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6 Tips for Dealing With Sunburned, Peeling Skin

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How to treat a sunburn when you overdo it on the beach

4. Drink up

When you've been out in the sun, it's easy to get dehydrated. Be sure you're drinking plenty of water, and if you notice a headache, it might be a sign that you need to drink a little more.

More: The 7 Best Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

5. Don't peel it

Flaky, peeling skin is more than just irritating and unattractive — it can also lead to an infection. Peeling skin can become infected if you scratch or try to forcefully peel the skin. If there is a segment of dead skin that is hanging off and you want to remove it, don't pull on it, no matter how tempting it is. Instead, get a small pair of scissors and carefully cut away just that section of skin. Be sure you are only cutting away dead skin and you don't tear skin that is trying to heal. Once you cut away the dead skin, apply an antibacterial ointment like Neosporin to the area.

6. Prevent scarring

Reduce the itch associated with peeling (and moisturize your skin) by taking a cool bath containing colloidal oatmeal. You can find this fine oatmeal in most pharmacies. To help prevent scarring, promote healing and reduce long-term skin damage, take antioxidant supplements — vitamin C and vitamin E. Also apply a topical vitamin E cream to reduce the chances of scarring.

Bonus: Be prepared

Prevention is the best cure for peeling. Plan ahead and don't get sunburned in the first place. By the time your skin starts peeling, the damage has already been done. Before you go out into the sun, always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. If you are going into the water, be sure to reapply sunscreen each time you get out. When applying sunscreen, don't forget about hidden areas, such as behind your ears, which are often forgotten and end up burned.

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