Every one of us has at least one memory of getting a bad sunburn. Whether personally experienced or witnessed by a close family member or friend, symptoms may include anything from red hot skin that is tender or painful to touch to nausea, dehydration, blistering, and skin flaking or peeling.
Anyone who has had a bad sunburn will tell you that the amount of time spent causing the sunburn is vastly disproportionate to the amount of time spent suffering the consequences of its effects. The severity of the pain and discomfort due to sunburn may last several days following the event as the body heals and recovers from unprotected UV exposure.
Unless the symptoms are deteriorating (in which case you may need to consult a doctor or seek medical attention), here are five simple home remedies that will help relieve the sting and pain of sunburn:
1. Soaking in a cool bath is one of the best ways to draw heat from the skin, relax, and alleviate sunburn pain and discomfort. (Avoid submerging in cold water, as this can cause the body to go into shock.) Here are some additional ingredients to include in your baths for added relief:
a. To the bath, add ten drops of essential oil (chamomile or lavender). Soak for 15 minutes or until you feel relief.
b. Adding baking soda (or oatmeal) to a warm bath can also help relieve pain. To ensure that this treatment is effective, ensure all affected areas are submerged. Pour bath water over your body with your hands or a soft washcloth. Burned facial regions can be dabbed gently with a cloth, or you can splash water directly onto your face. After soaking, dry the skin gently with a soft towel (preferably cotton). Allow the light coating of oatmeal clings to your skin to remain if you’ve taken an oatmeal bath.
c. Adding vinegar to your bath water will help relieve the sting of sunburn.
2. Rubbing alcohol because alcohol evaporates quickly, dabbing it on sunburned skin will quickly cool and relieve pain.
3. Vinegar: Vinegar is an efficacious sunburn treatment that is both effective and soothing. Soak towels in it, then apply to burned areas. Alternately, put the mixture in a spray bottle. And spray it directly on the skin as needed.
4. Egg Whites: If your burn is scalding hot, separating the white from the yolk of an egg and then applying the white to the affected area will help to cool the burning instantly. Repeat it as frequently as necessary.
5. Potatoes: Potatoes can also is helpful to relieve sunburn pain. Wash two potatoes thoroughly. Cut them into small chunks and liquefy them in a blender. (If the finished product appears too dry, add some water.) Apply potato juice to the affected areas. Wait until everything is dry.
Remember that, in addition to causing varying degrees of discomfort and pain, repeated sun exposure and sunburn speed up the aging process and increase the risk of cataracts and skin cancer. As a result, prevention should always be considered preferable to treatment!
Disclaimer: These are only home remedy suggestions and not a replacement for your regular health care provider. If you’re worried about getting sunburn, please seek medical attention immediately.