Who doesn’t love a good sun basking on an exotic tropical island or even on the roof of their building? We know we do, but if you’re not careful and spend too much hours dawdling in the sun without applying any sun lotion, you can get sunburns. Everyone who’s gotten them at least once knows how unpleasant they are without proper management.
That’s why we’ve done our research and aim to offer you some first steps when it comes to home remedies for sunburn. But you can’t apply a remedy unless you’re conscious of the dangers posed by sunburns, so we thought we’d start you off with that.
Main risks of sunburns
Spending countless hours in the sun without proper protection may lead to:
If the blisters you get on your skin rupture and start to leak, swell and become really painful, those may be early signs of an infection.
Yes, that’s a word. And it means aging caused by light – in this case the sun – which will:
- Make your skin less elastic and more dry.
- Give you wrinkles.
- Give you a venous-looking face.
If you notice lesions on your skin that look like small squamous blemishes, which appear like some sort of crocodile skin, you should know that it’s a possibility they can turn cancerous.
Actual skin cancer is the final, most deadly effect of reckless sun exposure as it exponentially increases your risk for melanoma. This looks like a skin protuberance that’s prone to bleeding, but it may even be an old mole which changes shape. In this case, make sure you get medical assistance fast.
Your skin is not the only one which may be affected by sunburns. Your eyes can suffer some damages too, like cataracts or blindness.
What can you do?
There’s a famous line from That 70’s Show that goes something like: “Need some aloe? Because you’ve just been burnt!”. Of course this refers to a different kind of burn, even if it may feel as painful as the literal one, but it’s nonetheless true.
Once sunburns occur, you can’t do much to limit damage to your skin. But the following tips may reduce your pain and discomfort:
§Consider taking a pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can help you tolerate the soreness induced by your nemesis, the sun.
§Cool your skin constantly, by taking regular cool showers. If you can’t be in the singing shower all day, a cold compress works just as well.
§Keep your skin moist, because if it gets too dry you’ll feel the soreness increasing drastically. This is where the aloe advice comes in perfectly, but you can use a different type of cream too.
§Drink lots of water. Dehydration isn’t treated just topically, but it works even better to hydrate yourself by drinking water.
§Don’t pop the blisters, since that can hinder your healing, and lead to infection. If they pop on their own, disinfect the spot.
§Don’t ignore your peeling skin, use that moisturizing cream all the way through until that’s done.
§Take preventive measures to avoid getting sunburns again.
Speaking of which, here are:
Some basic preventive measures
Sure, everyone knows about wearing sun lotion or staying inside when it’s too hot and sunny outside, although few of us really follow the same advice on a cloudy day. Least of all when the temperatures are low.
But the sun still shines even if you don’t see it and with the increased UV rays we should all be extra careful.
Besides, take additional care when you’re out swimming or skiing, since the sun is more powerful if it’s reflected by water and snow.
Since prevention is the mother of all remedies, let’s take a look at some things you can do to make sure you’re not over-exposing yourself to the sun and getting burnt.
- Don’t ignore the sun when it’s not sunny.
- Don’t bask in the sun during the high hours of the day.
- Don’t expose too much skin when outside.
- Choose clothes with high ultraviolet protection factor.
- Wear hats with large brims.
- Apply your sunscreen.
- Put on sunglasses.
Old wives home remedies for sunburns that actually work
- Put a cool compress soaked in milk on your sunburn, because that will create something that’s called a protein film which relieves soreness.
- Find further relief by applying the same principle, only with yogurt this time. In fact, you don’t need a compress in this case, just spread the yogurt on your skin and then wash it off with cool water.
- Rub vitamin E oil on the affected areas. This will keep your skin soft and moist, preventing the nasty dryness that increases pain. Besides, vitamin E speeds up the heeling process.
- Make a cool compress soaked in black tea. That’s because black tea is rich in tannic acid which cools your skin and makes your skin’s pH come back to normal.
- Add some mint to your compress, as that will further accelerate the cooling effect.
- If your eyes hurt from overexposure to sunlight, use cool teabags on your eyelids.
- Cucumbers work amazingly on red, burnt skin since they’re full of water which helps with the hydration. They’re also known as natural analgesics and antioxidants, characteristics which help heal the damages produced by the sun. You can either put slices of cucumbers on your skin, or turn them into a paste.
- Cool mashed potatoes are another natural dressing which makes you less sore because of the cooling properties of starch.
- Make a paste out of cornstarch and water, and apply it on your sunburn.
- Reduce skin inflammation with witch hazel.
- Apply coconut oil to moisturize your skin, but only after the initial soreness, redness and swelling have subsided.
That being said, be careful how you treat your skin because you’ve only got one body. Besides, we all know that most of life’s pleasures can only be enjoyed fully when using some form of protection, so don’t forget your sun cream at home.