What Are People's Go-To Sunburn Remedies? - Health Digest Survey

Most of us spend our days outdoors in the sunshine during the summertime. Although we're always susceptible to sunburn any season of the year, 2021 survey data from ValuePenguin reveals that over 80% of people in the U.S. do not wear sunscreen on a daily basis during the summer months. Out of more than 1,000 survey participants, 45% of respondents reported having already incurred a sunburn for that year. On average, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that at least one out of every three Americans experience a sunburn annually.

Skin damage from exposure to UV rays can put us at risk for skin cancer, which is why protection is critically important (via ValuePenguin). In addition, the aftermath of a sunburn can be particularly unpleasant. Experts at the Mayo Clinic report that following a sunburn, one may experience symptoms such as itching, inflamed skin, pain, swelling, blistering, headache, nausea, or more. For this reason, Health Digest gathered responses from 583 survey participants to find out their #1 go-to remedy to soothe a sunburn.

Aloe vera proves to be a crowd favorite

The survey response with the least amount of votes was use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relief medications for alleviating sunburn symptoms. Only 36 participants reported utilizing this remedy, accounting for only 6.17% of total responses. A total of 50 participants — 8.58% of responses — reported jumping in a cold shower or bath as their go-to remedy. Ranking only slightly higher was 51 votes for using Aquaphor and 52 votes for the use of Cortizone. In first place, aloe vera took the cake with a whooping 394 votes, accounting for nearly 68% of total survey responses.

Skin care professionals seem to agree that this popular sunburn remedy may have health benefits to offer. "Aloe is the gold standard at-home treatment for sunburns, given it is anti-inflammatory and calms the skin," dermatologist Dr. Caren Campbell, tells Insider. However, experts at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that the best remedy is prevention. Remaining in the shade, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or more, and wearing protective clothing, such as sunglasses or a hat, can help keep our skin safe and healthy during those bright sun-shiny summer days.