Getting a sunburn or a minor burn from cooking can happen more easily than you think, and when it does, healing burned and peeling skin is top priority. A first-degree burn is minor and usually will heal in three to six days. A second-degree burn is more serious and will take two to three weeks to heal. The area struck by the sun or a hot frying pan will turn red, blister and then quickly start to peel. Although it takes time, a few simple steps can help the healing process.
Apply cold compresses directly to the burned area of the skin. This will help cool the area and alleviate some of the pain. Cold compresses can be made by taking a piece of clean dry cotton cloth and folding it to create a pad. Then soak the pad in icy cold water and wring it out. A clean dishcloth or kitchen cloth can be used as well, and for added cold, the cloth can be wrapped around an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables.
Apply a moisturizing cream to the area to help keep skin moist. This will help the healing process. Aloe vera is a natural plant that secretes a thick liquid that is an ingredient used for burn relief in its raw form or added to many moisturizing creams. Antibiotic creams also work well. When applying the moisturizing cream to a blistered area, be gentle and don't burst the blisters, which can get infected easily.
Skin will naturally start to peel when healing, so it is important to continue applying the moisturizing cream regularly. The moisture is what actually helps the skin heal, so be generous. Attach a loose gauze bandage over the area. This will protect the area from air, dirt and anything that can cause infection.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen to help ease any pain. Follow the dosage instructions and read warnings on the label.