The winter sun can be as harsh on your skin as the scorching summer sun. The UV rays of the sun can wreak havoc on your skin, as you’d probably have discovered, some time or the other, to your peril. Not only can sunburn expedite skin aging, it can also be quite painful. Swelling and itching are some of the unbearable symptoms of sunburn, which often leads to peeling of the skin. While dermatologists may have their own solutions and remedies for these problems, you could try out these simple natural remedies before taking recourse to medical treatment.
Unlike what many believe, soap can actually be detrimental in case of sunburn. If unavoidable, use only mild soap and rinse your body well. Soap causes the skin to dry up, thus further irritating it. So a bubble bath is simply out if you are suffering from sunburn.
Take Cold Bath
Cold water can work wonders for your burnt skin. You can use a cloth compress, or simply soak yourself in cold water. After that, just pat your skin dry, remembering to use a clean towel. Avoid rubbing the skin with the towel at all costs; that will further irritate the skin and cause it to peel off even more.
No Direct Ice
While cool soaks are great for treating burnt skin, it’s not a good idea to apply an ice pack directly to the affected area. A better way of applying the ice treatment would be to keep a thin towel between the ice pack and your skin. Ice can be quite harsh on your skin; hence direct contact needs to be avoided at all costs.
Keep Skin Moisturized
It’s important to keep the damaged skin well moisturized at all times. Dryness can badly aggravate the condition. You can use any moisturizing lotion for this purpose, but be mindful of using too much of it as excess can cause the heat to remain locked in the skin. You will need to apply the lotion a few times before it starts taking effect.
Water keeps your body hydrated, which is what you really need in case of sunburn. Drink loads of water and eat fruit containing a lot of water, such as watermelon, beets etc. This will help prevent your skin from drying up.
Aloe Vera’s multitude of benefits is well-known. This soothing herb is great for skin repair too, especially in case of sunburns. You can simply extract the juice of Aloe Vera leaves and apply on the affected region of the skin. Do remember, however, to test out on a small area to check for allergies. It works by reducing redness and inflammation, either by itself or when combined with some other herbal ingredients like Lavender water/oil, Peppermint essential oil, Vitamin E oil, etc.
Calendula herb has great anti-inflammatory properties and prevents infection while soothing the affected skin. Combined with Horsetail (which is rich in silicon) and Comfrey Leaf (which also helps regenerate skin cells), Calendula can be a wonderful natural treatment for burns. The same combination can also be brewed into tea for positive effect.
Peppermint Herbal Tea
The methanol in Peppermint functions as a coolant to soothe the burnt skin. Simply make tea with Peppermint leaves and add to your bathwater. Alternatively, you can apply the Peppermint tea directly to the affected skin after cooling it. The methanol works as a local anesthetic.
The bark, twigs and leaves of Witch Hazel plant are a wonderful remedy for pain and the peeling that results from sunburns. When applied directly as a distilled liquid extract (made from dried leaves, bark and twigs), it reduces swelling and also repairs the skin. It has strong anti-bacterial properties to fight infection. Soak cotton balls in the Witch Hazel extract or water and dab on the burnt skin for quick relief.
Cucumber has excellent healing properties and works wonders in case of sunburn. Make a paste of fresh cucumber and apply to the sunburned skin. Cucumber has antioxidant and analgesic properties that help reduce the pain, as also the inflammation.
Avoid Peak Sun Hours
Avoid going out from around 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as the sun is at its strongest during that period. Arrange your schedules in such a way that you are able to do all your outdoor work in the mornings and evenings. The ultraviolet rays of the sun will otherwise aggravate your skin burns.
Keep your skin covered well, especially when out in the sun. You should wear long sleeves, hats etc, to prevent the sunburn condition from worsening.