Sunburn is a problem that happens to many of us. The good news is that there are very simple things we can do at home to make it go away. However, we need to pay attention to some issues. You can find more information below.
What is sunburn?
Sunburn is a visible reaction of the skin to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (invisible rays that are part of sunlight). Sunburn symptoms may not appear for several hours. It usually gets worst 24 to 36 hours after sun exposure and resolves within 3 to 5 days. The ultraviolet rays in the sun can also initially cause invisible damage to the skin. Excessive and/or multiple sunburns cause premature aging of the skin and can even lead to skin cancer .
What are the symptoms of sunburn?
Sunburn symptoms include:
- Changes in skin color ranging from pink to red or even purple
- skin that feels burning to the touch
- Skin pain and/or itching
- swelling of the skin
- Fluid-filled blisters that may itch and eventually burst
- peeling of the skin
Sunburned skin changes color within two to six hours after burning, and the discoloration continues to develop for up to seventy-two hours.
How is sunburn treated?
There is no cure for sunburn symptoms except time and patience. Treatment aims to help manage symptoms as the body heals. Treatment recommendations for sunburn include:
- Drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun during this time.
- Gently apply cold compresses or wash the area with cold water.
- Avoid using soap as this can irritate your skin.
- Ask a pharmacist about products that help soothe sunburn.
- Do not pop the blisters caused by sunburn to avoid possible infections.
- If your skin is not too sore, apply moisturizer.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen , if needed, by consulting your pharmacist .
What is good for sunburn?
Here are the things that are good for sunburn:
1- Aloe vera gel and creams
Aloe vera has always been a popular remedy for bad sunburn. Numerous studies have shown that this herb can help the skin heal from the effects of sunburn and some other skin problems. Additionally, aloe vera has moisturizing properties that can help prevent or minimize the peeling that normally comes with sun damage.
If you have an aloe vera plant at home, you can take a stem, slice it, and apply the sap to your sun-damaged skin. If you don’t have the plant, you can go to your nearest drugstore or favorite skin care store and get a bottle of aloe vera cream or gel. Some experts recommend putting aloe vera in the refrigerator for a few minutes before applying it to your skin. Because chilled aloe vera soothes the skin much more and helps with itching and stinging.
Related article: What are the skin benefits of aloe vera?
2- Baking soda paste
Baking soda is something that is used when it comes to treating various skin problems, including sunburns. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, this crystalline white powder has certain properties that make it suitable for treating this particular problem.
First, its alkaline property can help soothe sunburned skin and relieve burning and itching sensations. Second, its antiseptic properties play a role in healing, cooling and keeping the skin hydrated. Finally, baking soda is said to help balance the pH levels in the skin and contribute a lot to speeding up the skin’s healing process.
If you’re planning to use baking soda to treat your sunburn, here’s one way to do it:
- First clean the affected area with cool, clean water and dry it gently.
- Second, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with water until you get a paste-like consistency.
- When the mixture is ready, dip a cotton ball into the mixture and gently rub it into your skin and leave it there for about ten minutes.
- Finally, rinse your skin with cold water and let it dry.
3- Oatmeal bath
Besides being a well-known remedy for skin rashes, oatmeal can also be used to relieve the aches and pains of sunburn. In fact, many skin care products you see in beauty and cosmetic stores contain oatmeal. If you are not using these products, you can use ordinary oatmeal instead. They are said to work just as well as other processed products.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe a sunburned skin. It can also help normalize the pH levels of your skin, which helps relieve itching and discomfort. Oatmeal baths are also said to help soften and moisturize your skin, lock in moisture, and protect your skin from external irritants.
When making an oatmeal bath, grind regular oatmeal using a blender. Mix the powder into your bath and soak your body for ten to fifteen minutes and then gently pat dry.
4- Cold milk
Sometimes you don’t have to look far when you’re looking for a quick cure for your sunburned skin. In fact, a remedy may be hiding inside your refrigerator. One of the answers to the question of what is good for sunburn is milk.
Milk baths have always been a popular skin care method, and if you have a can of milk in the fridge, you can use it to treat your sun-damaged skin. Thanks to the various vitamins and minerals found in this dairy product, a cold milk compress can help soothe and heal inflamed skin.
The vitamins in milk help the skin heal faster, while the lactic acid stimulates the skin and helps get rid of dead skin cells. On the other hand, its protein content helps with pain and discomfort, while fat helps keep the skin moist by trapping moisture in the cells.
To apply cold milk, all you have to do is pour some milk into a bowl, put a small towel in it, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Then remove the chilled milk and towel and rub it on your skin. Avoid rubbing your skin with a towel or applying too much pressure, as this can irritate your already damaged skin.
Here’s a sweet relief for sunburn, and just like milk, you probably already have it in your fridge. Regarding sunburn, honey works in the same way as aloe vera. It has antibiotic properties and contains enzymes that help repair damaged skin. It also moisturizes the skin and reduces the burning sensation. Also, it is a natural moisturizer.
6- Tea bags
Studies show that tea can also help with external ailments such as sunburn. Tea contains catechin, a compound that may help protect the skin from further sun damage. It also contains tannic acid, which can help relieve excruciating pain. The tannic acids found in tea are also said to help reduce inflammation.
To use the tea to treat sunburned skin, put at least three bags of tea in warm water, then rub the tea bags directly over the burns. Keep doing this until the water cools down, then pour the tea all over your skin and don’t wash it off right away. Instead, let it dry for it to work.
Cucumber has long been a part of many women’s beauty practices, so it should come as no surprise that it is one of the better solutions to many skin problems, including sunburn. Cucumber has natural antioxidant and analgesic or pain-relieving properties, providing soothing relief from peeling that comes after sunburn.
To use, mash a few cucumbers in a blender and put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes. After cooling, rub the cucumber directly on the burned area of the skin.
8- Hydrocortisone creams
If you’ve tried all of the remedies above and you still don’t feel like they’re working well enough, you might want to consider using something stronger, like hydrocortisone creams. There are anti-itch creams available over-the-counter that contain 1% hydrocortisone and are generally safe at these levels. These creams can help reduce inflammation and temporarily relieve pain.
Be sure to follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions when using hydrocortisone creams. Once your skin problem is resolved, stop using the product as overuse can lead to other skin problems.
As a result
The best way to deal with sunburn is to avoid the sun altogether so you don’t have to look for ways to make the sunburn go away faster. It’s also important to use sunscreen and wear sunscreen clothing when having fun outside in the sun.
However, if you’re already burned out, the tips above may be helpful. Also, keep in mind that these treatments are intended to help minor to moderately severe cases of sunburn. If you find that these treatments are not working and your skin is not improving, you should consider seeing a dermatologist for help.