Sunburn is caused when the skin gets excessively exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It is characterized by redness and a burning or itching sensation.
Sunburn is a very painful condition, and cannot be reversed by medication. The remedies which will be discussed here are those which will relieve the symptoms. Sunburn damages the skin tissue, and in due course of time the skin heals on its own. But in the meanwhile, due to the discomfort felt by a sunburn victim, it is necessary to administer first-aid and treat the symptoms.
While sunburn can be treated by a medical doctor, it is also possible to treat it with tried and tested natural home remedies. Some of these remedies are as follows:
1. Don’t use any cold substance for soothing sunburn – a cool compress or soak should work quite nicely.
2. Don’t use any exfoliating products or any creams that contain retinoids, glycolic or salicylic acid until the skin is done with peeling. Even when the peeling of the skin stops, wait for a few days, until it is fully healed.
3. Don’t use oil-based lotions and sprays as they tend to trap the heat inside the skin and increase the pain.
4. Don’t burst the blisters or apply gel or lotions to them.
5. Don’t peel of the dry skin. Allow it to fall off in its own time.
6. Do avoid direct sunlight as much as possible until the skin is completely healed. Do wear protective clothing like hats, long sleeves and pants during this period.
7. Do keep the legs and arms raised even in the case of mild sunburn.
8. Do use moist, cool teabags for soothing sunburn on eyelids. Another effective substance is Chamomile.
9. Do take anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen on a 4-hourly basis until the redness disappears.
10. Do take extended cool showers for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. This will cool down the body temperature and reduce the pain.
11. Do use milk-soaked cool compresses. The proteins in the milk create a protective coating on the skin which helps to sustain the moisture which causes the healing enzymes to provide relief to the skin and hasten the healing process.
12. Do eat plenty of fruits, the majority being berries. The antioxidants in fruits help to heal the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.
13. Do wear loose-fitting, soft clothes, and avoid tying with tape or elastic.
14. Do use plenty of moisturizers. An excellent, natural moisturizer is the juice of aloe Vera leaves.
While it may not be possible to use all these remedies, a combination of those remedies which are most suitable to a particular individual should be adopted. A word of caution – some substances may cause allergies to certain individuals, so it is always advisable to apply the substance in a minute quantity on a test site before using it abundantly.