Thursday, May 31, 2012

Natural Home Remedies for Sunburn

Five Best Natural Home Remedies for Sunburn

Red, painful skin that feels hot to the touch is the main symptom of sunburn. While there are quite a few natural home remedies for sunburn that can help ease the pain and tenderness, the best thing to do is to prevent it from happening.

Before we go on to look at the best natural home remedies for sunburn, let's learn what sunburn is exactly, what causes it, and how you can prevent it from occurring in the first place.

What is sunburn?

Pink or red skin that feels hot to the touch is the most visible sign of sunburn. You may experience pain or tenderness. There may also be swelling. The skin may develop blisters that break and ooze out pus. There is basically no part of your body that is protected from experiencing the effects of sunburn. Sunburn can affect your earlobes, scalp, and even your eyes.

Signs of sunburn will begin to appear within a few hours of sun exposure and the body will begin to heal in a few days time. The healing is characterized by peeling of the skin's top layer.

There are several natural home remedies for sunburn that can help relieve the pain. Before we go onto these, let's look at the causes of sunburn.

What are the causes of sunburn?

Exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) is the reason for sunburn. UV radiation is a wavelength of sunlight and it can be divided into three bands - UVA, UVB, and UVC. While UVC is not able to reach you, UVA and UVB rays definitely can cause harm.

When your skin is exposed to the UV light of the sun, it increases the production of melanin, a pigment responsible for giving the skin its normal color. This increase in melanin production is what gives you a suntan. However, there is a limit to which your skin can produce melanin when exposed to sunlight and this is determined genetically.

This means that when you are moving around in the sun, the UV light gets to the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and begins to damage the living cells present there. These living cells are present just below the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Now, during sunburn, these living cells get damaged or killed. So, your body will notice it and react to it. Your immune system will begin to act by increasing blood flow to the exposed area. It does this so that the white blood cells can remove these dead cells from the skin. This increased blood flow makes your skin red and hot. The damaged cells also send signals to the brain which is why your skin is so sensitive and painful.

Most people think that they can't get sunburn on hazy or cloudy days. This is not true. Even on these days, UV rays are passing through the haze and clouds and reaching your skin. This is why dermatologists advise using a sunscreen even on cloudy days and even in winters.

We will take a look at the best natural home remedies for sunburn. However, as mentioned before, the best thing to do is to prevent sunburn. Let's take a look at a few tips on how you can prevent sunburn.

How to prevent sunburn?

·            This might sound funny. However, the best way to avoid sunburn is to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Of course, not everyone can do this. The right thing to do here is to try your best to stay out of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm.

·            Estimate your UV exposure with the help of your shadow. If your shadow is longer than you, it means that UV exposure is low. If it is shorter than you, UV exposure is high. Avoid stepping out when UV exposure is high.

·            If you do have to go out, try to find shade as much as possible. Make sure to wear protective clothing. This means use a wide-brimmed hat which covers your eyes and neck as well. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Clothing should be loose and should cover your arms and legs.

·            If you are fond of using tanning booths, avoid it. These may cause skin damage as well.

·            Always use a sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Sunscreens should have an SPF of at least 15 and should be applied at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Don't forget your lips, ears and neck. Keep in mind that sunburn can happen even in these body parts. If you are outdoors, apply the sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours. Take a look at some of these sunscreens that will surely help.


·            In the hot summer days, eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. Include foods such as leafy green vegetables, mangoes, melons, and carrots. These are rich in beta-carotene which offers some protection from the damaging effects of the sun. The lycopene in tomatoes can also help prevent sunburn. The polyphenols present in green tea are also compounds that may provide protection from the UV rays.

Now, let's take a look at some natural home remedies for sunburn.

The Five Top Natural Home Remedies for Sunburn

Aloe Vera

We have all heard how good aloe vera is for the skin and this is why it is always good to have it in your own garden. It is also the best natural home remedy for sunburn. It soothes the sunburned skin and relieves the pain and tenderness. The best way to use aloe vera is to use it fresh from an aloe leaf. Just cut a small piece from the top, take out the gel, and apply directly to the affected area. Apply it five to six times daily for as long as you want. It will heal the sunburn in no time and also leave your skin soft and smooth as well.

If you can't find fresh aloe gel, you can buy it at the below link. 

Milk and Yogurt

You may love your milk or your favorite yogurt, but did you know that these could actually be one of the best natural home remedies for sunburn!. Milk can be applied directly to the affected area. Slightly cold milk will be the best thing to use here. You probably know that cold compresses are very effective sunburn relief remedies. Instead of using cold water, you can use cold milk here. Do it as often as you want throughout the day.

You can also use yogurt. Homemade yogurt with no added ingredients is one of the best natural home remedies for sunburn. If you are buying it from the store, make sure to get plain yogurt. Just apply it on the skin and leave it on. It will cool the skin and reduce the burning sensation.  


The tannic acid in tea is quite a wonderful natural home remedy for sunburn relief. You can use tea bags for this. Used tea bags may work as a good cold compress. You just need to place them in the refrigerator and use as often as you want.

However, the best way to do this is to steep a large pot of strong tea. Once the tea is ready, just refrigerate it. Apply this in the burned area using small towels.

Potatoes and Cucumbers

We all know how soothing potatoes and cucumbers are for our eyes and skin. These are also quite useful as natural home remedies for sunburned skin. You can grate the potatoes or cucumbers and apply on the skin.

Another way to use these two wonderful foods for sunburn relief is to blend them in a blender till they are in liquid form. Apply the juice on the sunburned skin and leave it on till it dries out. Take a shower after that. You can add mint juice to your potato or cucumber remedy as well.

Baking Soda

Take a bath in bathing soda for sunburn relief. Add about one to two cups of baking soda to your bath tub and take a soak for about 15 minutes. Avoid overdoing it since it may dry your skin.

If you like taking baths, then just add it to your bath water. Don't dry your skin with a towel after the bath or else you will just remove all traces of the baking soda from your sunburned skin.

Other Tips for Sunburn Relief

While these natural home remedies for sunburn are quite effective, you may want to take an over-the-counter medication for quick pain relief. You can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin for this.

If you have blisters, avoid opening or bursting these. Do not cover these and avoid wearing clothing that may irritate them. Apply honey or white vinegar on the blisters since these have anti-bacterial properties and may prevent an infection.

What to do if these natural home remedies for sunburn do not work for you?

If the sunburn is severe, use calamine lotion or milk of magnesia to relieve the burning and tenderness. These products may be able to help here.

If these natural home remedies for sunburn and the above products do not provide relief, make sure to consult a doctor. This is especially necessary if you have fever, severe headache, large amount of blisters, or if you are feeling faint and dizzy.

Read more articles

Natural Home Remedies for Eczema
Natural Home Remedies for Hair Loss 

© Copyright Roohi Khan, 2012

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