home remedies for sunburn

Natural Sunburn Relief Home remedies for sunburn

Many people who believe in and study holistic health understand the need for sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D and maintain health.  Yet what do you do if you’ve accidentally gone overboard on the sunshine or forgotten to cover up? vitamin b6

I’m what my friends joking call a “whiter shade of pale” and never get a suntan;  I just burn. Although I do my best to keep out of the sun and exercise or garden early or late in the day and cover up if I go out midday, there are times when I’ve forgotten and gotten a sunburn.  I personally apply ice or take long cooling baths to draw out the heat and have found them helpful. 


Natural Relief for Sunburns

•    Ice: If you’re burned on a limited section of your body, say your arm or your face, wrap some ice cubes in a cotton cloth and gently place the ice bag on the affected area.

•    Cool bath: Fill your bathtub with cool (but not icy cold) water and ease into the tub. Soak as long as you can tolerate it. Pat your skin dry rather than rub it.  Don’t take a cold shower. The water jets will feel like ice picks and hurt like crazy on any sunburn. If you only have access to a shower, try a warm (not too hot nor too cold) shower with the spray set to the gentlest setting you can tolerate.the abs diet

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Tea bath:  Brew strong mint tea or cut some mint from the garden, crush it, and place it in the bathtub.  Mint is especially soothing to sunburns. 

•    Aloe vera: Use fresh aloe vera or aloe vera gel and apply it to unbroken skin. If blisters are already forming on your skin, do not apply any ointment or gel to the area. Just let it be and keep it clean and dry until it heals naturally.

•    Calendula: Calendula is an excellent healing herb for the skin. Place 20-30 drops of calendula tincture in cool bath water and soak.  You can also use calendula lotion if the skin is unbroken.  If you’ve never used calendula before, don’t bathe in it unless you are sure you aren’t allergic.

•    Cucumber: Cucumber slices soothe and cool. Slice up a cucumber and apply the slices to the burned area. Biceps workouts

•    Apple cider vinegar: Make a compress with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of cool water. Soak a cotton cloth in the mixture and apply to skin before it blisters. This is an old folk remedy that is said to prevent blisters.

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Epsom salts: Dissolve Epsom salt into bath water or make a compress for the skin.

•    Witch hazel: Witch hazel is an excellent skin soothing remedy for sunburns. 


When to Seek Help

Did you know that you can actually get sun poisoning? It’s true. If your skin blisters, you get a rash or blister-like rash accompanied by fever and chills, see a doctor.  I once fell asleep at a picnic with one arm outstretched beyond the light throw I’d used to cover up my bare upper arms (I remembered to wear jeans to cover my legs and my face was shaded by an umbrella).  I woke two hours later with such a severe sunburn on my arm that I had large blisters the size of a dollar bill down the length of the arm. Don’t make my mistake.  I was in considerable pain and couldn’t move my arm for a week! Cover up and use the natural remedies above for mild to moderate sunburns. If you’re like me and wake up with big ugly blisters, a fever or chills, do seek medical attention.  Be safe this summer and have fun in the sun!

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