Sunburn is a skin reaction, which is a result of exposure to harmful UV rays of the sun directly and sometimes indirectly. It is a visible reaction of the dangerous invisible rays. That cause serious damage to your skin. Severe or multiple sunburns can lead to premature ageing and might also be a reason of skin cancer.
Children spend a lot of time playing outdoors, mainly in summers. Direct exposure to the sun can cause serious sun damage and overexposure to harmful rays of sunlight before the age of 18 can lead to most sin damaging. Children with freckles, fair skin and mores or have a genetic history of skin cancer may develop skin cancer in future due to sunburn.
There are various ways to avoid severe damage or treat sunburns. Not all degrees of sun damage need medical treatment; some can also heal with home remedies and natural ailment.
In this blog, we have brought you the best home remedies for sunburn that will help you deal with the skin damage better.
Home Remedies for sunburn
1. Use cold compress
The best way to soothe sunburn is to cool it down. The first home remedy on the list is using cold compress on the affected area. Cold compresses can help absorb the burning heat and offer instant cooling effect on the painful burns. However, do not use ice directly on the burnt area or it will worsen the situation. If there’s no cold compress at your home, use a towel to wrap the ice cubes filled in a plastic bag before placing it on the burn.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one of the most beneficial natural treatment for sunburn. It has been used for years to treat skin problems and even the American Academy of Dermatology suggests using topical products containing aloe vera to minimize the sunburn symptoms. You can easily find products containing aloe vera, but the best application for sunburn will be using a natural leaf. Cut it open in half and remove the gel-like material. So, now you know why having an aloe vera plant at home can come to rescue.
3. Cool bath
Take a cool bath immediately after you notice sunburn. Remember that hot showers can worsen the situation but a cool bath can soothe the burn, doing wonders for your damaged skin. Fill up the bath with cold water and soak your body for some time. Let the cold water comfort your damaged skin naturally and add a few cups of baking soda to the water. It provides extra comfort and soothing power to the bath. Baking soda helps your skin to get back to its normal pH scale as it balances the alkaline and acid levels.
Note: Baking soda is a drying agent, so make sure you don’t bathe for more than 15 minutes in the solution.
4. Black Tea
As per studies, black tea can help relieving the pain and damage from sunburn with its anti-inflammatory properties. It minimizes inflammation quickly, giving comfort to your burnt skin.
5. Apple cider Vinegar
If you have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen, you can use it as an effective home remedy for sunburn. Apple Cider Vinegar has malic acid, which is an AHA that regulates circulation to speed up your healing process. It is also a remedy for maintaining the pH levels of your skin which can help minimize blisters and peeling. Apple Cider Vinegar common household product that is antiseptic, antimicrobial and antifungal, which makes it a perfect remedy for skin damage. It has the ability to avoid further infection of your damaged skin tissue. Alternatively, you can also use white vinegar for the healing process.
6. Drink water
It is essential to keep your body hydrated as sunburn can dilate your blood vessels that makes you lose moisture from the skin much faster than you can imagine. It leads to heatstroke, dehydration and fatigue in several conditions. So, for the first couple of days of your sunburn, drink extra water than your normal dose to stay hydrated and safe.
7. Essential oils
One of the most effective home remedy for sunburn includes essential oils. Make sure you have essential oils at home, at least the common ones like lavender, eucalyptus and sandalwood essential oils.
Lavender essential oil provides antibacterial, antifungal and carminative properties helping your skin to soothe faster. Talking about the sandalwood essential oil, it reduces inflammation and offers a cooling effect to the sunburn. The oil also removes germs that may cause further infection. The third most common essential oil, eucalyptus oil is known for its numbing effect and mentholated properties for your sunburn. Additionally, it also has antibacterial properties that helps avoid further skin infection.
Oatmeal is another effective way to treat sunburn using home remedy. You should choose traditional lat meal over instant oats. Cook as per instruction, but add more water than usual to have running consistency. Apply it evenly on the affected area of the skin after cooling it completely. Apply it carefully, without rubbing it onto the burnt skin area because oatmeal is mostly grainy and exfoliates the skin, which is not good for sun-damaged skin.
Take a bowl of chilled yogurt and apply it gently on the burnt area of your skin. It offers a perfect soothing effect. Although there are no particular healing properties of yogurt, it provides sweet relief from the burning sensation and heat on the skin area.
10. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is an extract from the witch hazel tree. The liquid solution consists of tannins and oils that helps in reducing inflammation and bring the damaged skin tissue together for quicker healing by fighting free radicals. For best results, apply witch hazel at the area of sunburn for reducing itching, pain and inflammation.
Cases of severe sunburn
If you or your kid encounter severe sunburn, it gets very important to seek medical care. To know if your sunburn demands medical care, look for the following symptoms:
- You experience fever, nausea, chills or headache
- You encounter blisters covering a large area of the skin
- The sunburn isn’t showing improvements over a few days of applying home remedies
- You notice signs of further skin infections like swelling, extreme tenderness and yellow pus in the burnt area of your skin
- The consequences of sunburn doesn’t limit to temporary pain. As per facts and studies, 90% of sunburn cause early signs of ageing in individuals. It is essential to treat sunburn on time to prevent signs of aging and take proper care to prevent further sun damage to keep your skin healthy.
- In case your sunburn doesn’t show severe effects that require medical attention, you must do everything possible to minimize inflammation.
The above mentioned home remedies of sunburn can help you do that. Additionally, you can follow these steps to prevent lasting damage and receive quicker healing:
Moisturize your skin: It is important for your skin to receive all the TLC possible, so you must ensure applying moisturizer on a daily basis. Be liberal with it and apply as much moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
- Stop itching: We know sunburns can be very itchy at times, but you must control the urge of scratching the affected area. It can damage the skin further and lead to scars that may stay forever!
- Prevent scarring: When your skin experiences trauma, scars are the first thing to show up. The best way to prevent scarring is to protect your skin from damage. If you see any signs of scars, reach out to your doctor immediately.
- Stay hydrated: Drink sufficient water and electrolyte-rich beverages to speed up the healing process.
- Don’t peel: Avoid the urge to peel the dead skin in the burnt area or it will lead to skin infections that results in permanent scars.
Prevention of sunburns
The first step to prevention of sunburns is to avoid getting out in sun as much as possible, specifically from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. It is the time when the UV radiations are most harmful. Wear appropriate clothing to cover your body parts, such as face, hands, feet, etc. You can use a wide-brimmed hat when going oit in the sun at this hour. It protects your scalp from sun damage. Use sun screens on a regular basis and reapply when needed. Keep a powder sunscreen handy and use it for extra SPF protection.
Here are some tips that will help you prevent sunburns:
- Protection from sun starts right at birth and continuous till you die. According to reports, 60-80% of sunburn or skin damage occurs by the age of 18.
- Stay away from sun: It is best to avoid leaving you home during the middle of the day as the rays of the sun are most damaging during this time.
- Use SPF to block the rays of the sun: Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or more. Apply the sunscreen cream/ lotion 30 minutes prior to the time you will leave the house. You can reapply the solution as required. Do not use sunscreens for infants less than 6 months.
- Cover your body: Covering up your body is very important when you go outdoors. Wear a long sleeve shirt on sunny days and add a hat to your clothing for additional protection from the harsh rays of the sun. Cover your face and hands to prevent sunlight as much as possible. Using a wide-brimmed hat is essential.
Use of Sunscreens
Sunscreens are moisturizing lotion with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that protects your skin from sunburns and skin damage. It blocks the UV (ultraviolet) radiation to a certain level, as it is impossible to block these rays completely.
You need to keep in mind to check the terms on a sunscreen bottle, it gets quite confusing at times. You must check the SPF level on its label and ensure using more than SPF 15 sunscreen lotions on a regular basis.
Right use of sunscreens
A sunscreen is used to protect your skin from sunburns, reducing the tan while it absorbs as much UV rays as it can. However, it is important that you use sunscreens correctly to protect your skin.
See these below-mentioned steps to make sure you use it right:
- Test it on your wrist before buying a sunscreen: If you develop nay kind of eye or skin irritation while testing a sunscreen, do not go for that brand. Put the sunscreen carefully around your eyes.
- Choose a broad spectrum of sunscreen: use sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, ensuring extra protection.
- Do not choose on the basis of skin type: All types of sunscreen provide sun protection of some level and it is not important to choose on the basis of your skin complexion or type. Even dark-skinned individuals can experience sunburns.
- Apply sunscreens on your exposed areas: Wearing a sleeveless top to the beach on your favorite denim shots? Apply sunscreen properly to all your exposed areas such as face, hands, legs, feet, neck, etc.
- Water-proof sunscreen: Use a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen to avoid washing away of the lotion with sweat or rain.
- Use it 30 minutes before going out in the sun: You must apply a sunscreen lotion at least 30 minutes before leaving your house. It gives the sun protection cream enough time to work on your skin. Apply it with gentle hands and reapply whenever needed. If you are going to be in waters for long, apply it every two hours.
- Sunscreen with SPF-20 to SPF-30: Using a sunscreen of a SPF around 20 to 30 proves substantial for preventing sun damage, tanning and sunburns. High SPF sunscreens are more capable of preventing skin burns for a longer period of time as compared to the ones with lower SPF level.
- Avoid tanning salons and beds: Most of the tanning beds and salons use ultraviolet-A bulbs which can contribute to early signs of akin ageing and may also be a cause of skin cancer.
In a Nutshell
Sunburns can be a cause of various skin problems and infections such as ageing, skin cancer, etc. It is a common but preventable skin problem. You can use thee home remedies of sunburn to treat sun damage effectively. In case of severe sunburn, you must see a doctor for medical treatment.