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Best Home Remedies for Sunburn At Your Fingertips

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Home remedies for sunburn

You head to your favorite vacay with warm weather, mimosas and sea breeze but come back home looking like a baked tomato. Yikes. You didn’t really picture the intensity of the sun in your dreamy getaway. Not that you are a novice – you slathered on sunscreen, (maybe) accidentally missed a spot or just didn’t apply enough—and now your skin is tinged red. You are sunburnt.

What is Sunburn?

When your skin is over-exposed to the sun, it responds with sunburn – discomfort, redness, pain, blisters (there’s more in this repulsive list, but we don’t intend to drive you away at this point) – all suggesting damaged skin cells. Press the sunburned skin, and you will observe it turn white; release and you will watch it retract to red. And there’s more: severe skin damage can also lead to skin cancer.

How is Sunburn different from Suntan?

Suntan is darkened skin due to exposure to the sun’s UV rays. But how does the skin get dark or tanned? It is the result of excessive production of pigment – Melanin that combats the bad UV rays. A step ahead, sunburn is a thermal burn that results in redness, blisters and other issues due to overexposure to the sun.

What are the Causes of Sunburn?

Sunburn is the pay-off for sloppiness. You remembered to carry your favorite lip shade and missed the all-important sunscreen. Despite warnings about sun damage, we tend to carelessly subject our skin to the sun’s UV rays and end up facing undesirable consequences. Let’s have a closer look at what spurs the villainous sunburn.

So, the sun emits three UV rays – UVA, UVB and UVC; UVC isn’t guilty here as it doesn’t even reach the Earth’s surface. The real monsters here are UVA and UVB as they love penetrating your skin. (Tip: Apply a good sunscreen, if you don’t reciprocate that love.) What goes on below the skin surface? The rays alter your DNA and fuel premature aging. To fight the harmful UV rays, the body’s natural defense mechanism sets off, resulting in a toxic reaction – sunburn.

Sunburn Symptoms

So you forgot to apply sunscreen and were caught off guard while you lounged in the park. The bad news is you will probably have to deal with red and itchy skin. The good news is it will eventually fade away. The signs of sunburn start appearing a couple of hours post sun exposure. How do you know if you are feeling the burn? Here are the symptoms.

  • Dizziness
  • Redness and Itchiness
  • General fatigue
  • Pain and tingling sensation
  • Swelling
  • Formation of fluid-filled blisters
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Chills
  • Low blood pressure

Risk Factors for Sunburn

Although anyone can fall in the sunburn trap, specific characteristics and activities can make you more susceptible to sunburn. So before you wonder how to treat sunburn, have a closer look at the risk factors.

  • People with light skin, blue eyes and red hair are more prone to sunburn
  • Vacationing outdoors in sunny places
  • Over-exposure to the sun
  • Drinking alcohol while indulging in outdoor recreation
  • Intake of Photosensitizing medications that increase the likelihood of sunburn
  • Regular use of tanning beds
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Sensitive skin

Home Remedies for Sunburn

Red as a fire truck? We’ve all been there. Being sympathetic about the fact that there has been enough burn to deal with, we have curated a list of natural skin soothers that won’t burn your pocket while you are at it. So here are your solutions to how to remove sunburn.

1. What works: Coconut Oil

Why it works: The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of Coconut Oil help cool and soothe sunburned skin faster. Moreover, its high content of saturated fats works well in moisturizing and reducing peeling.

How it works:

  • Rub some Coconut Oil on palms and apply to affected skin.
  • Let it stay until it dries completely.
  • Rinse off with water to get rid of excess oil.
sunburn treatment at home
Sunburn remedies

2. What works: Chamomile Oil

Why it works: The anti-inflammatory properties of Chamomile Oil help reduce inflammation and relieve sunburn. This sunburn remedy is best known for its calming effect while easing out the pain and considerably reducing healing time.

How it works:

  • Add two drops of Chamomile Oil to one tablespoon of Coconut Oil.
  • Mix well and apply to the sunburned area.
  • Let it stay until it dries completely.
  • Wash off with water to get rid of excess oil.

3. What works: Aloe Vera Gel

Why it works: Aloe Vera identified as ‘Burn Plant’ owing to its quick healing properties is an age-old sunburn remedy. An inexpensive yet effective sunburn treatment at home, this one fades sunburns faster while keeping skin moisturized.

How it works:

  • Pick a fresh Aloe Vera leaf and draw out some gel from it.
  • Whisk the gel using a stirrer for easy application later.
  • Apply the gel to the affected area.
  • Let it stay for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water and pat dry.
Sunburn treatment at home
sunburn treatment at home using lavender oil

4. What works: Lavender Oil

Why it works: The analgesic properties of Lavender Oil diminish redness and swelling associated with sunburn. The mildest of all essential oils, it’s a safe pain-relieving treatment for sensitive skin.

How it works:

  • Add two drops of Lavender Oil to one tablespoon of Coconut Oil.
  • Mix well and apply to the affected area.
  • Let it stay until it dries completely.
  • Rinse off with water to get rid of excess oil.

5. What works: Green Tea

Why it works: When it comes to sunburn relief, Green Tea does the trick! Polyphenols, Tannic Acid and Theobromine in Green Tea speed up the treatment of sunburn. Topical application of Green Tea on skin soothes inflammation and relieves damaged skin.

How it works:

  • Refrigerate a used or unused Green Tea bag for ten minutes.
  • Gently move the bag on the affected area.
  • Rinse it off after 20 minutes.
how to cure sunburn using green tea
sunburn remedies - Ice

6. What works: Ice Pack

Why it works: Your sunburn solution is right there in your fridge. Ice Pack numbs the affected area to reduce inflammation faster and gradually relieve sunburn. The cooling effect of ice can dramatically heal the burn faster.

How it works:

  • Dab the Ice Pack to the sunburned area.
  • Do this for at least 10 minutes.
  • Reapply as necessary.

7. What works: Milk

Why it works: Drive the heat away with chilled Milk. The Lactic Acid in Milk can help exfoliate damaged skin while creating a protein film along your skin surface to reduce pain and sensitivity.

How it works:

  • Dip a cotton swab in cold cow’s Milk.
  • Dab the cotton swab on the affected area.
  • Leave skin to dry for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse off the Milk with water.
home remedies for sunburn - Milk
sunburn remedies - Oatmeal

8. What works: Oatmeal

Why it works: The humble Oatmeal is your answer to how to cure sunburn. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, Oatmeal eases discomfort and alleviates pain. Its healing powers can reduce inflammation, soothe irritation and cool down sunburn.

How it works:

  • Fill your bathtub with warm water.
  • Pour a cup of finely grounded Oatmeal into the bathwater.
  • Swirl the water with hands to evenly distribute the Oatmeal.
  • Soak in the Oatmeal bath for 15 minutes. (You soaked up the sun, now soak in the tub.)
  • After bath, simply dab yourself dry with a towel.

What to Avoid After a Sunburn?

Here’s a list of things to keep away from, for a faster recovery post-sunburn.

  • Don’t give in to the temptation of itching or popping blisters. Let your body heal naturally to avoid scars.
  • Steer clear of oil-based lotions for a while as it can trap heat in and worsen the sunburn.
  • Stay out of the sun as much as you can until your skin heals. If you still need to step out, do not do so, without applying a good amount of sunscreen.
  • Refrain from applying makeup on the affected area until it’s completely healed, as this could impede the recovery process.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated as you need more water to let skin moisturized and heal faster.
  • Avoid tight clothes as you need to let your skin breathe.
  • Do not indulge in any skin exfoliation, especially while your skin is still peeling as this could cause further damage.
  • Don’t forget to apply moisturizer as you can’t afford to let your skin dry out.
  • Take a hot shower? Oi! That even sounds painful. Avoid hot or warm water bath until the sunburn has considerably cooled down.
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