Whether it is a long day under the sun, or a whole weekend spent at a beach, sunburn is an usual consequence for most people. And as if the sunburn alone is not annoying enough, it starts itching as well. Know how you can relieve this problem with the help of a few home remedies, from the following.
• A dependable home remedy for sunburns is to spend 15-20 minutes under a cool water tap. This may help you sooth your sunburns. Don't rub the skin while drying it and use soft towel.
• The dryness caused in the sunburned area can be countered by maintaining the skin moist such as by application of coca butter. You may have to apply it many times to the affected area, because it not an instant cure.
• Application of plain Aloe vera, which is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory effect, may help you in getting relief from the nasty itch. Results can also be obtained by using Aloe vera combined with lidocaine.
• Sterilized paraffin wax can help you in relieving some of the pain and protect the sunburned area of the skin.
• Application of milk lotion or complete milk with the help of a sterile cotton gauze to the affected area may also bring relief to you.
• Another approach to get rid of sunburn itch is to restore the pH of skin. Add a cupful of baking soda to a tub full of lukewarm water. The baking soda acts as a neutralizer and the bath, eventually, allows your skin to cool down and breath.
• Ever heard of oatmeal bath being useful to get relief from the sunburn? Add a half a cup of oatmeal to a tub full of water and lie in it for a while before washing it off.
• There are instances when using vinegar or apple cider vinegar was found to be useful.
• Tea is also useful in getting relief from the pain and itch that a sunburn causes. Make it very strong so as to make it high in Tannic acid. It is the ingredient that helps this home remedy fight the sunburn. Store and cool the tea in refrigerator. While using it, soak a clean cloth in it and apply to the injured site.
When home remedies fails to relieve you of the inflammation and the pain associated with a sunburn, it is advisable to seek medical advice. A medical professional is in the best position to judge, which treatments for sunburn can offer relief to you.
The doctor may prescribe you indomethacin, which is found to be more effective in treating sunburns than the corticosteroid creams. Studies show that intradermal injection of indomethacin and aspirin decreases sunburn erythema by inhibiting prostaglandin E. The doctor, depending on the severity of the sunburns, may also prescribe you to take Ibuprofen, a painkiller, and to apply a cream or lotion containing celecoxib to the affected area. It is found that it reduces edema and prostaglandin E levels which, in turn, provides relief. It also prevents skin tumors from forming as a result of exposure to UV rays.
What Triggers Sunburn Itch?
Before knowing about home remedies, it is important to know root cause and the working of the itch. The outer layer of the skin i.e. epidermis, is mostly composed of keratinocytes and Langerhans cells. Ultraviolet (UV) light can cause injury to the skin cells such as keratinocytes, langerhans, melanocytes, fibroblasts, skin mast cells and leukocytes. The destruction of skin cells releases certain proteins in the blood which triggers the mast cells to release pro-inflammatory histamine and cytokines. Histamine is a neurotransmitter and its presence in the blood is a sign that something is not right with the body. In such a situation, bodies immune system thinking that it is a case of infection, gears itself against the foreign bodies which, in this case are the proteins. In addition, more than normal levels of histamine in the blood causes you to suffer from the chronic inflammation and itch for a long time.
The presence of histamine in the blood, stimulates secretion of prostaglandin E, a neurotransmitter. Both, the histamine and the prostaglandin E, acts as vasodilators and escalates ultraviolet erythema, which is abnormal redness of the skin. This may explain sunburn itch and why you need to wait for a long time to get complete relief.
Preventing a Sunburn
It is known that, "Prevention is better than cure." How to prevent sunburn peeling that is associated with a sunburn is a question that is often aired. Zinc oxide sunblock or suncream lotions containing antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C are a great help in avoiding a sunburn.
It is important to understand that if you have received secondary sunburns, they won't respond to the home remedies that easily. So the trick, while treating sunburns, is in knowing when to visit a medical professional and get proper advice.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.