Summer is here and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun. And while you’ve put on your sunscreen, your hat and your sunglasses, the warmth of the sun and the sound of the sea have relaxed you so much that you finally close your eyes and fall asleep. From there, things can go pretty wrong. So wrong that they can even lead to a sunburn.
Since sunburns are linked to skin cancer, we all need to know the correct and necessary steps to treat them. Fortunately, there are many home remedies you can use to treat the burning, itching, and peeling that sunburns cause on the skin. Keep reading to learn home remedies that can soothe skin after a sunburn.
1. Cool water
Sunburn, basically, is inflammation of the skin. One of the easiest ways to treat inflammation is to cool the affected area. An effective way to deal with sunburn immediately, even when you’re outside, is to get in the water, whether it’s a sea, lake or river. A quick dive in water can prevent a sunburn from getting worse. Be careful with swimming pools, as chlorinated water can further irritate the skin.
You should also avoid applying ice directly. While it may feel soothing when your skin burns, it could actually cause an even bigger one. A cool shower can also do the trick.
2. Baking soda and oatmeal
It may sound strange, but a few tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of cool water and soaking for about 15 to 20 minutes helps minimize the damage caused by sunburn. Adding a cup of oatmeal to the bath also soothes irritations and helps the skin retain its natural moisture. Avoid scrubbing your skin while in the tub. Wipe gently with a towel when you get out.
3. Aloe: The magic gel for sunburn
If you don’t have an aloe plant at home, it’s time to get one. The gel inside this succulent plant has been used for centuries for its healing properties. It is also the first choice for sunburns, which does not require a prescription. Aloe contains glycoproteins, which promote rapid healing of the skin, while also eliminating pain and swelling.
Chamomile tea can be soothing to the spirit, but it can also soothe sunburned skin. Boil chamomile as usual and let it cool. When it is ready, soak a towel and apply it on the affected area. Caution: if you are allergic to pollen, do not use this remedy. It can cause an allergic reaction.
Opinions differ on the use of vinegar for sunburn relief. Some say that adding two cups of vinegar to a bathtub filled with cool water can help with the “pulling” sensation from the burn, while others say that its high acidity can make things worse. If you haven’t used the treatment before on smaller, lighter sunburns, it’s best to avoid it for larger ones.
6. Witch hazel
Witch hazel has excellent properties that help heal and rejuvenate damaged skin. Dab some of the witch hazel oil on the affected skin to help reduce inflammation and speed healing.
7. Yogurt: The Greek secret to deal with sunburn
Yogurt contains enzymes and probiotics that do wonders for your skin. Just take some yogurt and spread it on the sunburned skin areas. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
8. Coconut milk and oil
Coconut oil and milk contain fatty acids that help reduce itching, pain and inflammation caused by the sun. It can also be applied as a sunscreen.
9. Loose clothes
As your skin repairs itself, make sure you wear comfortable clothes that don’t stick to you. The skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s best to give it some room to breathe as it heals from a serious traumatic event like a sunburn. Natural fibers, such as cotton or linen, create the best “hug” for your skin.
10. Proper hydration from the inside
As your skin fights sun damage, it needs the moisture it lost during sun exposure. If you’re not already drinking plenty of water throughout the day, a sunburn would be the most unpleasant way to start.
Don’t forget your moisturizer
After the initial treatment, the skin will still be looking for loving care. One of the most important things you can do to prevent skin peeling – or at least reduce it – is to regularly apply moisturizer to the affected areas. Prefer a moisturizing cream for sensitive skin, without fragrance and dyes.
Last but not least, seek medical attention if a sunburn causes a fever or if you show signs of dehydration. And remember: the easiest way to deal with sunburn is to avoid it.