In summer, everyone’s all pumped and ready for some fun. You will often even hear stuff like “summer body goals”. Everyone’s got their summer plans all set out. One thing people don’t plan for however, is the sunburn. If you do get a sunburn, don’t worry- you do not have to buy expensive products. There are stuff in your kitchen or your cabinet that could solve your problem (except you’re on a vacay somewhere far from home, in that case we’ll say “there are stuff in the market”). Read on to find out ways to treat your sunburns, your children’s or niece’s.
What are the signs and symptoms of sunburn?
Staying in the sun longer than is healthy could have negative effects on your skin and increases your risk of getting sunburned. You’re more likely to get sunburned if you have a lighter complexion. Below are a few signs you have a sunburn:
• Peeling or flaking of the skin
• Skin redness
• Hot or Warm skin
• Discomfort when your skin comes in contact with something
• Wrinkling or skin dryness
You will often not immediately notice these symptoms until later after overexposure. They can be very painful especially in the first twenty-four hours. Sunburns are a lot similar to normal sunburns in terms of classification. They also come in first, second and third degree. In the first and second degree, they’re manageable and temporary. Third-degree sunburns are a lot more severe and lead to fevers, chills and blisters that are prone to infections, if not attended to immediately by a medical personnel, it could lead to severe complications.
Why Sunscreens May Not Always Be the Perfect Solution.
Sunscreens effectively protect you from UVB, the major cause of sunburn. They are classified into three levels, depending on their SPF (Sun Protection Factor) level.
There’s SPF 15 which blocks about ninety-three per cent of UVB radiation. SPF 30 blocks up to ninety-seven per cent of UVB radiation. SPF 50, ninety-eight per cent. This implies that application of sunscreen effectively eliminates chances of your vitamin D level increasing, which is not exactly healthy for the skin.
Now, as much as sunscreens are able to protect the skin from UVB radiations, it does not protect from UVAs which are a lot more damaging. So, even with a sunscreen on, you’re still not protected from UVAs, even if you don’t get burned.
Apart from preventing production of vitamin D, sunscreens could sometimes contain toxic ingredients which could end up migrating through the skin straight to the bloodstream. Products high in Vitamin A, retinol and retinyl palmitate could cause a spike in the development of malignant cells. It’s been warned that spray-on sunscreens should be completely avoided as they contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It has not been completely ascertained what the harmful effects could be as children could be inhaling these ingredients.
Home Remedies for Sunburn
Aloe Vera is a popular natural remedy used for the skin, hair and the health. It could be used to soothe sunburn as it contains anti-inflammatory properties and a has cooling effect. So while going out this summer, keep a bottle of aloe vera around if you’ll be under the sun so often. If you already have a sunburn, apply the aloe vera on the affected area and leave for a while before washing.
Baking soda will help balance your skin’s natural pH level after it has been burned. This will help the burn heal faster. Simply make a cold compress with water and baking soda and apply on your sunburned skin. Leave it on for fifteen minutes before taking it off.
You could also make a compress with green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory. To use this, steep green tea leaves or bag. In the water (now tea), soak a washcloth (should be clean) and place in a refrigerator to cool before applying on the burned skin. Take off the cold compress after fifteen minutes.
Greek yoghurt contains lactic acid which possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can moisturize and soothe skin that’s been burned by the sun. The Greek yoghurt is strained about ten times more than the traditional yoghurt. It’s therefore a lot thicker and has a greater probiotic concentration. According to recent studies, application of probiotics topically reduces redness and skin sensitivity. To use the Greek yoghurt for sunburn, apply onto the affected area as a mask and rinse off after about fifteen minutes.
Drink Plenty of Water
If you get burned by the sun, then your skin is definitely dehydrated. Drink a lot of water as it will help your skin heal faster and get replenished.
First off, it’s unsafe to place ice directly on your skin. It could lead to frostbite or more serious problems. To use ice, wrap an ice pack in a towel or wrap some frozen veggies in a towel or clean washcloth and place on the burned area.
Honey’s been used in ancient times to treat burns topically. According to studies, it could speed up healing, protect from infection and reduce pain more effectively than a few antibiotics. If your baby is younger than a year old, then you should not use this remedy for them as ingesting it could put them at risk of developing infant botulism.
Oatmeal (finely ground) has anti-inflammatory properties, especially when mixed with bath water. To use, pulverize a cup of oatmeal using a food processor or a blender. Do this until you get a smooth consistency. Afterwards, pour into your bathwater and soak in.
Vinegar contains acetic acid which is effective inn relieving pain, inflammation and itching. To use, simply pour a cup of white cider vinegar into a lukewarm bath water and soak.
Potatoes contain starch-based compounds that could help soothe sunburns. To use, chop an uncooked potato into slices and rub a slice directly on the burned area. You could also grate cold raw potato and apply onto your skin.
Cucumbers have a cooling effect that is useful in treating sunburns. Simply cut into slices and place on your burn. You’ll immediately feel its soothing effects. You could also try to mash it and apply its paste on your skin.
Vitamins C and E
Vitamins will certainly not soothe the burns, they have no cooling effect. However, they could help the burn heal faster. They work by neutralizing the free radicals, thus protecting the skin from damage. They help the skin to heal and repair faster.