Sunburn Relief: The Most Effective Home Remedies to Treat Sunburn & Reverse Sun Damage
When it comes to sunburn, an ounce of prevention can help you avoid potentially serious conditions down the road.
Sun damage in childhood greatly increases the risk of skin cancer in adulthood. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 90% of skin cancers are caused by direct exposure of the skin to damaging UV rays. Sunburn also damages the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and cancers. Even in the winter months and on cloudy days, care should be taken to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing. When sunburns do occur, it is important to act quickly to prevent and reverse as much of the damage as possible. Use the following remedies to safely and effectively treat sunburned skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to quickly cool the sting of a sunburn.
Pour it in a spray bottle and spray directly on the sunburn, or soak small towels in the mixture and apply to the skin. Another alternative is to pour several cups of vinegar into tepid bath water along with 2-3 cups of finely ground oatmeal and soak for 15-20 minutes. The vinegar helps to prevent and minimize blistering and peeling. Oatmeal helps relieve dryness and restore natural moisture balance to the skin.
Aloe Vera is known for its healing properties.
Not only is it a good way to cool the sting of a sunburn, but it also helps reverse damage and repair skin. Use Aloe straight from the plant by breaking a leaf and squeezing the gel directly onto the sunburn, or purchase a bottle of 100% pure Aloe Vera gel at any retail or drug store. Aloe can be applied as often as needed. Aloe is anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and promotes skin cell regeneration.
For use on the face and other delicate areas, a cooling blend of cucumber and milk is an all-natural remedy that is safe and gentle. In a blender, combine cucumber and whole milk to form a gel. Apply the pureed mixture to the burn to help pull the heat out. Soak cotton balls with it and apply to the eyelids. The cold from the milk is soothing and the fat content helps aid healing. The compounds in cucumbers prevent water retention and swelling in addition to providing cooling relief.
Herbal salves or tinctures containing Calendula or Comfrey will help heal and repair the skin after a burn.
Calendula is an anti-inflammatory herb that is also anti-microbial. It heals and prevents infection. Comfrey shares these properties, but also stimulates cell regeneration promoting faster healing of the skin. Look for products with one or both of these herbs in them.
Healing should also come from within. After a burn, there are certain supplements that will help encourage faster healing and fight free radical damage. Potassium is a vital nutrient often lost during a sunburn that needs to be replaced. CoQ10 works to destroy free radicals and also promotes better cell oxygenation. In addition, Vitamins E and C aid in tissue repair and healing. Add these supplements to your diet for at least a week after a burn to reap the full benefits.
Sun damage is the most preventable cause of skin cancer. With sunburn, it’s not the immediate damage that is the most harmful. Remember to protect your skin at all times, but if a sunburn should occur, act quickly to heal it and reverse the damage.