Sunburn, as the name suggests, is the type of burn caused by overexposure to the sun (sometimes sunlamps). Wikipedia defines sunburn as a “form of radiation burn that affects living tissue, such as skin, that results from an overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly from the sun.”
The signs of sunburn are redness, rashes, and peeling of the skin which look different than the surrounding skin areas.
Sunburn can appear in less than 15 minutes in the sun, and in seconds when exposed to the intense UV areas. Once you are exposed to the sun, the skin may turn red in 30 minutes but usually, it takes 2 to 6 hours to experience redness. You can experience pain 6 to 48 hours after exposure. For the next 1 to 3 days, the occurrence of the burn is coupled with peeling. In some cases, peeling and itching may continue for several weeks.
While severe sunburn signs require you medical attention, you can treat the mild sunburns at home with simple remedies given below.
Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties, making it an efficient remedy for sunburn. It is simple to use.
Just take a fresh leaf of aloe vera and peel it off to get the gel-like substance. Place the gel in the refrigerator for about 30 hours to let it be set. Apply this cool aloe vera gel on the affected parts of the skin. Let it dry. This will give the skin enough time to absorb the contents of the plant. Later, wash it off with lukewarm water and pat it dry. Use aloe vera gel if the aloe vera plant is not available.
Black tea contains antioxidants which promote healing.
It is packed with tannins which protect your skin from UV radiation damage while reducing inflammation. It is also useful in restoring the skin’s pH balance.
Brew 3 tea bags in a pan of hot water. Let it steep for a few minutes. Remove the tea bags and let the liquid cool to the room temp. Apply tea to the affected parts of the skin using a cotton ball. Repeat the “remedy” for three or four times, as required.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is packed with therapeutic properties promoting skin healing. The vinegar is rich in acetic components of medications such as Aspirin. This is why it is a great remedy for sunburn’s symptoms like pain, itching, and inflammation.
And there are many ways to use apple cider vinegar for sunburn…
- Apply white vinegar to the sunburned areas using cotton balls
- Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to the bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Take a soak in this water for nearly 30 minutes. It helps you restore the pH balance of sunburn affected skin. Plus, it boosts healing. Use it daily to see improvement.
- Take apple cider vinegar and cool water in equal amount. Dab large cotton balls in the solution and place them over the affected areas. Remove them once they are dried.
(Caution: Avoid using apple cider vinegar on the broken skin like injury or abrasions)
Baking soda is an effective remedy for sunburn, thanks to its alkaline properties. As an added bonus, it is high on antiseptic properties to ease itchy sensation. Here is an easy recipe to use baking soda for your sunburns.
Take one cup of baking soda and add it to the bathtub filled with cold water. Stir well. Soak in the water for nearly half an hour. Later, pat dry with a clean towel. Repeat this bath daily till you achieve complete healing.
Alternatively, baking soda can be used as a paste. All you need to add enough water to 4 tbsp. of the soda to get the paste. Apply the paste to the sunburn affected parts of the body. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
What about Topical Numbing Cream for Sunburn?
Topical anesthetic like numbing cream also helps soothe sunburns. The cream dulls the burning sensation by keeping your skin numb for a couple of hours. This is why some sunburn relieving medications contain lidocaine in some extent to deliver immediate relief. Numbing cream with 5% lidocaine is effective for all degree of sunburns.
So these are the remedies for easing your sunburn. However, precaution is better than cure. Always use a sunscreen of good SPF while stepping out in the sun. Umbrella or wide-brimmed hat can help you. Stay hydrated by drinking more than 8 glasses of water in a day.
And one more thing—see your doctor if the sunburn gets severe with the signs like…
- Blistering extends to a large part of the body.
- Burn is coupled with high fever, pain, confusion, headache, chills or nausea.
- Treatment doesn’t bring improvement.
- Swelling, yellow drainage, tenderness and increasing pain may be the signs of infection.