Summer’s here, for many of us that means more time outside, but sunburn is the bane of summertime. Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Too much exposure to UV light can damage your skin, making it red and painful. Pain is usually most extreme 6 to 48 hours after exposure. The burn continues to develop for 24 to 72 hours, occasionally followed by peeling skin in 3 to 8 days. Other symptoms are edema, itching, rash, nausea, fever, chills, and syncope. The best treatment for sunburn is prevention. However, if you suffer from sunburn, try out these home remedies that can help relieve the pain and speed healing.
Aloe vera is a trusted skin soother and moisturizer, and also acts as an herbal antibiotic. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help deal with the various symptoms of sunburn. You get a bad sunburn and almost anyone’s initial response is “Apply some aloe.” Simply slit open one of the broad leaves and apply the gel directly to the burn. If you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can buy aloe vera gel from the market. Some aloe products contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that can help relieve sunburn pain.
One part vinegar to one part water, mixed together in a spray bottle and applied directly to the sunburn is supposed to be an effective sunburn relief treatment. Apple cider vinegar is considered to be the best. You can also add one cup of apple cider vinegar to your bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Soak in this water for about half an hour. This will help balance the pH level of sunburned skin and promote healing. Vinegar is only suitable for skin without ruptures of any sort; it is not suitable if you have abrasions on your skin.
Baking soda can be very soothing on sunburned skin due to its alkaline nature. Mixing together baking soda and water, and then using cotton balls to apply the solution to the affected area. You can also use a few tablespoons in a tepid bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. Pat dry or air dry to avoid abrasion.
Oatmeal can be an effective home remedy to treat milder forms of sunburn, since it has been used for centuries for all types of skin conditions. Grind up a cup of oatmeal in a food processor, add it to cool bathwater, and soak. Oat extract has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve sunburn pain and itchy. Don’t linger for hours, as a super long soak may dry out your skin more in the end.
For inflamed skin in general, dermatologists usually recommend cool compress with a cool, wet towel. Cold compresses cause the tiny blood vessels to constrict, which in turn will reduce inflammation. You can fill a plastic sandwich bag with ice and wrap it in a towel to create an easy ice pack. Never apply ice directly on the skin as it can damage your skin.
Honey being a natural moisturiser will help in regaining the lost moisture and help to heal wounds, which is essential for treating sunburn. Apply a thin layer of natural honey on the affected skin and allow it to dry on its own.
Milk has long been known for its valuable skin benefits and is perfect as a natural home remedy for sunburn. Apply cool (not cold) milk with a clean cloth to your skin, the initial coolness of the milk will ease the heat, while it also creates a layer of protein to protect your skin, help it heal, and further soothe discomfort. Due to the moisturizing properties of fat, whole milk is the best choice, but any form of milk will work for treating sunburn.
It is a good idea to wear white clothing over the affected area to protect it from the sun.
Do not take a hot shower when you have a sunburn.
If you have been severely burned, it is best to seek medical care (include: symptom increased, faint or dizzy, nausea, fever, chills etc).
Don’t go out in the sun a few days after you have completely healed.
Remember, sunburn can be developing in your skin before it is visible to you, so precautions are very important.