Treating Sunburn With Natural Remedies
Summer is here and most of us can’t wait to head to Italy, Greece or some other sunny location to get some proper tan. The thing is, for all of us fair-skinned people, our vacation may turn sour, a bit itchy and sometimes even severely burned if we don’t take the proper precautions against the sun.
Just imagine it — your friends are on the beach having the time of their lives, playing with beach ball and sipping mojitos, chasing and getting the perfect tan and, deep in your heart, you know perfectly well that they are going to boast about it for ages back at home. They would be a walking example of a happy holiday well-spent in a place sunny, far away from good old Blighty.
And you, you are in your room, red from head to toe with God-only-knows if that’s what second degree burns look like. Everything feels itchy and uncomfortable. You may even have these naughty bubbles/blisters that are a sure sign that you’ve gone too far this time. And your skin, as well as your organism don’t like it one bit.
Putting aside that your holiday is completely ruined and you look… well, not the way you imagined it when you booked the tickets to, let’s say, France, the really important thing here is that this is some health scare. Having a sunburn increases the chances of getting skin cancer at some point in your life, among other things, so it’s not a laughing matter to be taken lightly.
In other words, to add insult to injury, not only you are way too ashamed of the way you look like, but you have to be seriously careful about how you go about tanning in the future, as well as in the few remaining days of your holiday.
Now is the time to say something really important that should be emphasized. If the sunburn is severe, your skin is really itchy, big bubbles are appearing, sizeable part of your body is affected (20% or more), you feel quite tired, have fever, feel nauseous or dizzy, if any of these symptoms appear, go see a doctor. You don’t want to take any chances with that.
If it’s not so bad, but your skin is still reddened from sunburn, feels just a bit itchy or even if you have some (but kinda smallish) of these pesky bubbles mentioned above, read this article. I’ll help you treat the sunburn and alleviate the stress with some natural remedies.
Why Do We Get Sunburned?
Because the sun produces two invisible ultraviolet rays, named A (UVA) and B (UVB). Both are harmful to our skin and may cause immense damage to it. People with fair skin and light-coloured hair are especially prone to sunburn. That’s because melanin is the main factor that determines the colour of our skin. It also serves as our natural protection against the sun. We get sunburned when the amount of sun we are exposed to exceeds the protective abilities of the melanin in our body.
Sunburn Treatments and Remedies
1. Aloe Vera Gel
The best way to make the most of the benefits that aloe vera brings is to squeeze some of the aloe vera gel directly from the plant. To do so, make a narrow cut through the middle of the leaves and squeeze it all out. Then spread the gel evenly on the reddened skin.
That said, if most of your body is sunburned, it would take a while before you can squeeze enough aloe vera gel to rub it into the affected skin. That’s why the best course of action is to get some gel from your aloe vera plant in advance and prepare it for future use. Wise decision, in my opinion, since sooner or later you’ll use it — especially if you have a fair skin like mine, but love tanning.
If you don’t want to apply the gel as soon as you squeeze it out, it’s best to put it in a gel bottle and store in the fridge.
That’s just another reason to grow an aloe vera plant (it’s a beauty and I plan to write about it in the near future, so stay tuned). Aloe vera gel is a good remedy for all types of burns. It cools off the skin and speeds up the recovery process.
That’s because aloe vera gel creates a protective layer that keeps the skin moist, which is of enormous importance, but more on that later.
Use the gel as long as you feel your skin needs it.
2. Potato Paste
That’s an easy one. Most people love potatoes, but what they are not aware of is that they also come in handy if you have a skin irritation, some minor burns or bites. Potatoes help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation.
In order to unleash potato’s full potential, what you need to do is a potato paste. It’s worth mentioning that putting a slice of potato on the sunburned part will have some effect, but won’t work as well as a potato paste.
What you need to do is to wash the potatoes thoroughly, grate them or put them in the mixer. You don’t want to remove the peels, because they help you with the swelling and are a reasonable pain reliever.
Keep the blender on until you have a rather liquid potato paste. You can add some water as well. When ready, put a soak ball in, get as much of the liquid potato paste as you can and apply gently on the skin. That’s the wonder of the potato juice and it works a treat.
3. Drink a Lot of Liquids — Water
A burn is nothing more but dried up and damaged skin. Your body is usually dehydrated as well, so drinking a lot of water is a must. Actually, drinking a lot of water during the summer is a very sensible thing to do, but even more so if you got a sunburn.
Growing your own lemons feels great and picking them straight out from the lemon tree feels great as well, as my man Bob explained, but when it comes to drinking a lot of water, nothing beats a slice of lemon (or a couple of slices..) in it. But what makes it even better is that a few glasses of water with a lemon slice in each has quite a few unrelated health benefits as well. Lemons and water is a combination you can’t go wrong with.
4. Mint and Tea
Mint helps everything cool off. Besides, it’s a lovely, but invasive shrub that will take over your garden if you don’t take the proper care. But let’s focus on its healing properties, especially when you combine it with green tea.
Virtually all types of tea bring health benefits, but when it comes to treating sunburn green tea in particular stands out. All you have to do is to put several tea bags in boiling water, put a lid on the container where you store it, wait for the water to cool off and add a large number of mint leaves into the mix.
Then soak a cotton ball or a towel into the water and apply generously on the damaged skin. That will do it and your skin, as well as whole body will feel much better.
Growing plants is a fulfilling experience. Besides, it comes in handy most of the time — I mean, everyone can grow an aloe vera plant or mint and the fruits of your labour are well-worth the hassle. If you do face some issues with your plants though, come visit some professional service like Leatherhead Gardeners. They know their stuff and will help you out with your troubles.