It's official. Your "Green Thumb" is making your neighbors "green"…
The back and shoulders are both very common places to get a sunburn. Shoulder’s proximity to the sun make them a prime target and, heaven forbid we fall asleep on our stomachs on the beach!! Unfortunately, these are both tender and sensitive areas and once they are burned it makes it difficult to do anything including leaning back on a couch and laying on your back at night to sleep. Once skin begins peeling, there is not much you can do to stop the process, but there are steps you can take to alleviate pain and discomfort.
“If you are in too much pain to sleep, “offers the writers at PillowPancake, “you can get some relief by applying a cool compress to the affected areas or by taking a cool bath. Once you get out of the bath, you should run the air conditioning.” Author Carieanne Larmore expands on this recommending taking a cool shower or bath, paying careful attention to the back and shoulder area. “Make sure these are thoroughly soaked and continue to submerge in the cool water frequently. Once you are out of the shower, be sure to pat skin dry with a clean, soft towel being careful not to rub and further irritate skin.”
There are also many topical ointments you can apply directly to the skin to treat sunburn. Aloe vera is effective for pain relief. Apply the gel to the back and shoulder areas by massaging it gently into the skin. You can find aloe vera at your local drug stores or squeeze the gel directly out of an aloe vera plant. Topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone can also stimulate the healing process while reducing any itching. Be careful not to scratch the skin and make the peeling worse. Moisturizer will also be helpful in treating dried, damaged skin. Moisturize several times a day with alcohol-free cream or lotion as alcohol will dry out your skin and further irritate the burn.
Wear loose clothing made of a soft lightweight fabric that lets your skin breath. The last thing you want is tight, itchy clothes that will scratch against your sunburn and cause discomfort. Stay out of the sun. If you must go outdoors, wear a hat and clothing that covers your upper back and shoulders completely.
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories are also helpful. Experts recommend naproxen and ibuprofen in particular. PillowPancake goes on to advise as to how the pain relievers can come in handy specifically when you are trying to sleep on your back. “If you are having trouble sleeping because of sunburn on your back, go ahead and takes some pain relievers. Though they may take up to an hour to take effect, they will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.”
Sunburn can be severe enough that it can be considered a medical emergency. If sunburn leads to symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, upset stomach, chills, facial swelling, dehydration, confusion, headache, fever, blistering or extreme pain, health experts recommend you seek medical care immediately.