A sunburn is your body’s way of saying, “that’s enough exposure to the sun for a long time.” We find ourselves exposed to the sun a lot, and it has more damage on our skin than we know. During the summer, all most of us want to do is sit by the beach in our favourite bikini, either sipping a drink or reading a book. As exciting as it sounds, it causes sunburn. Wearing sunscreen can protect you from the sun but for how long? Also, how often do you reapply your sunscreen? There are natural ways to treat sunburn, but first, we have to understand what sunburn is.
What is sunburn?
A sunburn is your body’s way of reacting to the UV rays of the sun through inflammation. When you stay exposed to the sun, your body starts to produce its protection after your sunscreen fades out. The shield from your body appears on the surface as a dark or red-coloured patch. This red or dark patch is called melanin. No matter your complexion, you have melanin in you as it is a pigment produced by the cells in our body to protect us from the UV rays of the sun. Does it mean that melanin is the body’s natural sunscreen? Well, not entirely as the natural treatments and over the counter sunscreen.
The sunburn does not only come as a red or dark patch; it can also come in the form of a burning blister on the skin. Do not be deceived by articles that claim sitting under the sun can give you a golden tan; that’s false; your skin will only get sunburnt. It can alter your DNA and have other harmful effects on the skin. One of the significant causes of skin ageing and wrinkles is constant exposure to the sun.
The symptoms of sunburn are:
5. Weakness and sometimes the flu
Natural treatments for sunburn
If you have recently been sunburnt, no need to panic, these natural treatments will have your skin looking better and healed.
1. HOP INTO COOL WATER
Ever wondered why the lady next to you at the beach keeps going for dips in the ocean? It is simply because she knows it calms the effects of sunburn down. When you’ve been out in the sun for too long, it is best to take a dip in the ocean, lake or stream. You can also soak yourself in a cool bath at the end of a busy day under the sun. It is best not to use ice over a sunburn blister; this is because it will cause more harm than good to your skin. When you have sunburn, avoid pools because most times, they contain chlorine, and that’s harsh for your body. Remember to reapply your sunscreen or use shea butter as it serves as a moisturiser and a sunscreen.
2. USE OATMEAL
Oatmeal has been known as an age-long remedy for itchiness and blisters. It also helps to take down inflammation and irritation on the skin. Using an oatmeal bath is not subjected to any particular skin type.
When you notice sunburn on your skin, add oat flour to your bath water and soak yourself in it. Do not scrub, as it would only worsen the situation of your skin. Rinse off with warm water and apply shea butter on your skin while it’s still damp.
3. MOISTURE YOUR SKIN
Moisturisers help to keep the skin healthy and radiant. When you have sunburn, it is best to use body butter to calm the skin. They also help with inflammation and clear the dark patches on your skin. Using a moisturiser will prevent your skin from peeling. While giving your skin a tender treatment, you are also helping it heal. Be cautious when using a moisturiser on your sunburn. It is best to use natural body butter as they have no harmful effect on the skin.
4. ALOE VERA
An old skincare trick says that it’s best to have an aloe vera plant in your house. Aloe vera is calm on the skin and helps in the treatment of sunburn. When you apply the gel from the aloe vera directly on affected areas, it soothes it while providing treatment. A good replacement for the natural chunk off the aloe vera plant is over the counter lotion. Always ensure that the aloe vera lotion or cream has no chemicals added to it. There are also aloe vera ointments that can help in the treatment of sunburns.
You can mix honey with oatmeal and place it on the affected part of your skin. This mixture works best when only a little fraction of your skin has been affected by the sunburn. Honey has ain’t bacterial and anti inflammatory qualities. It’s effective healing properties will be suitable for sunburn on any skin type. Always make sure the honey you get is fully recommended for skin, this helps for better results on the body.
6. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Undiluted vinegar can cause more harm than good to your body. For the treatment of sunburn, add two cups to your bath water. It is always good to run a patch test before using apple cider vinegar on your body. For some people it will soothe the burning effect of the sunburn while in other cases it worsens it. Wet a cotton ball on a diluted cup of vinegar and dab on the skin. It is best to use vinegar on lighter burns as it might be harmful and cause more irritation when used on bigger burns.
Wear light clothes to give your skin enough space to heal itself. Eat healthy meals and also drink lots of water as it helps the skin heal. Be patient with the process and always wear sunscreen while outside. If you have a tan line caused by bikinis or clothes, apply a moisturiser or use body butter.
Sunburn treatment can take about two weeks or less. How long has your treatment taken? Could you share with us?