It's that time of year again! The summer months can be brutal on our skin. Be it at the beach, at a festival, at the pool, or just enjoying the great outdoors… We have to be careful not to get a sunburn. The best way to do this is obviously to use sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent the burn and reduce the risk of skin cancer before going out and while you are out in the sun. However, between all of the fun and too much sun sometimes we forget to reapply sunscreen. . For those with fair skin, it’s almost inevitable to avoid sunburnt skin. It doesn't matter how much sun exposure they get. To get relief from the sunburn pain and skin irritation I put together a list of effective home remedies for sunburns.
Hydrate and Moisturize
Let’s start with one of the most obvious and easiest ways to treat a painful sunburn. It's a good idea to make sure you drink plenty of water before you go out in the sun. Yet, like sunscreen, when we are outside having fun on a long day, we forget! Then we become dehydrated and end up with dry skin, not only from the sunburn but from being dehydrated. So one of the easiest sunburn remedies is to drink a few glasses of water and lotion up.
Lotions containing vitamin E and aloe vera. or pure aloe vera gel are the best to apply to the sunburned area. These creams will provide soothing relief and will lessen the inflammation of the skin.
Tip 1: Take a cool shower before applying lotion or aloe vera gel.
Soaks and Essential Oils
Taking a soaking bath with cool bath water is one of the best ways to get sunburn relief. There are a number of things you can soak in to ease the pain and lessen inflammation:
- Apple cider vinegar- pour 1-2 cups into the bath.
- White vinegar– pour 1-2 cups into the bath.
- Milk bath– pour 4 cups of cold into the bath or follow the instructions on the package.
- Oatmeal bath– follow package or personal instructions.
- Lavender Essential Oil– add 4-10 drops to bathwater.
Oddly enough, some of the best home remedies come in the form of a paste. Many vegetables and household items possess healing properties useful for a number of things. One of them is a sunburn. Here are some pastes you can make to cool you down:
- Potatoes- peel, slice, blend, and apply to the affected area.
- Cornstarch– mix with water, and apply to the affected area.
- Cucumber- chill, mash, apply to the affected area.
- Yogurt- apply to the affected area.
Compresses are great for relief! I like compresses because they are portable, which in my life is a definite must. They also tend to be less messy than pastes, yet some claim they're not as effective in the long run.
- Cold Compress– soak a rag in ice water or add ice inside the rag hold on to the affected area
- Milk- soak desired item (washcloth, gauze pads, cotton balls, etc.) in milk, and apply to the affected area.
- Cornstarch– mix with water until it forms a paste, and apply to the affected area.
- Witch Hazel– soak a non-stick gauze in witch hazel and apply it to the affected area.
- Tea- boil black tea, let cool, you can choose to add mint for a more cooling effect, soak a washcloth in the tea then apply it to the affected area.
After the cooling effects of these have worn off, you can go ahead and rinse them off with cool water.
Over the Counter Remedies For Sunburns
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or acetaminophen will help with pain and inflammation, as well as any other NSAIDs.
- Try hydrocortisone cream for itching, pain, or swelling.
- Aquaphor, Eucerin, or Aloe Vera are all topical OTC gels and creams for the moisturizing burn.
- If the burn is bad enough you may need a visit to a doctor for treatment.
Things to Avoid When Treating Sunburns:
These things will worsen or accelerate sunburn, as a result increasing pain. Be sure to steer clear of these.
- petroleum jelly
- more sun
- tight-fitting clothes
- certain medications, both OTC and prescription