7 Tips for Sunburn Relief
The sun’s rays have multiple health benefits, like improving sleep and strengthening the immune system. However, not taking the right measures before and during sun exposure can result in burns that, of course, are not at all pleasant.
5-Minute Crafts has compiled 7 tips to soothe skin burns and irritations, as long as they are superficial.
1. Relieve itching with baking soda and oatmeal
Baking soda helps relieve a common symptom caused by sunburn: itching. You can obtain even better results by mixing baking soda with colloidal oatmeal, which also has useful and powerful properties to treat skin irritation and dryness.
To use both ingredients:
- Fill a bathtub with room temperature water and pour in 3 to 4 heaping tablespoons of baking soda.
- Add 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal.
- Soak in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, dry your skin without rubbing it.
2. Apply chamomile compresses
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve the discomfort of superficial burns. It is especially effective against pain. If you want to use it as an over-the-counter treatment, you can do the following:
- Prepare a cup of chamomile infusion (basically tea), just as you would if you were going to drink it.
- Let it cool for at least one hour. You can also put it in the refrigerator.
- Soak a towel or soft cloth in the infusion.
- Place the compress on the affected area.
Keep in mind that this method is not recommended for people who are allergic to pollen. If in doubt, test your skin’s reaction by applying a few drops to a small area or check with your physician.
3. Use moisturizers with aloe vera or soybean oil.
After taking a shower or a bath you can apply different creams or lotions containing natural ingredients, like soybean oil or aloe vera, to help your skin recover from the sunburn. This will help retain water in the skin and speed up the healing process. Most of these are sold as over-the-counter solutions.
Aloe vera has regenerative and analgesic properties, so it will help your skin heal and reduce pain.
Soybean oil, on the other hand, works as a barrier to maintain natural moisture. At the same time, its high vitamin E content gives it anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Use cow’s milk to clean the affected area.
Due to its lactic acid content, milk is able to remove dead skin cells, working as a gentle exfoliant. On the other hand, it also contains a lot of antioxidants. These can help reduce inflammation, so they might come in handy when treating sunburns.
If you want to use it you can try the following method:
- Pour 500 ml of milk into a bowl. The amount may depend on the extent of your burns.
- Dip a small towel in it.
- Put the bowl (with the towel) in the refrigerator and let it cool for half an hour.
- Place the cold milk compress on your burns. Let it act for a few minutes and rinse with cold water.
5. Avoid irritating ingredients and soaps.
Products containing benzocaine, petroleum, or lidocaine can further irritate your skin, or even cause allergic reactions. Therefore, they are not recommended while your burns are in the process of healing. Also, the use of soaps during bathing is not really encouraged if you have a sunburn, as their ingredients may cause further drying.
It is preferable to take showers only with cold water while the skin is still red and it feels sore.
6. Moisturize your skin with cucumber.
With its high water content and friendliness toward sensitive skin, cucumber can help moisturize the affected area and reduce inflammation without causing irritation. Prepare a toner with this ingredient by following these steps:
- Peel and slice a medium cucumber and place the slices in a pot with enough water to cover. Heat over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Transfer the preparation to a blender and puree until you get a smooth paste.
- Strain it through a strainer or a piece of gauze until all the liquid is obtained.
- Place the tonic in a sterilized bottle with a spray diffuser and spray it regularly on your skin. Keep it for up to 4 days, preferably in the refrigerator.
7. Reduce pain with bee honey.
Bee honey is known as an effective over-the-counter remedy in these cases because it has antibacterial properties, so it will promote skin regeneration without the risk of infection. It also helps to moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation and pain.
If you want to use bee honey to soothe your skin after a sunburn, apply cold liquid honey to your skin on small burns. If your burns are more extensive, cover the honey with a piece of thin cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes, remove, and rinse with cold water.
When to see a doctor
When in doubt you should always consult a specialist. This is especially true if your burns cover a large part of the skin or if they are accompanied by symptoms like: headache, confusion, high fever, intense pain, dehydration, nausea, chills, or blisters.
It is also recommended to watch for signs of infection like swelling, whitish fluid, or red streaks.
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