When you're searching the pharmacy shelves for something to soothe and heal summer sunburns, skip the hydrocortisone or other corticosteroid ointments.

A study in the current issue of the Archives of Dermatology found that moderate strength or even high-potency corticosteroid ointments don't decrease acute sunburn reactions.

Danish researchers at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen recruited 20 healthy volunteers and tested the effects of ointments on different parts of their sunburned backs.

The beginning of sunburn season can coincide with the Jersey shore vacations that begin over Memorial Day weekend. Shortwave ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is the most common cause of sunburn, which is an inflammation of the skin which develops three to five hours after exposure.

So instead of seeking something to relieve the pain of sunburn this summer, grab some sunscreen instead.

Contact staff writer Josh Goldstein at 215-854-4733 or jgoldstein@phillynews.com.