The time of year people get to enjoy warm weather, blue skies, swimming, fishing, picnics with friends and family, and many other outdoor activities. But it’s also the time of year when sunburn can become a problem.
Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Too much exposure to UV light can damage your skin, making it red and painful.
The symptoms may not occur immediately; it can take up to five hours for sunburn to appear. If not treated timely, the burn can lead to peeling or blistering skin. Sunburn also doubles the risk of developing melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
Cool it Down:
• The most important treatment for sunburn is to cool it down, so take cooling measures before you try anything else. Soak any sunburned areas in cold water or with cold compresses for 15 minutes. The cold reduces swelling and wicks away heat from your skin.
• If you’re burned all over take a soak in a cool bath to which you’ve added oatmeal. You can either buy a colloidal oatmeal product such as Aveeno which remains in suspension in the bathwater or finely grind a cup of oats in a food processor and add it to your bath.
•Black tea is full of antioxidants that are very beneficial for treating irritated and sunburned skin. Tea has tannin that help protect the skin from UV radiation damage and reduce inflammation. It also aids in restoring the skin’s pH balance. • Use the cooling aromatic qualities of peppermint to soothe the scorch of sunburn. Either make peppermint tea or mix 2 drops of peppermint oil with a cup of lukewarm water. Chill the concoction and gently bathe the sunburned area using a soft cloth.
Sunburn is the bane of summertime, thwarting tans and forcing people to cover up. It can happen at any time of the year though, because it is the expose to the ultra-violet rays of the sun that cause it. When you’re getting bombarded with UV light, your exposed skin ups its production of melanin. Melanin is the dark pigment in the top layer of your skin (the epidermis) that gives it its color, and also determines how tan you can get. Upping the production of melanin is the bodies’ way of protecting the deeper layers of the skin, and the tan acts as a shield against UV light.
• If you are feeling more pain in sunburn spot, make a paste of aloe vera and rub it with cucumber or potato.They contain compounds that cool down the burn and also reduce the swelling.
• Vinegar is soothing too. It can help to ease sunburn pain, itching and inflammation. Soak a few sheets of kitchen paper in white vinegar or cider vinegar and lay them on the sunburn areas. Leave them on until the paper is dry. Repeat this treatment as often as you like.
• Break open a vitamin E capsule and apply it to the skin.
Apply a Coating On Skin:
• Coat your sunburn with a paste made of barley, turmeric and yogurt (using equal amounts of each).
• Wipe sore pink skin with ordinary cooled tea.
• Apply a mix egg white, honey and witch hazel (or any of these alone).
• The gel of the aloe vera plant has remarkable cooling and soothing properties that help provide instant relief from the pain and irritation caused by sunburn. Studies also prove that aloe vera accelerates skin healing. Aloe vera gel is also known to have a moisturizing effect on the skin.
• Try applying an ointment containing St John’s wort as a burn balm the herb has antiseptic and painkilling properties and was used for centuries to heal wounds and burns. If you take the herb internally, however, you must stay out of the sun, as the herb makes skin more sensitive to damaging rays.
• Between 11am and 3pm limit your exposure to the sun. this is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
• If you burn easily or have been diagnosed with skin cancer in the past, take no chances. Cover up in the sun. That means long trousers, long sleeves, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Call the doctor?
Call a doctor (or an ambulance) at once if a person affected by sunburn is confused or disorientated or too weak to stand. Call a doctor too if they have very large blisters (more than 1.5cm across) or signs of infection in affected skin, such as pus, red streaks or increasing tenderness.