At some time or another, we’ve all experienced the effects of sunburn – be it a light burn or a more heavy burn.
Although the sting of regret of inadequate protection (from UV exposure) can be an excellent incentive to plan more carefully on ‘future’ occasions, it’s of little help in soothing the immediate physical sting (i.e. pain) accompanying sunburn.
However if you ‘have’ found yourself having spent a little too much time in the sun, — here are 8 natural home remedies to help ease the pain of sunburn, and assist in the body’s healing process:
1. Cool Milk Compresses
The fat and lactic acids in milk are known to have soothing qualities for sunburned skin. Soak a soft cloth or cotton gauze in cool whole milk, and dab carefully onto the burned skin.
Do this for around 20 minutes, and follow by rinsing off with cool water. (Due to the importance of the milk’s fat content, it’s important that whole milk be used in this treatment).
2. Cool, sugarless tea
The tannin in tea is the active ingredient here, which helps to soothe and relieve some of the discomfort of sunburned skin.
After brewing a big pot of tea, and allowing it to cool completely, slosh the affected areas with a soft sponge or washcloth.
As with the vinegar, you could also fill a spray bottle, and spray the tea directly on the skin. And don’t throw away the used (cool) teabags.
These are especially good for sensitive areas around the eyes – simply place the teabags over your eyes if they feel hot and tired. (If you have ‘St. John’s Wort’, consider using this as it contains cooling properties, which can help tone down some of the heat in your skin, as well as soothing the nerve endings damaged by the sunburn).
Oatmeal can also help treat sunburned skin. It has soothing properties that help the skin retain its natural moisture and reduce irritation.
Fill the bathtub with cool water, add one cup of oatmeal to it and mix thoroughly. Soak in the bath water for about half an hour.
After getting out of the water, air dry your body and avoid rubbing the skin with a towel. Do this once daily until you get rid of the sunburn symptoms.
Alternatively, cook oatmeal with enough water until it has a runny consistency. Let it cool completely and then apply it liberally to the damaged skin.
Do not rub the oatmeal on your skin. Leave it on the skin for half an hour and then rinse it off with cool water. Follow this remedy two or three times a day as needed.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is commonly used to treat sunburn. As well as providing soothing relief, it may also assist in the healing process.
Apply to the affected areas as needed. Although the gel extracted directly from an aloe Vera plant works best, if you don’t have ready access to one, you may use an ‘over the counter’ Aloe Vera Cream that contains the gel.
For this to be effective, just ensure that the cream contains a high concentration of Aloe Vera than it does water or other solutions.
Honey works as a natural antibiotic and helps trap moisture in the skin, which is essential for treating sunburn. Plus, an enzyme present in honey helps repair damaged skin. Honey also decreases inflammation and swelling associated with sunburn.
Apply a thin layer of natural honey on the affected skin and allow it to dry on its own. As the moisture in the honey is absorbed into the skin, it will speed up healing and minimize pain. Apply honey two or three times daily for a week.
Also, eat one tablespoon of honey with a glass of lukewarm water three times a day to boost the immune system and speed up healing. In fact, you can eat honey on a regular basis to enjoy good health and glowing skin.
When exposed to the sun, your body loses water and essential body salts. Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid, and begins to reabsorb fluid from the blood and other body tissues.
To prevent the consequences of dehydration, increase your fluid intake to ensure you adequately re-hydrate your body for optimum recovery and health.
Sunburn should of course be avoided where possible — particularly as it’s adverse affects not only include damage to the skin, but also the increased risk of skin cancer.
Prevention and protection should always be considered the best treatment for sunburn, and will assist in ensuring your optimum long-term health!
Raw potato is excellent for relieving a sunburn as the natural starches found in potatoes will help draw heat out of your skin.
- Peel two large potatoes and cut them into small pieces.
- Blend the pieces in a blender to make a paste.
- Apply the paste on the affected skin and let it dry on its own.
- Then take a cool shower.
- Repeat the process once daily for a few days until all your symptoms are gone.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
A great astringent, apple cider vinegar can soothe sunburn pain and also speed up the healing process. Also, the acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar helps ease itching and inflammation.
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. Follow this remedy once daily as needed.
Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and cool water. Soak paper towels in the solution and place them over the affected skin area. Leave them on until the towels are dry. Repeat several times a day for a few days until your condition improves.
Note: Avoid using apple cider vinegar remedies if you have abrasions on your skin.
DISCLAIMER: These are home remedy tips only, and should not replace your regular health care provider.
If in doubt at any time in relation to your sunburn, please seek the appropriate health care assistance.