How to Treat Sunburn

Anyone who spends time out of doors in the sun should know how to treat sunburn, as this is one of the risks of exposing the body’s skin to sunlight and UV rays. Extensive exposure of bare skin to the ultraviolet light rays produced by the sun results in the uncomfortable red and irritated condition known as sunburn.

Sunburn symptoms include a reddish tint to the affected area, skin that feels hot to the touch, a general feeling of tiredness, dizziness, and discomfort. There are numerous remedies and treatments for sunburn.

  1. Topical ointments can help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by sunburn. Aloe vera gel is a popular and inexpensive sunburn remedy. Anesthetic pain relievers such as lidocain and benzocaine are available over the counter at drugstores in spray or ointment form. Butter is often touted as folk remedy, but it should not be applied as a sunburn healer.
  2. Over the counter pain relievers containing aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help sunburn sufferer’s relieve headache, nausea, mild fever and inflammation.
  3. Taking a cold shower, soaking in a tub of cool water to which moisturing oils have been added or applying cold compresses on a regular basis to the effected area are all effective ways to treat sunburn.
  4. Avoid using any soaps or detergents on the sunburned area, as this will cause further drying and intensify itching and redness. Applying creams containing aluminum acetate can help combat the drying effect of the sunburn.
  5. How to Treat Sunburn

    How to Treat Sunburn

    Soak several cups of oatmeal in warm water, then strain this mixture, applying the oatmeal water to the sunburn area for a nice, soothing effect. This way of treating sunburn is inexpensive and can be repeated several times throughout the day. After the oatmeal liquid has dried, rinse off with cool water and pat dry.

  6. Another natural remedy that speeds the healing of the sunburned skin is the application of plain yogurt to the affected area. The yogurt temperature should be cold as it comes right from the refrigerator. Slather on the yogurt and let dry, then shower off in cool water and pat the skin dry with a clean towel, being careful not to pull or vigorously rub the sunburned skin.
  7. Cooking a head of lettuce just until the water boils, then draining off the water to use as a skin tonic applied to the sunburn with cotton balls is another natural remedy that is an effective way to treat sunburn.
  8. Vinegar is another natural remedy from the kitchen cabinet that can sooth the painful itch of sunburn. Mix equal parts of vinegar and cold water and apply with a clean washcloth to the affected skin and let dry.
  9. Pour baking soda into a tub of cool water and soak those sunburned body parts for at least 10 minutes, letting your skin air dry when you leave the tub.
  10. Wear as little clothing as possible during your leisure time to help the sunburn during the healing process and avoid rubbing any rough material over sunburned skin. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body properly hydrated and be sure to get enough rest and sleep.

Once your sunburn has healed, you can prevent it from happening again by being sure to always wear sunblock. Wear waterproof sunblock while swimming, sunbathing or skiing, and cover your head with a floppy sunhat while gardening or spending time outdoors. If your skin is particularly sun sensitive, don’t expose yourself to direct sunlight during the middle of the day, and wear long pants and long sleeves if you have to be out in sunlight for any extended period of time.

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