What is Sunburns?Scorching heat and sun could cause redness, pain and itching to your skin. It is because of the harmful UV rays of the sun that causes sunburns when the skin is exposed to it for a long time. Sunburns can be harmful to the extent that they may result in skin problems such as dark spots, wrinkles and even skin cancer.
What Causes Skin BurnUltra-violet rays of the sun are the sole cause of sunburns. Too much exposure to the sun causes redness and swelling to your skin. Sun exposure triggers melanin production in skin cells but as it is a genetic factor, people who are less likely to produce melanin are at greater risk of getting sunburn.
Sometimes artificial sun light producing lamps and tanning lamps also produce UV light that may cause sunburns. Sunburns can be caused on cool or hazy days too; so it is always important to protect yourself whenever you are outdoors.
Home Remedies for Sunburn
- Cool Pads or Compress: A dampened towel with cool water or cotton pads soaked in cool but not chilled water should be applied as soon as possible to the affected area. Repeat for few minutes and apply several times in day. You can also make an oatmeal compress by putting oatmeal in a gauge or cloth and running it under water. Then after discarding the oatmeal apply it to burnt area. This soothes the skin really fast.
- Milk: Fat free milk mixed with cold water can also be applied to affected area. This must be applied 2-4 times in a day to reduce the burning sensation and inflammation.
- Vinegar Bath: A soothing cool water bath can give relief from sunburn when some drops of apple cider vinegar mixed with it. It acts as astringent to the body and soothes inflammation, pain and itching. It can also be applied directly after a bit of dilution to the sun burnt skin.
- Tea Bags: Soak tea bags, either green or black, in cool water and then apply over the inflammation. Tea bags decrease pain and swelling considerably and also help in soothing burnt eyelids. Even you can add freshly brewed tea to cool water, allow it cool down and take a bath with it. This will help in reducing inflammation and redness.
- Aloe Vera: Fresh Aloe Vera gel or Aloe Vera moisturizers are great for sunburns on face and back. Softly apply gel to affected skin 3 to 4 times day. This will reduce swelling and pain and will speed up the healing.
- In Case of Blisters: If blisters develop you need to be extra careful. Do not try to prick it as it will only increase your pain and discomfort or may lead to infections. Instead cover it with a cool gauge or apply any antibacterial ointment if they burst out.
- Drink Fluids: High heat and extreme sun exposure cause body to lose fluids and electrolytes through skin significantly. Drinking plenty of fluids will help in easing out the effects of sun exposure and keep the skin hydrated; this will help in reducing the skin drying effects of sunburns.
- Yogurt and Buttermilk: It is good to bathe the affected area with buttermilk to reduce redness and swelling. Also yogurt can be directly applied on the burnt skin. Leave it for some time and then lightly rinse it with cool water. This will reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.
- Essential Oils: A cool water bath with some drops of essential oils like lavender, bergamot or chamomile will effectively reduce the pain, keep skin hydrated and prevent itching.
- Avoid Soap: Soap may prove to be harsh on sunburns. Avoid using soaps or harsh shampoos till the skin gets into normal state. You can use mild natural body wash like rose water, aloe Vera or peppermint wash in the bathing water instead. This along with protecting the skin; will soothe the sunburns.