Treating Sunburn: Effective Remedies and Prevention Tips


Summer’s here, and that means it's time to head out to enjoy the warmth of the sun. As you prepare to step out, you get a little careless with the Sunscreen and miss a spot, or perhaps you don't have someone to help you reach some spot on your back. Then the inevitable happens — a sunburn — your skin begins to get sore, red, and icky-looking blisters start to appear. Sunburns can be quite a chore to handle, but luckily, there are effective sunburn prevention and treatment to help you. 

Is a sunburn a big deal?

Sunburn is the skin's reaction to excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Even on cloudy days, these harmful rays are also present and exposure can range from mild to severe. The signs of sunburn can begin as early as 11 minutes and the skin can experience redness within 2 to 5 hours and may continue for at least 3 days before healing begins. 

Sunburns may seem minor as many people experience numerous multiple burns a day. These burns increase your chances of developing skin cancer and other severe skin conditions. According to research, when your skin burns, it peels off which is a simple way your body eliminates possible cancerous cells. The bare deep spot (of your burnt skin) begins to absorb UV radiation, further exposing your genetic cells to cancerous effects. The long-term effects of repeated sunburn may result in premature wrinkling or skin cancer. 

Is moisturizer good for sunburn?

You may ask "Is moisturizer good for sunburn?" and the answer is it does — a lot. If you happen to experience sunburn on any part of your skin, we recommend you apply a hydrocortisone cream. Do not attempt to treat your burns with any “-caine” products (for instance benzocaine) as it may irritate the skin and worsen the allergic reaction.  

Instead, use a moisturizing cream/lotion infused with Vitamin E to soothe the dry and flaky skin and also relieve the burns and itch. Ensure your chosen moisturizer contains humectants like oats, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid. We recommend Dermaclara's Hyaluronic acid moisturizer to help moisturize the skin without worsening irritation. 

How long does sunburn last?

Depending on the severity of the burn, most sunburns will begin healing within the next three to five days and symptoms include reduced pain and redness. If you have more severe pain, healing may last up to 10 days. As the skin heals, it is common to experience peeling, thus, resist the urge to pick at it if you want to ensure speedy healing. 

Does shower help sunburn?

If you've already been sunburned, a good step to relieving pain is to start with a good shower or bath. The cool water from your bath can help the inflamed skin. 

“If showering helps, do hot showers help sunburn?” Hot shower for sunburn should be avoided when you have sun-sensitive skin. Your skin is a sensitive organ that should be treated with extra care, especially when you use a water pressure system in your shower. High-pressure hot showers can worsen your sunburn blisters and irritate your skin. These open blisters can put you at risk of skin infections that may take time to heal or even leave scars. 

Since the above explanations explain the common “Does shower help sunburn?” question, we recommend adding a few tablespoons of baking sodas to your lukewarm or cold water while bathing to help balance the water's PH to an optimal level. This will help reduce discomfort and promote healing. Also, be wary of chlorinated water while showering after sunburn as they can cause more damage if you have extra-sensitive skin.

What to use for sunburn home remedies?

If you suffer from sunburned skin of any severity, there are many home remedies you can apply to cool the burning and itching effect 

Aloe Vera

If you don't have an aloe vera plant in your home, we suggest you get one immediately. Aloe vera is a miracle plant whose gel has been used to heal many kinds of ailments for centuries ranging from stomach upset, kidney infection, and skin problems. 

Aloe vera is a common household treatment for sunburn and all you simply need to do is to break off a chunk of the plant. Cut the sharp edges and split it into equal halves ensuring the succulent gel is exposed, then rub it directly onto your sunburned skin. If you don't have an aloe vera plant, you can try an Over-the-counter (OTC) aloe vera gel, lotion, or ointment that is sold in nearby pharmacies. 

Oatmeal and baking soda

Oatmeal and baking soda are yet another effective treatment you can use to manage or treat sunburn.  Start by pouring a few tablespoons of baking soda into your bath and soak in for 10 to 20 minutes. Add a cup of Oatmeal to the bath to help your skin retain moisture and hydration. After your bath, avoid rubbing or scrubbing your affected skin with a towel, instead dab yourself gently. 

Coconut Oil or Lavender Oil

Some skin experts recommend using organic, cold-pressed coconut or lavender oil to reduce dryness and irritation. Apply these oils only when the skin becomes less irritated and less inflamed. Also, ensure there are no blisters as they can trap heat and worsen symptoms on inflamed skin. 

Tea Bags

Tea bags do not only taste good, but they are effective sunburn home remedies. Place a washcloth or medical gauze soaked in brewed tea bags for sunburn (preferably chamomile or green tea on the affected area.) Tea is an all-natural treatment that contains tannins and antioxidants that can relieve sunburn symptoms. For better results, choose teas that have a higher level of tannin.

What are the best methods for preventing sunburn?

The best treatment for sunburns is to prevent them from occurring. Hence, the following are some natural remedies for sunburn;

Wear Protective Clothing

A full protective clothing can help prevent sunburn. Ensure you opt for lightweight clothing that allows for the easy escape of sweat. 

Stay in the Shade

Always seek shade wherever you go. For even better protection, we advise you to carry around an umbrella, especially during the period when the sun's rays hit the highest if you plan on preventing sunburn.

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your iris and eyes from harmful sun rays.  Ensure you are high around with anti-sun rays when you play on walking short distances. You can ensure optimal protection by wearing a hat that is at least 4 inches wide. 

Use Sunscreen

Your sunscreen is an important sunburn relief tool that can protect your skin from UV radiation. Choose a Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and ensure you reapply regularly at least every 30 minutes. 

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