Summertime is one of my favourite times of the year. (Okay, I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of winter but the other three seasons are pretty wonderful.) I love the blue skies, the sunshine, the slower pace of life. What I don’t love are sunburns. (Who does?) I’m much better about protecting myself from the sun these days than I was in my youth. Still, with my sensitive skin there are occasions where I get just a bit of a burn. These sunburn relief home remedies are just the thing to rely on if you get caught with a sunburn. The great thing about them is that most of them use items you probably already have on hand!
SUNBURN RELIEF HOME REMEDIES
CAUTION: Before you decide to try taking care of your sunburn on your own, make sure that you aren’t in need of emergency care. If you have any of the following symptoms, you need to head to the ER: severe pain, severe blistering, headache, confusion, nausea or vomiting, fainting or dizziness. You also need emergency treatment if you have a bad sunburn and have a serious medical condition such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, etc.
Ice Pack –
If you have a relatively small burn, you can use an ice pack (even a bag of frozen peas) to bring relief and start cooling it off really quickly. Be sure to put a cloth or towel in between your skin and the ice pack.
This is my #1 go-to remedy. When I was a kid, I would get HORRIBLE sunburns visiting my sister in Florida. In fact, I’ve had sunstroke multiple times. If it was a really bad burn/sunstroke and I needed to cool off my skin quickly, I would get into a bathtub and simply pour a big jug of white vinegar all over my body. For lesser burns, I would partially fill the tub with cool water and pour vinegar into that. You can also mix it half and half with water and spray it on the affected areas. This was always my first line of defense and then I would follow up with some of these other options. Some people swear by a 1/2-1 cup of baking soda in the bath in place of the vinegar but I’ve personally never tried this.
Compresses of the water and vinegar mixture, a paste of baking soda and water, a paste of oatmeal and water, or compresses made with 3 black tea bags brewed in a pot of water are all good ways to reduce the heat in your skin and start the healing process. This is an effective treatment when the area of the burn is relatively small and you don’t need an entire bath for it.
Aloe Vera Gel –
This is so great to have on hand for any burns, not just sunburns. Keep it in your fridge for that extra bit of cooling on the skin. The moment I could stand to touch my skin (yep, that’s how bad my burns were back in the day…I probably should have gone to the ER), this would be my next step. Not only does it help to continue with the cooling down of the burn but it has healing properties too. Keep using the aloe vera gel until the redness has gone away.
After Sun Cream –
Once you’ve treated the initial burning of your skin, you need to add some moisture back into it as well. My personal favourite is the Mary Kay After Sun Gel. It feels so soothing and really moisturizes my parched skin. I know others who swear by Noxzema – did you know that it was originally created as a sunburn relief cream? I keep using the after sun cream for at least a week after a burn.
Drink more water –
Speaking of being parched, it’s not just your skin that’s dehydrated. Be sure to drink more water over the next few days to help replenish your body.
Take an anti-inflammatory –
Use something like Ibuprofen or Naproxen to help relieve the pain and reduce the swelling and inflammation of your skin.
Don’t let a sunburn ruin your summer fun in the sun. Begin by taking the all-important steps of protecting your skin from the sun in any way possible. And then, if you do get a burn, use these remedies to be up and ready for the next exciting activity!