin of your life.

Photo: thinkstock 

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    About the Author: Dr. Graber is a Boston-based dermatologist specializing in acne, acne scars and cosmetic dermatology.