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Sunburns: Home Remedies To Treat Them

Updated on July 6, 2015

Let's Talk About Sunburns

About a month ago, I got my very first, very bad sunburn after spending 2 hours on a beach in Florida. I had forgone SPF's for a more adventurous method, dark tanning oil. I was hoping to get a nice tan... I think you can see where I'm going with this.

The surprising thing was that despite being in the sun for 2 hours, I didn't look or feel burnt, in fact, that's partly the reason we were there so long. However, once we got out of the sun, the pain began to emerge. For the next 5 days, I tried nearly everything I would think of or find to relieve the terrible burning sensation.

It's for people like me, that I've put together a list of the most effective sunburn home remedies I could find. Whether or not they will work for you depends on the composition of your skin and the severity of your burn, but I know some of these worked wonders for me and I hope they'll do the same for you! Just remember, don't scratch!

Home Remedies & Solutions

  • Dip some gauze into milk and apply it to your sunburned skin.
  • Aloe Vera is a natural and soothing treatment option for sunburns. Use generous amounts.
  • Calamine lotion reduces the heat and alleviates the itching sensation.
  • Mix 2 spoons of honey with lemon juice and apply over the sunburned or tanned skin areas.
  • Apply apple cider vinegar to the burn with a cottonball to prevent blistering and peeling.
  • Rub sunburned area with fresh cucumber slices.
  • Put some oatmeal in tepid bathwater, soak for a few minutes.
  • Grate a potato and apply it to the burned area. The starch will cool and soothe the burn.
  • Add 20 drops of each of lavender and chamomile essential oils to a tubful of cool water and soak for 10 minutes.
  • Aspirin kills the pain and reduces inflammation and redness of a sunburn.
  • Apply ice or cold water to the burned area, but make sure it's not directly on the skin. Use a towel to buffer the ice.
  • Apply plain yogurt with live cultures, let it stand for a few minutes, then rinse off under cool water.

Caution! You may have sun poisoning if you experience chills, fever, or get blisters or a rash. See your physician!


The Myths about Sunburns

There are plenty of facts out there about sunburns, but which ones can you trust?

  • Sunlight is always bad for you.

False. Unless you have a rare skin condition, sunlight, in small amounts is healthy for your skin and body. Sunlight can improve the appearance of acne and also replenish your body's Vitamin D.

  • Sunburns doesn't increase your chances for skin cancer.

False. Overexposure to sunlight increases your odds for developing skin cancer. So make sure that when you go outside, you wear SPF sunscreen and reapply as directed to help prevent skin cancer.

  • Peeling your sunburn won't give you an uneven tan.

False. Uneven tans may not caused by the peeling of your sunburn, but rather the timing. If you purposely peel your skin too soon after a sunburn, it can cause additional discomfort as well as the dreaded two-tone tan.

  • One application of sunscreen in the morning is enough.

False. No sunscreen provides 100% protection and it should always be used in conjunction with other sun protection methods. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied at least every two hours.

  • You can’t get burnt in the car or through a window.

False. Glass significantly reduces transmission of UVB rays, but only a third of UVA rays. Both UVA and UVB radiation contribute to sunburn and skin cancer.

  • It takes at least half an hour to get sunburnt.

False. It is possible to get burnt in as little as 11 minutes due to the high levels or UV radiation year round. It's important to be protected whenever you're out in the sun, even for short periods.

Avoid Skin Cancer

I knew a young woman who died at only 35 years of age due to deadly Melanoma that spread through from her skin to the rest of her body. She left behind a beautiful family who loved and cherished her, just because she may have spent 11 minutes too much in the sun.

If you're worried about getting a tan, don't be! You can try one of the many self-tanners out on the market now. No streaking and no skin cancer, what's not to love about it? Stay safe and wear sunscreen when you spend time outside. God Bless

~ Laura

DIY Beach Supplies! Sunscreen + Self Tanner


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