Remedies for Sunburn
Summer- the time to enjoy picnics with friends and family, rides, boating, fishing, beaches and many more. It is ultimately a time to have lots of fun. But yeah, we can never deny the fact that excess of everything is bad and every good has a side-effect too. Excess of outdoor activities, which we can never help, can cause sunburn to our skin. Sunburn is actually a bane of summers which is caused by the exposure of our skin to the ultraviolet rays of sun. No doubt, UV rays provide Vitamin D which is really good for our health, but excess of even that can give us sunburn. When our body is exposed to sunlight, the UV rays are bombarded on the skin producing a dark pigment on the top layer of the skin, called melanin. Melanin gives our skin its color, preferably called tanning, which further protects our deeper skin from the damage of ultraviolet rays. This dark pigment is determined by the genetics- people with fairer skin produce less amount of melanin and are more frequent to sunburns. This further leads to peeling (a dry layer that appears on the skin after we get sunburnt) and blisters (a small bubble on the skin filled with serum, caused by friction, burning or other damage) causing severe pain and ugly looking red skin.
Most people think that it is just sunburn, need not to get affected from it. But beware, do not treat sunburn as a lenient one. It can even leave you with long lasting negative effects on your health. Minor sunburns may not affect that much except redness and tenderness to the affected area, but if it comes to severe sunburn, it can further lead to require hospital care. The sunburn can lead to three types of skin cancer:
Melanoma: Also known as malignant melanoma. It is a type of cancer that develops from a pigment- containing cells knows as melanocytes. In women it is more frequent in legs while on the back in men.
Basal-cell carcinoma: Also known as basalioma or basal cell cancer. It is the most common type of cancer and individuals with this type of cancer typically present a shiny, pearly skin module. These look quite similar to those of acne scars, so are difficult to distinguish.
Squamous-cell carcinoma: Also called squamous cell cancer. The cells having this type of cancer are the main part of the epidermis of our skin, hence, being the major type of skin cancer. It is twice as prevalent in men as in women.
Symptoms of Sunburn
The signs of sunburns may not appear for the first few hours. After that, initially there is redness on the skin followed by mild or severe pain. Further symptoms include:
- Appearance of blisters on the skin few hours or days later.
- Severe reactions including fever, rashes, chills, itching or nausea.
- Peeling on sunburned areas several days after sunburn.
Factors that make Sunburn more frequent
- Infants and children are very sensitive to sunlight effects.
- People with fair skin are more likely to catch sunburn than dark or black skin people.
- Reflection of light from water, snow or sand can make the sun’s burning rays stronger.
- Some antibiotics and oral contraceptives can make your skin more sensitive to sunburn.
- Artificial sources such as sun lamp, welding arcs etc. can cause sunburn.
Prevention from Sunburn
One should follow some precautions to prevent the skin from direct contact with sunlight. These are:
- Full sleeves shirt/top, trousers or long skirt in close-weave fabrics that do not allow sunlight through, sunglasses etc. are the wearable stuff that can prevent your skin from direct sunlight touching your skin.
- While buying a sunscreen, make sure it is suitable to prevent your skin from both “UVA” and “UVB” rays. The amount of sunscreen that should be applied on an adult body is 35 ml.
- Try to stay out of sun between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, when sun is the strongest.
- Use lipbalm to prevent lips from sunburn.
- Drink excess of water.
- Proper diet with efficient vitamins can protect from sunburn and skin damage.
These are the prevention from sunburn that you can apply to protect yourself from sunburn. But, what if the person has already caught sunburn?
Remedies to tackle from sunburn
At first, one should take care of his/her skin and follow the prevention methods. But, if it’s late and you have already caught sunburn, don’t worry. There are plenty of home remedies for sunburn that will help you to get rid of sunburn and provide you sunburn relief. These involve:
1. Potato Paste
Potato, since years, has been known as a pain reliever, working particularly well on minor irritations and soothing scratches, bites and burns.
At first, wash and scrub the potatoes. Then whirl them in blender until they become quite liquid without removing the peels. Apply it on the affected part of the skin with cotton balls. You can use either juice of potatoes or the slices also.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is alkaline in nature. So, it can be effectively used to treat sunburned skin and its antiseptic properties can relieve the pain as well.
Mix 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda with cold water sufficient enough to make a paste. Apply the paste directly on affected skin and leave it for 10 min. and then wash it off. Follow the same once or twice daily to get sunburn relief.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has excellent anti-inflammable properties that can effectively provide you sunburn relief.
Extract the gel from some part of aloe vera leaf and put it in refrigerator for half an hour. Now apply the chilled gel coating on sunburned skin. Allow it to dry by itself so that your skin can absorb all medicinal properties. Following the same for 5-6 times daily will let you get rid of sunburn in very less amount of time.
4. Black Tea
Black tea is full of antioxidants that can work effectively against sunburn and treating irritated and sunburned skin. Tea consists of tannins that help to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiations’ damage and to reduce inflammation as well as helps in maintaining PH value of body.
At first, dip 2-3 teabags in hot water for a few minutes. Then remove the teabags and allow the water to cool at room temperature. Soak a clean cloth in the solution and apply it at the sunburned area. Follow the same daily until you get better results.
5. Cold Compress
You can apply the cold compress on the affected skin to reduce inflammation and pain associated with the sunburn. It allows tiny blood vessels to constrict which in turn reduce inflammation.
Wrap a handful of ice-cubes in a clean cloth and hold it on the affected area as long as it is cool. Apply for as many times as possible to get quick sunburn relief.
Never apply ice directly on the skin as it can damage your skin.
Oatmeal has some properties that can help skin to retain its moisture and reducing irritation.
Fill a bathtub with cold water and add one cup of oatmeal to it. Soak in it for few minutes, approx. 15-30 minutes. After that, allow your body to dry naturally and avoid rubbing with towel. Do it once daily to get rid of sunburn and its irritation.
Moisturizers can prevent skin from peeling after sunburn and help reducing pain. Apply moisturizer to the affected skin. Do this immediately after taking shower. Moisturizers that are specifically designed for sunburn contain mostly aloe vera to sooth the skin reduce inflammation and help preventing peeling. They can also be included with baby oil, honey and coconut oil. You should avoid moisturizers containing alcohol or retinols.
8. Apple Vinegar
Vinegar help to prevent peeling or blisters after sunburn. Pour white or apple vinegar into a spray bottle and mist it on affected part of the skin. It can be used with water too, if you find smell unbearable or too offensive.
9. Whole Milk
Milk possesses protein which is very helpful in soothing skin. The lactic acid present in milk can help to prevent irritation and itching.
Soak a washcloth in cold whole milk and apply on the affected area. Press gently on the burn so as to make the affected area absorb whole of it. Follow the same daily for few days to get the effective result.
10. Witch Hazel
The leaves, bark and twigs of witch hazel are used for medicinal purpose. They contain “tannins” that reduces swelling, repairs damaged area. It is mostly found in the form of distilled liquid which is extracted from the leaves, bark and twigs of the plant. Hence, it is also known as witch hazel water.
Pour some witch hazel in a bowl and apply it on the burnt area. Leave it at the same place for some time so that the affected area can absorb the whole of it. Do it once or twice daily for few days.
11. Plain Yogurt
Live cultured plain yogurt contains an abundance of probiotics and enzymes that can heal up your skin.
Put cool plain yogurt in a cup and apply it to the sunburnt area and keep it as it is for few minutes. Just remember that it should be plain yogurt. Gently rinse it off with cool water after approx. 5 minutes.
Cucumber acts as an instant pain reliever because of being cool in nature. Along with it, it contains with some antioxidants and analgesic properties which help in healing and provide further relief from discomfort.
Slice a chilled cucumber and lay the slices on the burnt part. Flip the slice when first part heats up. Repeat the same for approx. 15-30 min. to get a positive result. You can also use a blender to make a paste of it and apply on the affected area.
The part that has caught sunburnt has become dry and dehydrated. Drinking lots of water and juices maintain the amount of fluid flowing in our body. It can also replace lost body fluids of affected area that can help in healing the affected area more quickly. It can be proved as the easiest way out of all home remedies for sunburn and can provide you quick sunburn relief.
14. Vitamin E and Lavender oil
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that help in healing inflammation caused by sunburn. Use Vitamin E oil or take a regular dose of its supplement. It can help healing up and getting rid of sunburn. Vitamin E oil can be rubbed on the peeled skin to get early relief.
One can also use lavender or helichrysum oil to the sunburnt skin to soothe sunburn.
15. Coconut Oil
Once your initial sunburn has calmed down, you can apply coconut oil which acts as a skin moisturizer. Don’t use coconut oil as a sunscreen because coconut oil can never provide you protection from UV rays of the sun. Hence, you are more likely to get burnt and blame it later.
Honey is one of the nature’s best healers and its antiseptic properties will work great to prevent infection.
If you have got blisters after sunburn, honey can be proved to be a helpful parameter of getting sunburn relief. Pour honey in a bowl and apply directly to the affected area. Keep it as it is for few minutes and then wash it with clean water. Never rub the affected area. Apply the same for few days to get better result. You can also mix vinegar with honey if you find any requirement.
17. Lettuce Leaves
Lettuce leaves can help you greatly to get sunburn relief and even get rid of sunburn. It can help you get relief from pain and swelling associated with sunburn blisters.
A few fresh lettuce leaves should be boiled in water for ten minutes. This water should be then left to cool down and then put in the refrigerator to get cold. This water can be applied to the blisters for several times throughout each day. Cold lettuce leaves can also be applied directly to the affected skin.
18. Dry Bandages
Sunburn blisters are filled with serum and have a tendency to pop out and ooze it outside. This can cause infection and must be protected. Putting dry cotton bandages over it can help preventing it from popping out and allow faster healing of the same.
Buttermilk has an amazing cooling property and can act as healer to sunburn blisters. It will take the heat away and help to soothe the inflammable and uncomfortable skin.
Put some amount (around half cup) of buttermilk and apply it on the affected area. It will cool the burning skin and heal the blisters. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use yogurt and add one cup of water to it. The mixture will provide same results.
Chamomile is super soothing to sunburn blisters and adding a few drops of extract to some water is a great home remedy for getting rid of sunburn blisters.
Dip a clean towel or washcloth into it and apply directly to the affected skin. It will cool down the burned area and provide great relief from the same. You can also apply chamomile tea in absence of chamomile extract.
You can use any of the methods to get rid of sunburn and get sunburn relief. These home remedies will work in any type of sunburn and heal it up providing improved conditions. In case, you do not find any relief, you are now required to consult a doctor regarding the same and go for some medications.