Natural sunburn remedies


The KwaZulu-Natal is a prime sunburn casualty area. Here are a few natural sunburn remedies to help ease the sting that you got from those long days on the beach.

Before we jump into this incredible article we would like to give a shout-out and say a big thank you to Prevention Magazine for the great share.

Try these easy-to-follow tips and tricks recommended by experts to soothe the discomfort and reverse the day’s rays.

  1. Use CompressesUse compresses

Following a burn, the skin is inflamed. Get sunburn relief with compresses dipped in any of the following substances.

Coldwater. Use either plain water from the faucet or add a few ice cubes, says Michael Schreiber, MD. Dip a cloth into the liquid and lay it over the burn. Repeat every few minutes as the cloth warms. Apply several times a day for a total of 10 to 15 minutes each.

Aluminium acetate. If itching is intense, says Thomas Gossel, PhD, RPh, try mixing Domeboro’s powder packets with water. The aluminium acetate in the powder keeps the skin from getting too dry or itchy. Follow package directions.

Witch hazel. Moisten a cloth with witch hazel, says Fredric Haberman, MD. This incredible astringent has been shown to have long-lasting anti-inflammatory relief. Apply often for temporary relief. For smaller areas, dip cotton balls into the liquid and gently wipe on.

SMART TIP: You can also direct a fan on the area to heighten cooling.

  1. Apply these foods

Common kitchen staples can be great sunburn soothers.

Oatmeal. Wrap dry oatmeal in cheesecloth or gauze. Run cool water through it. Discard the oatmeal and soak compresses in the liquid. Apply every 2 to 4 hours.

Fat-free milk. Mix 1 cup fat-free milk with 4 cups water, then add a few ice cubes. Apply compresses for 15 to 20 minutes; repeat every 2 to 4 hours.

Cornstarch. Add enough water to cornstarch to make a paste. Apply directly to the sunburn.

Lettuce. Boil lettuce leaves in water. Strain, then let the liquid cool for several hours in the refrigerator. Dip cotton balls into the liquid and gently press or wipe onto irritated skin.

Yoghurt. Apply yoghurt to all sunburned areas. Rinse off in a cool shower, then gently pat skin dry.

Teabags. If your eyelids are burned, apply tea bags soaked in cool water to decrease swelling and help relieve pain. Tea has tannic acid, which seems to ease sunburn pain.

  1. Avoid soap

Don’t make it worse! Soap can dry and irritate skin with a sunburn.

Do not soak in soapy water. Likewise, stay away from bubble baths. If you must use soap, says Dr Gossel, use only a mild brand and rinse it off very well. What you can do is take a cool bath, as an alternative to compressed. Add more water as needed to keep the temperature cool. Afterwards, gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Do not rub your skin, or you’ll irritate it further. You can also add one of the following to reduce pain, itching, and inflammation.

Vinegar. Mix 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar into a tub of cool water, says Carl Korn, M.D. A great astringent, it soothes sunburn pain.

Aveeno. If the sunburn involves a large area, use the premeasured packets or add 1/2 cup of Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment (R85, made from oatmeal, to a tub of cool water, says Dr Schreiber. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Aveeno is a well-known remedy for itching.

Baking soda. Generously sprinkle baking soda into tepid bathwater, suggests Dr Haberman. Instead of towelling off, let the solution dry on your skin. It is completely nontoxic, and it will soothe the pain.

  1. Memorise these rules

While the memory of your sunburn is still painfully fresh, brush up on your sun sense with these tips from Norman Levine, MD.

Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going out, even if it’s overcast. (Harmful rays can penetrate cloud cover.) Don’t forget to protect your lips (try this lip balm with SPF), hands, ears, and the back of your neck. Reapply as necessary after swimming or perspiring heavily.

Pick a sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 30. Sunscreens with SPF 15 protect against 94% of the sun’s harmful rays, and those with SPF 30 protect against 97%. Also look for the ingredients zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone in your sunscreen. These block both ultraviolet A and B rays.

Take extra care between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM (11 AM and 4:00 PM, daylight saving time), when the sun is at its strongest.

Wear protective clothing. Hats, tightly woven fabrics, and long sleeves help keep the sun off your skin.

  1. Moisturise

You’ve really damaged your skin and now you need sunburn relief. It’s time to slather on lotion and begin repairs.

Soaks and compresses feel good and give temporary relief, says Rodney Basler, MD. But they can make your skin feel drier than before if you don’t apply moisturizing skin care immediately afterwards. Pat yourself dry, then smooth on some bath oil. Let it soak in for a minute, then apply a moisturizing cream or lotion, such as Eucerin.

SMART TIP: Chill your moisturiser in the fridge for added relief.

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