This is my first instructable, and is only going to be short because its an extremely easy and effective method to removing a painful sunburn.

This method was recommended to me by my friends mother, who is a nurse. I hope this helps many a painful sunburn to recede or disappear quickly.

EDIT: 6/26/16

As this instructable has seen over 6mm views since I first published it, I've decided to edit it for more clarity & for safety concerns.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

You will need a total of six things.

  1. A bathtub to do this in (preferably ceramic, so it wont stain)
  2. A pitcher
  3. A rag that you don't mind getting stained
  4. Water
  5. Three bags of black tea (I use Earl Grey)
  6. Ice

Step 2: Fill the Pitcher

First things first, strip down, because you don't want to get any of your clothes wet. Fill the pitcher with lukewarm water and soak the tea bags in it - the water should be just warm enough to help the tea brew. When you have the water almost black, like the picture, then move on to step 3.

DO NOT use hot water! As a sunburn is a first degree burn, adding more heat to a burn will exacerbate the effects and cause further damage to your skin. Use only lukewarm water at most.

Step 3: Healing the Wound

Once the water has cooled to a warm/lukewarm temperature (add your ice now to speed this)

Dunk the rag into the tea, and dab it onto the sunburn. Do not wipe it off! Leave it on and let it be absorbed into your skin. Once its dry, re-apply as necessary, but never wash it off. If you do this process before bedtime, you can go to sleep and give it time to work its magic. In the morning you can wash it off in your shower. Hopefully, your sunburn will be substantially subdued, but remember: the sooner you can apply the tea after you get the burn, the quicker and more effective it will be.

Note: I had a severe sunburn and I also used the tea bags straight up, dabbing them directly onto my skin. You may use as many "coats" of tea as you want, but the more the better.

It worked for me! Here's what it did: I used 4 tea bags (earl grey) in a large tea cup. Microwaved the 4 bags with water for 2.5 minutes. Let cool, swish around. You now have a very very very strong cup of tea. Dabbed on my sunburned face. Repeated every 45 minutes or so until bedtime. Probably did it 8 or 9 times before bedtime. In the morning, I was tanned but not burned! I went from lobster red to tanned in 12 hours!
Congrats! I'm so glad it works so well for so many other people! =D
Does this get rid of the redness overnight?
<p>It's all lies. </p>
<p>From my understanding it is supposed to. If it doesn't then you may not have applied it as many times as necessary</p>
I Used 3 Family Size Luzianne Tea Bags And It Worked Perfect! :)
Please DO NOT take hot showers after a sunburn. This is a BURN and hot water can make it worse d/t nerve ending damage, u can't really tell how hot the water is. Cool water helps bring down the temperature of your skin. The tannic acid in the tea bag soothes the skin; this is a great remedy for any 1st degree burn. If you suffer a really bad burn seek medical attention, please!! Dehydration/burned skin is serious and u may need fluid replacement. Tea bag treatment is also great for itching burning feet!!!!
<p>Interesting, &quot;The Nurse&quot;, that you signed up to comment here apparently only for this, and have never done anything else. Curious, since you are so educated, what commercial products are available that is equal to this? Wouldn't one of the big time cosmetic/pharma companies want to take advantage of the cheap tannic acid and put it in their products? </p>
<p>tannins are in tea not tannic acid </p>
<p>Tannins are tannic acid. They are the same thing.</p>
Today was hell for me. I had the worst sunburn itch. If you don't have blisters and your sunburn itches, a warm/hot shower works. Make sure the temperature isn't so hot as to burn you, but after the shower, the itch will be gone. I know because this just happened to me. Also of course, Aloe Vera and cold showers are good too.
If u take a little bit of vinegar and then add cold water to dalute it and ten take a rag and TAP it on it helps a lot leave it on for about 3 minutes it will smell bad but it works
Is it suppose to make it burn more when you use the tea?
Thank you very much for this! Im glad that you posted this so people now understand how dangerous some of their other methods are.
<p>FYI, if you can afford to use a whole bag of family tea bags and you have a deep garden tub like I do, then steeping the whole box in a hot bath and climbing in when the water becomes tepid is a great way to do this. Lay in the tub for at least an hour.</p>
I just tried this remedy on a two-day-old lobster belly, and WOW! what a fantastic difference! Only difference: I didn't have earl grey tea, so I used what was on hand, which is plain old Lipton ice tea bags. I used seven of the small (not family size) bags. I got almost immediate relief from my constant itching, which was making me think I was going to lose my mind (assuming I had something there to lose in the first place). I have posted this remedy to another site (wiki answers, I think) with credit given. Thank you very much for your helpful advice!
I've been on instructables for a few months now and it took a wiki answers site to send me to this... and right when i needed it... my girl thinks i'm addicted but this site really does have a bit of everything.
My dad thinks that I should sip using this website cause I'm addicted to video games and he thinks I'm researching video games, which I am!
Glad you found it! Once summer starts up, I always tend to get a lot more comments, so I'm glad it could help with one of the first burns of summer!
Wow, thats wonderful! I'm so pleased that it worked that well, especially on an old burn! Could you send me the link to where you reposted the remedy?
Sure! It is at: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_do_you_do_when_your_sunburn_starts_to_itch">http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_do_you_do_when_your_sunburn_starts_to_itch</a><br/>Mine is currently still the last one on the page, signed John Hance. Thank you for the helpful tip! It is one I will be handing down to my kids and passing on to all my family and friends.<br/>
I did this last spring when I forgot to put on sunscreen while gardening. I wasn't burnt to a blister state but was uncomfortable on my shoulders to sleep! I made 4 bags of plain lipton tea in a glass two cup measuring cup. I let it cool and started by dipping a washcloth in and after wringing (not completely, just to not drip) it out I dabbed. Instant difference! I was able to cool the burn enough to sleep. I left the tea in the cup and in the middle of the night when I got woke up in pain I did it again. The next morning the majority of the sunburn was gone. I did use the tea on the more burned part over the next day. Instead of days of soreness, I had one! My kids have done the same since! It isn't a cure of course but It sure helps!
<p>I've got to try this, I burn so easily! When I was leading tours in Okinawa I had a perpetual sunburn despite continual application of sunblock. XD</p>
<p>Since you are IN A BATHTUB, maybe you need more tea bags, some lukewarm water, and more ice... and give yourself a loooooong nice dip, so all of your body (probably occasionally dipping head and face too if you like) are constantly submerged in ICED TEA.</p>
<p>I think Instructables (and the author of this) might want to get out of the medical advice space. I pursued this option for treatment and trusted this source and it FAILED. </p>
Yeah this didmt work AT ALL!!! I tried on me amd my kids in desperate hopes it would work. NOTHING!! Still burnt and in excrusiating pain.
Wow ! And it's made your mouth go crooked too. Don't do it.
<p>Wow plasticbaldy! You are a real comedian, a talented one for sure. Dang, wish I were you. </p>
<p>I agree, it's all B.S. But they got a lot of views, so that is what matters.</p>
This I learned from a radio drama. You fill your tub with water as hot as you can handle and you climb is you must become red as a cruyfish Lie in the tub till the water became cold. Then drain the tub and fill it with cold water ans wash your body. The nexed day no burning sensation and just a nice tan
<p>You totally win the creep of the year award KROKKENOSTER. HORRIBLE advice. </p>
Do NOT do this. A sunburn is a first degree burn. Treating it with more heat only exacerbates the burn, irritates, and causes more burns.
Yes! Returning skin is not a treatment for a burn, duh!
<p>I treated half the sunburn on my chest with this &quot;method&quot; (every 30 minutes or so), and left the other half alone. Twelve hours later there is not even a tiny difference. Placebo all the way. </p>
Hi!am in Africa Nigeria what other tea bags do I use
<p>I cut some aloe stems off the plant, then put it in a blender on high, add little water and it turns into a gel. I rub it all over my burn, let it dry and sleep in it. The next morning I take a shower and my burn is usually almost gone. </p>
<p>I grew up in Florida, I'm a natural redhead with fair skin, I'm now 58 years old and have always sworn by Aloe gel. If you don't have access to a natural plant just buy the 100% Aloe Gel in the pump bottle (clear, no additives)... cheap, cheap (usually under 2 bux) at WM. I've been sunburned more times than I care to remember, even to the point of being hospitalized for sun poisoning... I could go on with more gory details but I'll spare you. I also work with hot glass, as in glass blowing, and have also received many burns ( I sound like a french fry don't I?) I keep pump bottles of the stuff in my studio. Because of Aloe I've never had any skin cancer thus far nor do I have any scars from sunburns, torch burns, hot glass burns, etc. </p><p>The tea bath works too, any kind of black tea, takes the burn out but doesn't really heal, just soaking in a tub of plain water will ease the discomfort as well. So does applied white vinegar but that makes you smell like a salad. But Aloe... I recommend it enough.</p>
Yes I relate, and I got sun poisoning as a young teenager living in Florida as well. My legs were purple for nearly a year. I still have damaged area on my eyelid. Aloe is wonderful! Medicine made by the Creator and put into the Earth for our use and enjoyment! I definitely use it for kitchen burns. Sometimes my sunburns have been so bad it didn't seem to help much though unless I mix it with the colloidal trace minerals I mentioned in another comment here.
<p>Hi Linda, did your legs ever fully recover from that burn and go back to your natural skin colour? Mine are in pretty bad shape at the moment and would love any advice/sign of hope that they will get better.</p>
<p>I'm with you on the aloe. I'm red head and white skin and know fully the dangers of UV. To all the foolish people who strip off and stay out in full sun too long, get some aloe vera.</p>
Im currently trying this now to see if it works. I wasnt badly burnt however got very itchy skin. Will see if it does the trick
Yep, Im going to try this.<br>I have the worst tanning bed burn that I think I have ever had.<br>I'll let you know how it works. OUCH
So the picture you have here looks similar to what my nose looks like, Except my nose looks worse. It's disgusting. Plus, tomorrow I'm leaving to go to a music festival. I've been dabbing this on my face all day and I see no difference, sadly :( Does anyone have fast remedies to get rid of the redness?
<p>If you are not allergic to aspirin or taking medication with aspirin in it, take an aspirin after being burned, it helps melanin production to turn the red brown. Also use a good quality skin moisturizer to help keep the skin hydrated and minimize peeling. Before I learned about aspirin I used to turn as red as a lobster, now I develop a dark rich tan by the middle of the summer ( I have blonde hair). </p>
<p>You are such a life-saver. I currently have sun poisoning, which I acquired just a few hours ago, and this trick is helping me so much. I haven't had a sunburn in 10+ years, and I've never been this bad in my life. But lo, I fell asleep on the beach for four hours even though I only meant to be in the sun for 20 minutes. This is what I get for being careless. C'est la vie.</p><p>Thank you for saving me from some pain! The tea trick is definitely one I will recommend to others! </p>
<p>I'll definitely have to try this. I don't seem to burn as bad as I get older, but my fiance freaks out when I get the least little sunburn. While it's sweet of him, good grief! My heritage is Scot, so all I have to do is peek out the door on a sunny day and my skin turns red! OK, that's a minor exaggeration. A walk around the yard, then. I'll turn red in short order, even though it's really not bad enough to cause any discomfort. Still, on the occasion when I DO get an annoying burn, this will be good to know. Even if it isn't something that needs treatment, it'll give my man some comfort that I'm doing something for it, even if it isn't needed. Thanks, drpepper!</p>
<p>The Tannic acid from tea is also good for a sore throat. This is one of the home remedies that I have used in the past. No more alcohol based cough medicine.</p><p>Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>apple cider vinegar! smell like a salad and get a tan,</p><p>I live in south Florida never used sunscreen, always Apple Cider Vinegar</p><p>It works and all the real locals swear by the fix</p>
<p>Aloe Vera is like black magic for sun burn. Instant relief and in 8 hours you will never know you ever had a sunburn. REAL Aloe Vera squeezed out of the plant, NOT the lotion the sell in the store that is 5 or 10% Aloe. </p>
<p>TeaTree oil and peppermint oil works well. Or use Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle shampoo. (basically the same stuff). Works well in a cool shower as well. Just apply as needed, wait many minuets and then rinse off. </p>

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More by drpepper8412:La manera más eficaz de deshacerse de una quemadura de sol The single most effective way to get rid of a sunburn 
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