Natural Sunburn Remedies
I keep a spray bottle in the fridge for everyday summertime cooling and relief. One of life’s simple pleasures.
Stand in front of a fan or submerge yourself in as cold bath or shower as you can stand. Take pain medication if you think it will be necessary.
When your body is burnt, you need to re-hydrate yourself. Make sure to drink lots of water and liquids to help your body recover from the inside out.
Aloe Vera, which is used in the treatment of burn victims, is quite effective in the treatment of sunburn. Simply apply a thin layer to the affected area and repeat the application every hour. If you buy pre-made aloe vera treatments, make sure the content of the aloe is greater than other ingredients, such as water, in order to gain the maximum benefit.
Try alternating with emu oil, another ingredient used in the treatment of burns. It can be very effective as well.
Herbal teas can offer a respite from the discomfort of sunburn as well. Non-herbal black tea is one of them. Steep six bags in four cups of hot water, cool, and apply it to the affected area with a cotton cloth. In fact, tea bags have long been known to alleviate puffiness and burns to the eyes as well. Place a cooled teabag on each closed eyelid, lie down, and let the tea do its work.
Bathing in cool water is very helpful to reduce the heat. Try an herbal bath using either dried chamomile or lavender essential oils. This is another effective means by which you can relieve severe sunburn symptoms.
An oatmeal bath will not only relieve the itchiness accompanying dried sunburned skin, but sooth and alleviate the burn as well. You can buy colloidal oatmeal (an extremely fine powder that dissolves better) hydrolyzed oatmeal (a good ingredient to add to your own sunburn relief cream), or grind your own. Putting it in cheesecloth or another fine cloth will keep the drain from getting plugged.
Another way to relieve the pain of sunburn is to apply cold compresses by using cool tap water or cold whole milk on a cotton towel and applying it to the affected areas.
You may want to try tea tree essential oil, which helps heal skin burns and other skin irritations, and products rich with it can be helpful as well.
Some non-conventional suggestions for treating sunburn include...
• rubbing mustard on the burnt skin, leave on until dry (or an hour)
• rubbing white vinegar on the area, reapplying after it is absorbed and showering an hour later
• applying diaper, noxema or men’s shaving cream
• applying plain yogurt
As with any skin care treatment, always do a small test patch first to see if there will be any irritation or reaction. What works for one, often does not work for others.
Prevention is the Best Treatment
The rule of thumb when sunbathing is 20 minutes in the sun and 20 minutes out.
If you’re closing in on 40 you may be kicking yourself for all those carefree days in the sun before we became aware of the accumulative effect.
I remember my mother’s skin, especially her forearms turning leathery and lined and thinking it was totally weird when I was younger. She was an avid sun bather, it was her favourite pastime.
I have always enjoyed soaking up the sun as well, guess who’s getting lizard skin on her forearms. Damn!
If you’re not there yet, save your skin before it’s too late! You’ll be glad you did.
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