Playing in the sun is a lot of fun, but if you aren’t careful, the harsh UV rays can cause serious burns. Mild sunburn causes skin darkening, redness, itching, and other mild symptoms; but serious sunburns can lead to swellings, dehydration, fever, and blistering that may take days to heal. Most people know that reducing time spent in the sun and using a good quality sunscreen can prevent these issues. Despite that, nearly 34,000 emergency visits in the United States are due to sunburn related causes each year.
So, in this guide, we will study some natural remedies for sunburn.
Aloe vera lotion or gel is the number one natural remedy for getting rid of swelling, blisters, pain, and redness associated with sunburn. Cut open an aloe leaf and apply the gel liberally to all affected areas of the body. Re-apply as often as needed. If you are using store-bought aloe vera, do make sure that it is free from harsh chemicals and preservatives, dyes, and fragrances.
Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal parts and soak a clean, soft cloth in the solution. Wring out the excess and wrap it around the sunburned areas. If you are burned all over, simply soak in a tub bath mixed with water and apple cider vinegar. You can also spray the solution on the parts that are difficult to reach. Reuse as often as needed to get rid of the pain, inflammation, swelling, and redness. You will smell like a pickle, but at least the pain will go away quickly! Make sure to use raw, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar having the ‘mother’ enzyme.
Make a paste of baking soda with a bit of filtered or clean water. Apply the paste all over the blisters using a sterile Q-tip or a clean finger. The soda neutralizes the pH of the heated skin and calms down redness, swelling, pain, and inflammation. After the paste dries, reapply it again. You may use this remedy 3-4 times a day until you get relief.
Organic, virgin coconut oil, when slathered on a sunburn, can immediately alleviate the pain, redness, blisters, and swelling. Coconut oil speeds up healing of the skin and also prevents further damage to the tender skin tissue.
The tannins in tea prevent the sunburned skin from drying out and peeling. They also draw out heat from the skin and balance its pH. Brew a few tea bags and apply them to the blisters. You can also soak in a bathtub containing warm water mixed with several cups of brewed tea. This remedy is especially handy while traveling, since tea bags are readily available in most hotel rooms.
Apply raw egg whites to the sunburn and within minutes you will get relief from the pain, itching, peeling, and redness. This remedy soothes the skin and facilitates quicker healing.
Lavender essential oil is soothing for all kinds of burns and that includes sunburns as well. Make a cool compress of lavender oil and apply it to all affected areas to take away the pain and heat from the burn. To make the compress, add a few drops of pure lavender oil to cool water and soak a clean flannel cloth in it. Now gently press the cloth onto the burned areas. Repeat this several times.
The homeopathic remedy Cantharis (Spanish fly) is highly effective for sunburns. It is especially helpful with blisters, itching, burning, or severe pain.
Taking cool showers or soaking in a bathtub filled with cool water can help relieve the pain and soothe the inflamed skin. As stated before, adding a cup of apple cider vinegar to the bathwater is also beneficial, as it helps draw out the heat and balances the pH (acidity or alkalinity) of the skin.
Add some colloidal oatmeal to the bathwater and soak in it. This is especially beneficial for itchy skin caused by a sunburn.
Apply cool (not cold) milk to the skin. You can dip a clean cotton ball in the milk and apply it to the painful areas. Re-apply as often as needed. Milk proteins create a film on the skin which reduces pain and also protects the skin from further damage. You can also apply fresh skin cream to the burnt areas to prevent dryness and peeling.
This antioxidant decreases the inflammation caused by sunburn. Use vitamin E oil topically on the skin and also take it internally. This will help protect the skin from the inside out.
Blend or grate a few pieces of cucumber and apply the cool juice to the sunburned areas. Cucumber is very soothing and it cools down the heated skin. You can also mix aloe vera gel and cucumber juice and apply to the sunburned areas.
Pulverize a few lettuce leaves and apply the juice to the skin for instant relief from pain and itching.
Ice the skin for a few minutes using an ice cube wrapped in a clean cloth. Make sure not to let the ice touch the skin for more than a few minutes at a time without a break in between. You can also use a bag of frozen peas or frozen vegetables to ice the area and experience relief.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Use the following tips to prevent sunburns:
2. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies: Based on the Timeless Wisdom By Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc.
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