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 4 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 (4), 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).
3. 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 higher concentration of Aloe Vera than it does water or other solutions.
4. Water: - 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!
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.