12 home remedies for sunburns

There are many health benefits of Sun. It is very essential to have sun bathe at times as it is a good source of vitamin D. Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Too much exposure to UV light can damage your skin, making it red and painful. The symptoms may not occur immediately; it can take up to five hours for sunburn to appear. If not treated timely, the burn can lead to peeling or blistering skin. Sunburn also doubles the risk of developing melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

Causes of sunburn

  1. Sunburns are caused by exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) light. UV radiation is a wavelength of sunlight in a range too short for the human eye to see. Ultraviolet A (UVA) is the type of solar radiation mostly associated with skin aging (photoaging). Ultraviolet B (UVB) is associated with sunburn. Exposure to both types of radiation is associated with developing skin cancer. Sunlamps and tanning beds also produce UV light and can cause sunburn.
  2. Melanin is the dark pigment in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) that gives your skin its normal color. When you’re exposed to UV light, your body protects itself by accelerating the production of melanin. The extra melanin creates the darker color of a tan. This too cause sunburn.
  3. A suntan is your body’s way of blocking the UV rays to prevent sunburn and other skin damage. But the protection only goes so far. The amount of melanin you produce is determined genetically. Many people simply don’t produce enough melanin to protect the skin well. Eventually, UV light causes the skin to burn, bringing pain, redness and swelling.
  4. You can get sunburn on cool, hazy or cloudy days. As much as 80 percent of UV rays pass through clouds. Snow, sand, water and other surfaces can reflect UV rays, burning your skin as severely as direct sunlight.

Symptoms of sunburn

Signs and symptoms of sunburn usually appear within a few hours after sun exposure. But it may take a day or longer to know the full extent of your sunburn. Within a few days, your body may start to heal itself by “peeling” the top layer of damaged skin. After peeling, your skin may temporarily have an irregular color and pattern. A bad sunburn may take several days or longer to heal.

Sunburn signs and symptoms include:

  • Pinkness or redness
  • Skin that feels warm or hot to the touch
  • Pain, tenderness and itching
  • Swelling
  • Small fluid-filled blisters, which may break
  • Headache, fever, nausea and fatigue if the sunburn is severe.

12 home remedies for sunburns

1. Baking soda for sunburn

Baking soda has a soothing effect on the skin due to its alkaline properties. Moreover, it has antiseptic properties that will relieve the itchy sensation. You can use baking soda in the following ways to get rid of sunburns:

  • Fill your bathtub with cold water, add one cup of baking soda and stir well. Soak in the water for about 15 minutes. After getting out of the bath, pat dry or allow your body to air dry. Do this once daily until you get positive results.
  • Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste directly on the affected skin using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off with tepid water. Follow this remedy once or twice a day for several days depending upon the severity of your condition.

2. Ice is an effective cure for sunburn

Ice soothes the itchy skin. Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies in a soft towel and apply to the burn. Never place ice directly on skin as it can cause frostbite and more damage.

3. Hydration is necessary during sunburn

A sunburn, like any kind of burn, can be drying to the skin and often the time spent in the sun getting the sunburn causes dehydration. Just as diet is important in avoiding sunburn in the first place, hydration is important to help the recovery process. I drink lots of water, herbal teas, kombucha and water kefir to keep hydrated.

4. Aloe vera for sunburn

Aloevera gel eases discomfort, heals quickly and moisturizes skin. Either split a plant leaf and apply the sap directly to skin, or buy pure aloe vera gel from your local drugstore.

5. Apple cider vinegar beneficial for sunburn

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.

6. Vitamin E cures sunburn

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and can help decrease inflammation caused by sunburn. Use Vitamin E oil on the skin, or take a regular dose of the supplement. Vitamin E oil also can be rubbed onto peeling skin.You can use vitamin E capsules to apply on chapped sunburn lips. You can directly apply the vitamin E capsules on the affected area or it can be taken orally.

7. Milk is good for sunburn

The fat, protein and pH in milk have a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on skin that can give you comfort from various symptoms of sunburn. Milk can be used to cure sunburns in the following ways:

  1. Mix one cup of skim milk with four cups of water. Add some ice cubes to the mixture.
  2. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and apply it to the sunburned area for half an hour.
  3. Then, gently pat dry your skin with a soft towel.
  4. Repeat the process every four hours for a few days until the pain and irritation subside.

The cold temperature will constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling, while the milk will create a protein film that helps ease pain.

8. Apply Honey to get rid of sunburns

Honey can be a sweet relief to a sunburn due to its antibacterial properties. Honey has been used to heal wounds for years. Applying honey to a healing sunburn, can help the skin repair faster. You can prepare a home remedy out of honey and apply it on the affected areas.

  • 3 to 4 inch piece from an aloe vera plant, sliced in half.
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  •  1/2 to 1 tsp raw hone
  • 1 Old T-shirt (optional)

The amounts above will vary depending on how much skin you need to cover. The directions to use it are:

  1.  Start with the aloe vera piece and slice it in half to reveal the soothing clear gel on the inside. Rub it liberally all over affected area and let it dry for 30-90 seconds.
  2. Take the coconut oil and rub it carefully over the affected area.
  3. Take the honey and rub into any areas that look more red or blistered.
  4. Put on an old tee shirt and go to bed. Most of these natural ingredients will
    be completely absorbed by morning.

9. Essential oils to Soothe and Heal Sun burnt Skin

Lavender has been used for many centuries as folk remedy for common skin ailments. It is adaptogenic, soothing, calming and cooling. Lavender can be used to treat many chronic skin disorders like psoriasis, acne, inflammation, dermatitis and eczema. It works so well because it amplifies the skin’s ability to renew itself. Lavender oil is rapidly absorbed by the skin and you’ll quickly notice that the redness of your burn becomes reduced, The skin feels less aggravated when touched.

Peppermint oil is the most cooling oil in this list. Not only does it cool and soothe crispy sun-burnt skin, it numbs a bit too. The peppermint plant contains the numbing agent menthol. Menthol numbs and cools, providing an all natural anesthetic to your burn that frees you from your burning agony. It also moisturizes skin, especially when mixed with other carrier oils. You can directly apply this oil on your skin. it’s important to note that peppermint essential oil has very strong effects when concentrated and its therapeutic use should be approached with caution.

10. Rose oil helps in curing sun burn

Rose oil is a favorite for treating skin maladies by mothers all over the world. It’s fragrant and antiseptic. Gentle and comforting. And just all around nice. A great reason to add rose oil to your skin care mix is it’s ability to make your skin more permeable. This means that you’re better able to absorb the medicinal and nourishing qualities of your treatment. While helping you better absorb nutrients from other oils, rose oil packs a nutritional punch of its own. Rose oil contains concentrated forms of many minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. It also contains emollient properties, which are great for moisturizing damaged skin and reducing redness and inflammation. You can directly apply the oil on the affected areas.

11. Can Potatoes cure sunburn?

Raw potato is excellent for relieving a sunburn as the natural starches found in potatoes will help draw heat out of your skin.

  1. Peel two large potatoes and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Blend the pieces in a blender to make a paste.
  3. Apply the paste on the affected skin and let it dry on its own.
  4. Then take a cool shower.
  5. Repeat the process once daily for a few days until all your symptoms are gone.

All these remedies are suitable for treating minor sunburn causing the skin to be red or sore. In cases of severe sunburn that include blistered or broken skin, you need to try some other useful remedies for severe sunburn.

12. Turmeric to get rid of sunburn

Turmeric is a culinary spice that is used commonly in Asian cuisine. Curcuminoids are a group of antioxidants found in turmeric that have a number of medicinal properties and curcumin is the most important curcuminoid. A couple of scientific evidence suggests that curcumin in turmeric can offer photoprotection and can be a viable candidate as a sunscreen agent.It has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces skin damage caused by UV exposure.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder with some water to make a paste and apply it over the blisters, leaving it on for 10 minutes.
  • Another option is to make a thick paste of turmeric powder, barley and yogurt and apply it generously over the affected skin area. Leave it on for about a half an hour and then wash it gently with cold water.

Repeat the remedy of your choice once daily until the blisters are gone.

These are some of the vital information regarding sunburns. We should always protect our body and skin against the harshness of pollution and UV rays. You should always apply sunscreen lotion while going out and should cover face too.

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