Step 3: Healing the wound

Picture of Healing the wound
Once the water has cooled to a warm/lukewarm temperature, 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. The sunburn should be substancialy subsided or all gone, 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.
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cindi595 years ago
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!
dsan135813 days ago

That has to be the coolest remedy for sunburn I've ever seen or heard of! Gonna have to make note of this and share! Thanks for the advice!

five4us1 year ago
This is great for diaper rash as well. I started doing this 30 years ago when my daughter would have diaper rash and it worked like a charm.
gamerguy131 year ago
I'll have to give this a try! Will it work on a burn 2 days old?
Dudeyowuzup4 years ago
Thank you for posting this! I completely forgot about the tea treatment. I'd been suffering all day just constantly applying aloe w/lidocaine & cool wet rags to my upper arms, till I finally decided to search "painful sunburn" & I found your instructable! I just wish I had done this last night so I wouldn't have been suffering all day today!
Also, I read elsewhere that recommended spraying (or dabbing) vinegar on the sunburn to alleviate the pain or itching. Does anyone know if this is bad for the burn or affects the healing in any way? I know the tea is good--the tannins improve healing, but vinegar sounds harsh.
Vinegar only works if you going to mix it with ice water. Don't put straight vinegar on your skin it will burn but if you take the sink and you stop it up and fill it with water ice and a cup or two of white vinegar then take it T-shirt or some sort of cotton cloth dunk get in there and then wring it out a little bit and put that on the sunburn that will help immensely.
Hey, I had a super bad burn a few years ago. We used washcloths soaked in vinegar and alternated them with straight tea bags on my shoulders. It helped considerably. You so smell like a salad for a few days!
adolan21 year ago
I'm trying this right now I'll tell you if it works when I wake up
hasully2 years ago
i've had my sunburn for 3 days now.. i've had to miss school for it.. i made the mistakes twice of a hot bath and hot shower.. no matter what i do even with aloe my skin is dry not peeling but really dry. any suggestions to fix that?
sairplane3 years ago
I burn very easily, and I got a VERY attractive burn on my back...complete with the outline of the knot in my bikini top. I just applied the first "coat" of this, and it already feels way better! I'm going to apply twice more before I go to bed. I will update with results.
diamar793 years ago
Food for thought...Wouldn't soaking the towel in the tea and letting the wet towel sit on the area do just as good as all that dabbing? I would think that it would be especially more effective if it were over a large area.
lsilguero3 years ago
Would this be as effective if i soaked in the tea? So i can cover a larger area of skin. My tummy and legs down to my feet are burnt :(
If you brew many bags in a large jug and create a very strong tea, then pour into a tepid to luke warm bath and get in it, it works as well. Not as well as applying directly to the skin does, as it is more diluted, but it will help.
DawnD133 years ago
While this may or not work, the home remedy we have used since I was a kid (over half a century ago) was to strip down in the shower and gently pat on Milk of Magnesia (unflavored), let it dry and go to bed. By morning you can rinse off the dried milk of magnesia (using a tepid shower--not hot) and the burn is GONE. Like magic! I don't know why this works, but it is great. Just make sure you DON'T use the mint flavored one...that will only aggravate the pain. Give it a try if this tea thing doesn't do a thing for you. You may be pleasantly surprised with the messy, but easy milk of magnesia method.
Shapes993 years ago
 I mean it is not one of those scams it works. I had sunburn and where i have applied it. It has gone down to a minimal amount.
sland3 years ago
I have tried this and I love it. I have extremely pale freckled skin. Dark hair and dark eyes but as my friends and boyfriend have said I pink in about 15 minutes of unprotected skin exposure. I went to a bike run and forgot sunscreen and was out somewhere between 6 - 9 hours in the sun. I had a bad burn on my neck and arms and chest and face. This helped take the pain out of my neck and reduce what little pain was in my arms. My face didn't really hurt but when it did the tea helped relieve that as well. I also tried taking the washcloth and soaking it in the tea then letting it sit on my neck to pull the heat out and it worked wonders. Though my shirt did get soaked in the process. So if you don't mind your shirt getting a bit wet that is something that helps two. Thanks for posting this remedy for us :)
Katester213 years ago
I have a sunburn, and it's bad enough that it blistered. It's mainly on my face and the sides of my neck, so do I still need to use three teabags or can I get away with using one?
bridge474 years ago
I read over your instructable several times and nowhere did it say to cool the tea, so I applied HOT TEA to my burn. No wonder it hurt. I thought maybe that was the point, that it would slough off the dead, damaged skin cells. Well, on a scale from 0 to 10 (0 is the same and 10 is totally healed) I'd say using the hot tea method gave me about a 1. Tonight I try the cold methods, already it feels better!
drpepper8412 (author)  bridge474 years ago
Oh my! I'm so sorry! I thought it was self evident, but thank you for bringing it to my attention!!
So I have been sunburnt for a 24 hours and then I found this website. I just put the coats on this second. Do you think I still have a chance for sanctuary in the morning even though I waited a little long?
really hope this will work my prom is tomorrow and i have aweful sunburn, willing to try anything :)
scree44s4 years ago
can this work with other teas like chai tea and green tea?
tomacho274 years ago
Is it possible to make a sunburn cream with black tea ? So you dont need to put a towel, and just apply the cream directly into the sunburn?
you might be able to but i think the cream wont be as powerful because it would be washed out by the other ngredients.
drpepper8412 (author)  tomacho274 years ago
I was actually trying to design something like that. If you can, more power to you!
I have a moderate sunburn with mild blistering and i am going to go to Publix and get some tea to try this out with.
uctigers4 years ago
I have a question could you still use this method with a sun blister on the sunburn? please answer quickly!
jhoffer4 years ago
Hey, trying this now, hopefully it'll work, I'll let you know tomorrow (:
cgraffam4 years ago
I was Red as a lobster,I mean really really red.....lol
The Tea bags worked for me my burn is practical gone!!!!!!!
nikki2104 years ago
This worked relatively well for me but i was looking for something that the effects would last a little longer so i added a few drops of pure tea trea oil to the brewed tea and applied it worked great. I went from being bright red and barely able to move to the redness almost being gone and the pain disappeared within 12 hours of the initial application (I did apply three times within that time frame)
vk1814 years ago
well ive just followed these instructions quite early within the day, though im not seeing any difference, i can feel it as most of the pain has gone. gonna try it out before i sleep tonight and hopefully it should be gone. thanks for sharing this with us dude it actually works =)...
dynikus5 years ago
So... I ride a bike for hours on end in just a jersey and bike shorts almost every day. I go to my school for 3 hours, and I get a bad sun burn... Go figure. Lol It wouldn't be too bad if I wasn't gonna be going to the beach with some friends in a few days. >< Applied the tea just a bit ago, I'll post back in the morning to say how it went.
Grab your brooms because im calling Shenanagins on this post! I did as told and still have the burn. Granted, it did feel better when i dabbed the cold, wet tea on it many times. However, other than a strange dream involving the Mad Hatter and some people dressed as Indians in Boston, it had no effect.
I've been doing this for years, it was always a family remedy. I've always used just typical cheap Lipton's black tea, comes in a yellow box. We usually use 2-3 tea bags to a mug of water and just keep dabbing it directly on the sunburn with one of the teabags.
CaptInsane5 years ago
I've found that if you feel sunburn coming on, slather on plenty of aloe to be on the safe side. Helps heal it before it really appears. But I'll have to try this next time I get burned and don't tend to it in time
mgiljum5 years ago
Is it acceptable to do this on a Saterday?? I have the sabbath holy day on calendar scheduling my friend
I've tried this only once, using just a few coats of warm black tea. in less than an hour i can already see the difference. My redness has gone down and the pain is definately subsided. I'll comment again when my sunburn is completely gone. I have faith!
what if the sunburn is o your face and it isnt red anymore? it turned into a tan?
thartaros6 years ago
ive done this about 3 times already with no change besides i now smell of tea. how big are the tea bags you use? im using one bag that makes 1 gallon of tea. HELP ME
ooshcaba7 years ago
Ahh, 3 questions: What if you do this the day after you get the burn, would it still be as effective? Will anything terribly bad happen if the stuff gets in your eyes? And, if you put make-up on the burns, would that make your burn worse in anyway?
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