Table of Contents
Sunburn is a form of radiation injury resulting from overexposure to ultraviolet rays such as sun rays. Sunlight comprises of different types of radiation such as infrared, visible light, ultraviolet rays etc. Ultraviolet rays are mainly responsible for the sunburn. When ultraviolet rays hit the skin, melanin pigments absorb it and shield the DNA from damage. When skin is exposed to UV rays, melanin production speeds up giving the skin suntans. Suntans is a protective mechanism against the sun. Some UV rays can sneak and damage the DNA. Sunburn is an inflammatory response due to direct DNA damage by UV radiation. Other than the sunlight, artificial sources such as tanning lamps, welding arcs etc can also cause this. It commonly causes reddish or red skin, which is hot to the touch, pain, weakness, fatigue and dizziness. So, you can use the home remedies for sunburn to reduce the redness, burning sensation, pain etc.
Body recognizes the damage due to sunburn and triggers various defense mechanisms, removes the irreparable damaged skin cells, increases the melanin production to reduce further damage etc. People with lighter skin tone and limited capacity to develop a tan after exposure to UV radiation, are at a greater risk of sunburn. Children and older people are also more sensitive to sunlight. The intensity of UV light also determines the damage due to sunburn. Sun rays are strongest in the day time between 10am to 4pm in most locations. Reflective surfaces such as sand, water, concrete etc reflect the sunlight and cause sunburns. Let’s see the natural home remedies for sunburn relief.
Natural Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief
As sunburn is a very common problem but in extreme cases, an excess of UV radiation can also be life- threatening. Excess UV radiation can also cause skin tumours and cancers. So, one must take precautions and also know the various natural home remedies for relief from sunburns.
1. Cooling with Water
Running cool water over sunburns, soothe the burn. Cooling with water helps to absorb the heat and prevents further injury. Doing this for around 15- 20 minutes, cools down the sunburn area. This reduces inflammation as well as burning and pain. Do not use ice or very cold water for cooling as it may worsen the situation. It can cause skin irritation and placing it for longer duration may also cause cold burn. Ice can restrict blood flow to the area and further damage the tissue. Sunburned skin is extra-sensitive, so one should not use chlorinated water as it may irritate the skin. Avoid pool water to cool down the sunburned area. So, if anyone has to be outside and under sunlight for long time, then use running cool water to soothe the skin repeatedly.
2. Aloe Vera application
Aloe vera promotes circulation, has anti- inflammatory action and also helps in the healing of sunburned skin. One can apply pure aloe vera gel or creams over the sunburned skin to protect it. It also has soothing effects. Don’t apply any gel containing more additives and less amount of aloe vera. Its natural anti- bacterial actions stop the growth of bacteria in the sunburned skin. One can also directly apply gel from a chunk of aloe vera plant on the skin. It provides immediate soothing relief from the burning sensation due to minor sunburn.
Apart from the well- known nutritious benefits of milk, the contents of milk such as protein, fat and the pH of the milk have soothing and anti- inflammatory effects on the skin. Milk is helpful to ease the burning sensation, redness and pain due to sunburn. Placing a cotton gauze or clean cloth soaked in cool milk on the sunburned area, creates a protein film on it and reduces the heat. Thereby milk helps in easing the discomfort caused due to sunburn. Also, the cool milk helps in healing of the sunburned skin.
Honey is a boon for skin, having anti- inflammatory, natural anti- bacterial, anti-fungal and soothing effects. Applying honey over the sunburned area may help in soothing the skin and healing. It also reduces burning sensation, redness and pain by its soothing effects.
Oatmeal is an all- time favourite breakfast food for many of us. Oats have anti- inflammatory properties and are high in antioxidants. So, it soothes the irritation and itchiness due to sunburn and also helps in reducing the inflammation. One can use finely ground oatmeal mixed in bath water for its soothing action. Finely ground oatmeal is also available commercially as colloidal oatmeal. One can also use paste of finely ground oatmeal with milk for application over the sunburned area.
Exposure to sunlight for long time causes depletion or imbalance of fluids and electrolytes in the body causing dehydration. The skin also needs moisture which is lost due to prolonged sun exposure. So, it is necessary to hydrate for maintaining the fluid and electrolyte levels in the body. Maintaining hydration also reduces the damage due to extended sunlight exposure. Drink lots of water and fluids, when you are under sun exposure for long time.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, and the bicarbonate helps in soothing the skin inflammation, irritation and redness. One can add few teaspoons of baking soda to bath water for its soothing effects. Along with its soothing effects, it also has mild antiseptic properties. So, adding baking soda to the bath water reduces the redness, itching, irritation of the skin due to sunburn and also it helps in healing of the sunburned area.
8. Essential Oils
Essential oils are traditional and herbal medicines; there therapeutic and clinical use are under research. Along with their several benefits they can also cause skin irritation in sensitive persons. To get the best results, one should apply essential oils over the sunburned area as soon as possible. Essential oils of vitamin E, C, peppermint, lavender, geranium, chamomile, tea tree, eucalyptus etc are very helpful for sunburn relief. Essential oils have anti- inflammatory properties, so help in reducing the inflammation.
9. Green Tea
Having a cup of green tea daily has a lots of skin health benefits. As it has natural anti-inflammatory, astringent and antiseptic properties, it helps in various ways. It also helps in regulating the blood flow in the body. So, having a cup of green tea daily helps in reducing many skin problems, protects the skin from sunburns and suntans and also maintains the skin glow.
Peppermint tea has anti- inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties. Peppermint contains antioxidants and vitamins, which helps in protecting the skin from sun- burn and sun- tan. It also reduces the skin irritation, reduces inflammation, soothe the skin and relieves discomfort. Apart from the benefits of this green tea, peppermint oil is also a good remedy to reduce inflammation from sunburns, skin allergies, insect bites and rashes.
11. Vitamin E and C
Vitamin E and C contain antioxidants which help to fight against free radicals. Also, the vitamin C helps in increasing the collagen production in the body. By maintaining the collagen metabolism vitamin C helps in maintaining the integrity of skin and also heals the sunburned skin.
Acetic acid is present in the vinegar. This alleviates pain, irritation, inflammation, redness and itching due to sunburn. So, adding vinegar to cool bath water may help in relieving the discomfort of sunburn. As, there are mixed opinions about the use of vinegar, so one should not add excess amount of it to bath water. If it does not give soothing effects and worsen the condition then stop using it.
13. Loose Clothing
After sunburn, when the skin is healing or repairing then the clothing should not stick to the skin. So, wear loose clothing for faster healing of the skin.
One must apply moisturizer to prevent the skin from peeling off. The skin becomes more sensitive and dry after sunburn. So, don’t forget to protect the skin with moisturizer.
15. Hyaluronic acid Serum
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component and it provides soothing effects to the sunburned skin. It forms a protective layer over the sunburned skin and prevents dehydration. Thereby it promotes healing.
Sunburn is a form of radiation injury resulting from overexposure to ultraviolet rays such as sun rays. It commonly causes reddish or red skin, which is hot to the touch, pain, weakness, fatigue and dizziness. It occurs due to inflammation caused by direct DNA damage by UV radiation. So, avoid overexposure to sun light and protect yourself by applying sunscreen lotions, wearing sun- protective clothing etc. Also, keep yourself hydrated by taking plenty of water and liquids. Apart from that there are various natural home remedies such as aloe vera, honey, milk, oatmeal, essential oils, baking soda, green tea etc for sunburn relief. So, protect yourself from sunburn and live a healthy life.