Ah, the joy of sunny days spent frolicking at the beach or lounging by the pool. We’ve all had those moments of pure bliss under the warm rays of the sun. But sometimes, our skin pays the price for our sunny adventures in the form of a pesky sunburn. Don’t fret! Just as we embrace the sun, we can also embrace some fantastic home remedies to rescue our skin from the clutches of sunburn. Let us take a look at how to treat a sunburn with the help of some natural home remedies.
Sunburn can be a painful and uncomfortable condition resulting from overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. While prevention is crucial, it’s essential to know how to treat a sunburn in case it happens.
Health Shots reached out to Dr Sonali Kohli, Consultant Dermatologist and Venereologist, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, to talk about how to treat a sunburn at home. She says the most important step is to identify a sunburn and not confuse it with a skin rash. Sunburns are usually localized, more reddish and painful. They do not itch but have a burning sensation which might worsen when cloth irritates the skin. Sunburns typically heal in a week naturally but there are some remedies that can help get rid of the sunburn fast.
Also read: Skin care tips: 5 things to avoid while treating a sunburn
Home remedies to treat a sunburn
If you are looking for ways to relieve sunburned skin, sunburn on face or a sunburn blister, here are some home remedies that can help.
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is a popular and effective remedy for treating sunburn. “Known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera can help reduce redness, inflammation, and pain,” says Dr Kohli. Apply pure aloe vera gel directly to the sunburned area and gently massage it into the skin. Repeat this process several times a day for relief and faster healing.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help alleviate dryness and itching associated with sunburn. Its antimicrobial properties may also aid in preventing infection. After cooling the skin with cold compresses or a cool bath, apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the affected area. Allow the skin to absorb the oil and reapply as needed.
3. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief for sunburned skin. Brew a pot of chamomile tea, allow it to cool, and then soak a clean cloth or cotton pads in the tea. Gently apply the compress to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. The coolness of the tea and the soothing properties of chamomile can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
4. Cool compresses
Cool compresses are a simple and effective way to cool down sunburned skin and alleviate discomfort. Take a clean, damp cloth and place it on the affected area. The coolness of the compress will help reduce heat and inflammation. “You can also take a cool bath with added baking soda for a more extensive cooling effect,” suggests Dr Kohli.
5. Oatmeal bath
An oatmeal bath can provide soothing relief for sunburned skin. Add colloidal oatmeal (available at drugstores), which is more finer than the normal oatmeal, to a cool bath and soak in it for 15-20 minutes. “The anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal can help reduce itching, inflammation, and promote healing,” says Dr Kohli.
Staying hydrated is essential when treating sunburn. The dermatologist advises drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration caused by fluid loss through the damaged skin. Adequate hydration supports the healing process and helps maintain overall skin health.
Pro Tip: The doctor advises to avoid further sun exposure until your sunburn has fully healed. Protect the affected area by covering it with loose clothing or using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). This prevents further damage and allows the skin to recover.
If you experience severe sunburn with symptoms like blistering, severe pain, fever, or dizziness, it’s important to seek medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment. Remember, prevention is key, so always use sunscreen with a high SPF, wear protective clothing, hats and limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours.