One of my biggest pet peeves is getting a sunburn. Not only because of the pain and discomfort, but (this is how much of a sick and twisted prevention freak I am) I know how harmful it can be.
After all of those scary sunscreen facts and the overwhelming new data about the cream that we trust, I wouldn’t burn you by leaving you without any natural sunburn remedies (har har).
It’s the middle to end of summer and I’m sure we’ve had our share of burns -- no matter how many preventative measures we’ve taken. Since we can’t (or would rather not) stay covered with clothes, take shelter in the shade, or hide inside during the summer, what can we do if we have indeed been burned? So I looked high and low for natural remedies for a sunburn relief, and although some are quite odd, I think many of us would try almost anything to get rid of a bad burn.
1. Water: First things first, you should promote healing from the inside out. Be sure to stay very hydrated and drink plenty of water.
2. Aloe: Tried and true, aloe vera gel from a bottle (make sure aloe is the main ingredient, or you’ll risk a lower dose and take a chance of applying other unnecessary Ingredients) or from your own plant. Rub into skin gently.
3. Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E is known for its ability to heal scars and burns of the skin. To promote healing, you can take capsules orally or apply oil topically.
4. Cool water mist: Great for burn relief or just plain ol’ summertime cooling. Keeping a spray bottle of floral-infused water can be a soothing and even healing remedy, depending on the floral properties. Lavender and chamomile are some common flowers with healing properties. Keeping a bottle in the refrigerator on hand during the summer can be very soothing.
5. Oatmeal bath: To relieve itchiness and alleviate the burn. Use what’s in your kitchen (wrapped in cheesecloth to avoid drain clogging) or colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oatmeal that dissolves in water) -- from the store or home made.
6. Mustard: Either straight from the fridge or from powdered seeds mixed with warm water. Mustard assists in dilating capillaries to increase circulation, thus helping stimulate the healing process! Also known to provide overall relief.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is known for many positive health effects (my dad swears by it). Although it is not clear why exactly apple cider vinegar helps cure sunburns, many people find it quite relieving! Mix it with water as a 1 to 1 ratio. Soak towels for a compress or put into a spray bottle and apply to skin.
8. Hemorrhoid Cream: Seriously. The thyme oil found in Prep H. and other hemorrhoid creams aid in the healing and relief of the itch and burn!
Before trying any of these remedies on your entire sunburned body, test a small area first to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction. You may want to check with your doctor before trying these remedies. Every body is different!
Remember, the best thing to do is avoid getting the burn in the first place. Use a safe sunscreen (see my previous article), seek shade, and be conscious of sun exposure. Prevention is always the best medicine!
Anyone have any other natural sunburn remedies? Share with others by posting a comment!
Reviewed August 8, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.