By Peggy Lovelace
Summer is the most critical season for sunburns to occur. Due to over-exposure and prolonged sunbaths, our skin becomes red and sore on the surface exposed to sun rays – especially to UV rays. This happens because the capillaries in the epidermis are damaged and get dilated, while the external layer of the skin gets thinner.
If you find yourself suffering from sunburn this year give these natural treatments a shot.
Take a cool bath or shower.
Set the water to a cool temperature that’s just below lukewarm (that is, not teeth-chatteringly cold), and relax for 10 to 20 minutes. The temperature will ease the pain, and the water will stop your skin from becoming as irritated. Repeat as often as you need to.
· Avoid using soap, bath oils, or other detergents as you bathe –they’ll irritate your skin and possibly make it even worse.
· If you have blisters forming on your skin, take a bath instead of showering. The pressure from the shower might pop your blisters.
· When you get out, don’t rub your skin dry with a towel. Instead, let yourself air dry, or pat the towel over your skin in small, gentle movements.
Apply cold compresses to your skin.
If you’re not in a situation where you can bathe, or you’d just prefer not to, you can instead apply cold, wet compresses to your skin. Dampen a washcloth or other piece of fabric with cold water, and lay it over the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes. Re-wet it as often as you need to.
Apply aloe vera to burned skin.
You can buy gels or lotions that contain aloe vera at most stores, or you can cut a chunk off the plant itself if you have one available.
· Using the pads of your fingers, gently apply the aloe to your sunburn.
· Don’t “rub it in” all the way, like you might with a regular lotion. Leave it a bit goopy and moist on top of the burn – this helps prevent the skin from drying out and becoming more irritated.
Reapply as often as necessary.
Wear loose cotton clothing over sunburned
areas. Baggy T-shrits and loose cotton pajama pants are ideal things to wear while you’re recovering from a sunburn. If you can’t wear that, at least try to make sure your garments are cotton (which allows your skin to “breathe”) and as loose as possible.
Drink plenty of water.
Sunburns can be dehydrating, so it’s important to counterbalance this by
drinking a lot of water while you recover. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water each day (or even a little bit more).
Protect sunburned skin if you’re going
outside. Ideally, you should hang out in the shade or wear clothing over affected areas if you’re going back out into the sunshine. If you can’t avoid exposing your skin, though, apply a thin layer of aloe vera on the burn, then put SPF 40 sunscreen on top to prevent further damage.
Other suggestions are:
* Try applying thin slices of cold cucumbers or apples directly to the skin.
* Puree a peeled cucumber and rub it on your face.
* Mix olive oil with equal quantity of vinegar and apply an hour before your bath.
* Apply a thin paste of sandalwood to the sunburn area.
* Apply vitamin E oil and plenty of moisturizer for several days after the initial sunburn.
* Apply mayonnaise on sunburned areas.
* Wipe your face with a cloth soaked in chilled rose water (gulab jal) after a long tiring day.
Note: Avoid using any products which contain lanolin immediately after a sunburn. Lanolin can actually make the burn feel worse once it is warmed by the body’s temperature. Many aloe products contain lanolin.
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