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Solutions for Sunburns

Updated on August 1, 2020
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She researches and shares remedies for using certain products for illnesses.

It is common for some people to get a sunburn during the summer months when they stay outside more often. They go to the beach or hang out at the pool. After having a fun-filled day in the sun, some people might notice they have a bad case of sunburn.

Unfortunately, you cannot reverse sunburn once you have it. However, there are some natural remedies to get rid of the pain and reduce inflammation.

How Long Does Sunburn Last?

There is really no set time when sunburn will disappear. However, it is estimated that a mild case of sunburn usually lasts 3-5 days. Moderate or severe cases of sunburn usually could last several days longer.

Other than being uncomfortable with the initial case of sunburn, each time you get it, it increases the chance of having wrinkles, senile skin lesions, and skin cancers. It also speeds up premature aging.

When you are out in the sun, consider the inconveniences of sunburn. Make sure you cover up to prevent it.

Aloe Vera

In case you get sunburned, use aloe vera on the spots immediately for comfort. A study conducted in 2009 showed that aloe vera healed second-degree burns three days faster than treatments for burns.

The ingredients found in aloe vera speed up the healing process in several different ways.

  1. Aloe vera stops pain and inflammation.
  2. It moisturizes the skin.
  3. It stimulates the growth of the skin and repairs it.
  4. It helps the wound to heal.
  5. Minerals in aloe vera soothe itching.

Baking Soda

Baking soda that you might hand on hand helps reduce itching on the skin as it soothes it. It reduces inflammation which is a usual byproduct of sunburns. Put a handful of baking soda into your bath water and soak in it for at least 20 minutes.

Another way is to combine three products that will reduce inflammation and will speed up the healing process.

  • 2-4 cups of finely ground oats
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is the one to keep on hand for the many benefits it provides.

In the early 1900s, a French chemist severely burned his hand in the lab. He immediately put it in lavender oil. The pain was reduced and the burn began to heal quickly. Since the oil worked on a chemical burn, it was proven that lavender oil would also work wonders on sunburn.

Use lavender essential oil on sunburn and other burns this way.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of pure lavender essential oil into about 2 ounces of water in a misting bottle.
  • Shake and mist the sunburned area lightly as often as needed.

A variation of that is to do the following thing.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil with 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 2 capsules of vitamin E, 400 IU for a soothing mixture that reduces inflammation and curtails infection.

Milk

Milk is not just for drinking. You should keep it on hand for other uses. The thing to consider is that the milk you put on a sunburn shouldn't be cool milk you take out of the refrigerator.

Let the milk warm to room temperature before putting on a sunburn. Then pour some on a clean cloth and apply it to the hurting area. The milk will provide a protein layer on the skin that locks in moisture. The skin is allowed to heal.

Oats

The same oats you eat for breakfast can be used to help your skin soothe. Oats also aid in reducing inflammation.

Stuff uncooked oats into an old nylon stocking. Run some cool water on the oat-filled stocking. Put the stocking on the sunburned area for 15 to 20 minutes. Let your skin air dry so you won't have to wipe the oats off your skin with a towel.

Tea

Black tea or green tea will work just as well to reduce inflammation and ease the pain of a sunburn. Both types of tea will remove the heat from sunburn. The tea will also aid in repairing the damaged skin.

Drop three black tea bags into a pitcher of warm water. Let the bags soak until the water turns black. Instead of drinking the tea, dab it on the affected area.

If you choose to use green tea, dip a cotton ball into it after it has cooled just like you did with black tea. Some of the same ingredients are in both teas.

Vitamins

Many of the products mentioned will take the sting out of a sunburn to provide immediate comfort. Vitamins won’t do that. They will not take the heat or sting out of a painful sunburn. What they will do is to help the sunburn heal much faster.

Take vitamin C and vitamin E over a period of 8 days for the healing properties to work. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help to repair your skin faster.

Yogurt

Use cheap plain yogurt on sunburns. There is no need to purchase expensive flavored yogurt because you will be wasting money. Also, buy plain yogurt.

There are enough enzymes and probiotics in plain, unflavored yogurt to help the sunburned area to heal.

Apply yogurt to burned areas. Leave it on for at least five minutes. You will be able to tell that the yogurt is working because the pain and discomfort end in that short period of time. Gently wash the yogurt off with cool water.

Water

Putting water on a sunburn will not help it to heal like some of the other products mentioned. However, drinking a lot of water can be a good thing if you are sunburned.

Being sunburned means your skin is dehydrated. The water you drink will replenish what left your skin when you became sunburned.

White Vinegar

Sunburn can be reduced from your skin overnight when you use white vinegar on the area. White vinegar contains an ingredient found in aspirins that can relieve pain, itching, and inflammation.

First, wet a washcloth or paper towels with cold water. Put a little vinegar on the cloth. Dab the wet cloth on the sunburned area. Be careful around the eyes because vinegar can sting. Do not towel dry. Let the vinegar dry on its own.

You can also pour a cup of white vinegar into your bathwater and soak in it for about 20 minutes.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a good product to use for healing damaged skin, including skin that has been sunburned.

Put the witch hazel on the affected area with a soaked cotton ball. Like the other products mentioned, witch hazel reduces inflammation, speeds the healing process, and helps keep bacteria from forming.

Comments

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Beth, I have used most of the methods I cited. The ingredients in the natural remedies help with soothing the pain, reducing inflammation and promoting healing. Try any of them and see how they will work for you.

    • Beth Deyo profile image

      Beth Deyo 

      3 years ago from Bradenton, FL

      Living in Florida for years, I'm all too familiar with sunburns. Even the highest of sunscreen sometimes isn't enough here. Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I didn't know about using milk or yogurt to calm a sunburn. Great information!

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