A sunburn is a skin condition developed after prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation of the sun. A slight exposure to UV rays causes suntan, resulting in golden bronze skin color, which many of us adore. The severity of sunburn depends upon the sensitivity of the skin and time-length of exposure. Some of the noticeable signs are reddish-colored skin, itching, skin peeling, rash, fluid-filled blisters, pain, dizziness, and weakness.
Mild cases resolve on their own within a few days. However, severe sunburn increases the risk for various skin conditions, such as very dry skin, wrinkles, spots, discoloration, and at times, skin cancer. So, it is imperative to treat painful sunburn cases as soon as possible. Though, it takes a few minutes to some hours to cause sunburn, complete healing may take several days to weeks. So, you should not ignore the symptoms at any cost. Home remedies are focused on reducing pain and restoring the skin color quickly.
Vinegar: Household vinegar (preferably apple cider vinegar) is one of the best remedies around. You can either spray vinegar over the affected areas or soak it in a clean cloth and place it on the skin. While taking a bath, add 2 cups of vinegar to the water.
Baking Soda: Baking soda gives a soothing effect when applied on the affected areas. Dissolve it in cool water and soak in the bath for around 30 minutes. You can also make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply it to aid the healing process.
Essential Oil: Another home remedy is chamomile oil or lavender oil. Fill water in a spray bottle and add a few drops of any one of these oils. Shake it and spray on the skin to soothe the pain and itching sensation.
Cold Yogurt: Usually, the affected area feels hot and painful to touch. Applying cold yogurt will give you a cooling effect and some relief. The ingredients found in yogurt also help in quick healing of sunburned skin.
Cold Milk: Cold milk also gives the same relief as yogurt. You can dip a clean washcloth in cold milk and place it over the skin, several times a day. Doing so will help soothe the pain, itching, and at the same time improve the texture of the skin.
Aloe Vera: Take a fresh aloe vera leaf and cut it lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the gel (without touching the yellow part) and apply it in circular motions. You can also use any cream or lotion that is based on aloe vera.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is effective for treating several skin problems, including rash and sunburn. Fill the bathtub with cool water and add 2 cups of oatmeal. Leave it for some time before soaking yourself in the bathtub for about 30 minutes.
Witch Hazel: Witch hazel is another thing you can try. Dab a cloth in cold witch hazel and place it on the skin. Or, you can spray it directly over the area to get instant relief from pain and itching.
Honey: Use honey alone in concentrated form on the skin. Or else, mix 8 drops of honey with 3 drops of lemon juice, and apply it over the skin. Also, combining honey with milk in equal amounts gives the same soothing effect.
Tomatoes: Rich in antioxidants, ripe tomatoes aid in quick healing. Make slices, mash them or prepare a juice; tomatoes are ideal to treat burn skin. Another option is to make a paste using equal amounts of tomato and buttermilk, and rub it on the skin.
Cucumber and Potato: Cucumber and potato are effective sunburn remedies. Take any of these and grate it. Apply the grated cucumber or potato over the affected skin. Use it 2 - 3 times daily.
Sunburn, in extreme cases, is life-threatening. Thus, preventing it is the best remedy. Use a sunscreen with a correct sun protection factor (SPF). It is crucial while spending long hours outdoors. Also, you should wear a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the scorching heat and harmful sun radiation.
If these remedies do not show positive response even after several days, visit a dermatologist. He will probably prescribe topical creams and medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and corticosteroids to reduce the pain and inflammation.