As the name suggests, its the over exposure to ultraviolet radiation that can negatively affect the skin of a person who has been under the sun for too long. Sunburn causes red, painful skin that can be hot to touch, general fatigue and mild dizziness. Suntan is very common if the exposure is mild and not too severe. If the exposure to the sun is intense and gets repeated pretty occasionally, then it can damage the epidermal layer cells and also cause certain diseases. In severe cases it can cause skin cancer.
Clothing, including hats, is considered the preferred skin protection method. Moderate sun tanning without burning can also prevent subsequent sunburn, as it increases the amount of melanin, a photoprotective pigment that is the skin’s natural defense against overexposure.
Signs and symptoms of sunburn usually appear within a few hours after sun exposure. But it may take a day or longer to know the full extent of your sunburn.
Sunburn has the following signs and symptoms:
1) Redness of the skin.
2) Warm or hot skin that pains on touch.
3) Tenderness and itching on the skin.
5) Fatigue, headache and chills.
Within a few days, your body may start to heal itself by “peeling” the top layer of damaged skin. After peeling, your skin may temporarily have an irregular color and pattern. A bad sunburn may take several days or longer to heal.
The leading cause of sunburn is the over exposure to Ultra-Violet radiations which can be from any source, either the sun or an artificial source like a tanning lamp. When UV rays hit the body, it leads to molecular lesions which is due to the formation of “thymine dimer”. The body then tried its best to reverse the damage by using DNA repair, apoptosis and peeling to remove irreparably damaged skin cells and increases its melanin production which acts as a natural barrier against UV rays.
Sunburn is usually visibly apparent and the doctor can make a diagnosis just by doing a physical examination of the skin. It does not need any form of specialized equipments or tests.
In certain severe cases the doctor may ask the person to go for phototesting. In this process, a small patch of skin is exposed to UV rays and its affects are studied on the skin.
Treatment for sunburn involves the following:
1) Ice Compress
Keeping the skin compress in ice is one good option for treating mild cases of sunburn. This will help in diminishing the damaging effects of UV rays and heat on the skin cells.
Applying soothing creams or gels can help in alleviating the pain from sunburn. The person suffering from sunburn should go for creams which contain the following ingredients:
Camphor, Aloe and Menthol
3) NSAIDs ( Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs)
These are very helpful in decreasing the swelling and inflammation caused by the sunburn and also help in relieving the pain. NSAIDs like “ibuprofen” and “naproxen’ can be used for instant relief.
Natural Home Remedies
Use these simple sunburn remedies for easy and instant relief. These sunburn remedies are easy to use and easily available as well.
Aloe vera is an exceptional remedy for sunburn. Its bulbous leaves contain a gelatinous substance which can help in soothing the pain and burn that comes with sunburn. Aloe Vera extract is also widely available in the market in bottled form. Cut open the leaves of the plant and apply its gel directly onto the skin.
Finely ground oatmeal (sold as colloidal oatmeal in drug stores) works as an anti-inflammatory when mixed with bath water. Make your own by pulverizing a cup of instant or slow-cooking oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it has a smooth, fine consistency. Pour into tepid bath water and soak. A great sunburn remedy.
Witch hazel is a staple when it comes to healing a number of ailments and maladies. Witch hazel is a plant, but only the leaves bark, and twigs, are used medicinally. They contain chemicals called “tannins” which, when applied to directly to the skin, can help reduce swelling, repair damaged skin, and ward off nasty bacteria. You’ll most likely find witch hazel in a distilled liquid extract form, which simply distilled from the dried leaves, bark, and twigs of the plant. It may also be called witch hazel water.
Yogurt is stable food item in many households. Yogurt contains something abundance of probiotics and enzymes that can greatly help in the recovery of the skin. Applying it directly on the red and sunburned skin can help in better healing and it also acts as a soothing agent which is an added advantage. It is the best natural sunburn remedies.
If you’ve found yourself with searing hot red skin, root up a few potatoes. Potatoes have been known as a pain reliever throughout the years, working particularly well on minor skin irritations and soothing scratches, bites, and burns, as well as possibly reducing inflammation. Some people feel that the juice of the potato works the best, while others feel just slices are sufficient. Try both, and see which one is the best remedy for your sunburn.
Milk is known to provide instant relief in cases of sunburns. If the person does not suffer from dairy related allergies, there is no reason to not use milk since it’s so commonly available in every household. Take a bowl of cool milk from the fridge. For extra effect, a few drops of lavender can be used but its not imperative. Now use a cotton ball and dip in the milk bowl. Use this cotton to gently massage on the surface of the skin and the affected area to get instant relief from pain. A great sunburn remedy, healthy and effective.
Tomato is another effective remedy against sunburns. This is a great natural sunburn remedy and can be used simultaneously along with other skin remedies. Tomato is a rich source of “lycopene’ which is a carotenoid and acts as an effective anti-oxidant. This can help fight of cell damage that is caused by sunburn which leads to the formation of free radicals in the skin. Unless these free radicals are not neutralized they can do further damage to the skin. This is where tomato shines and works wonders for the skin. Drinking one glass of tomato juice should be sufficient enough.
Honey is well know sunburn remedy for burns. It has hydrophyllic nature. What that means is that it can draw out water and absorb it. This property helps in reliving pain from blisters and drying them put the effective way instead of bursting them which can cause infection to the wounds. Drying them out with honey is not only more hygienic, it also prevents further chances of infection since honey forms a protective coating above it.
Use these simple sunburn remedies for effective treatment and cure of sunburn. These sunburn remedies are easy to use, simple to include in your regular life and safe for your health as well.