With summer comes fun and fabulous water adventures, as well as gardening, yard work, hiking, golfing, and every other outdoor activity. We love those warm sunny days.
With all that sunshine we need to remember:
- Sunburn can really turn our fun into hot, uncomfortable, sleepless nights and painful days.
- Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.
- Eye damage, including cataracts are caused by the UV rays from the sun.
- UV Rays still come through the clouds on a cloudy day, causing sunburn and skin or eye damage.
- Butter, salves and other oily things hold the heat in and make sunburn worse.
Natural Sunburn Remedies.
If we do get sunburned - or should I say "when" we don't think we will be out that long, or we left the sunscreen in the car, or whatever, and end up with a nasty sunburn, there are many types of sunburn treatment that we can use.
We should be able to find some sunburn treatment immediately - no matter where we are. Here are a few of my favorites. For a more complete list and some recipes you can visit my website.
Cucumbers also make easy and effective sunburn treatment as they contain a large amount of water. Just slice the cucumber and rub slices right on the sunburn and it will give you instant relief.
Water has always been my favorite treatment for burns. I have so many amazing stories about water taking the heat out of burns that I could write a whole paper just on that subject. There is no reason it wouldn’t work as a sunburn treatment as well.
The secret is leaving the burn in water long enough for the heat to be taken out, and that is probably true with any remedy. For a sunburn treatment, soak a cotton ball, a washrag or sponge - or even a towel - depending on how big the area is - and lay it on the area to relieve the pain. If it starts to dry out, soak it again.
You could also wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply, but having the moisture right on the sunburn hydrates it and works much better.
To make water as a sunburn treatment even better there are a variety of things you can add, then apply it the same way.
- Add Apple Cider Vinegar. This will help balance the skins pH factor and will promote healing.
Make a solution of apple cider vinegar by adding 1/4 c. vinegar to 2 1/2 cups water or 1/3 c. vinegar if you want it a little stronger.
- Add Calendula. This sunburn treatment is made by steeping calendula flowers in hot water. Fill a jar full of fresh flowers (1/2 full for dried flowers) and then fill it with boiling water. I then like to allow it to cool by itself and leaving the flowers in it, put it in the frig.
Because Calendula is the queen of skin care it will reduce inflammation and stimulate the growth of new skin cells. It is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, which will help prevent infection in severe burns.
- Add Dandelions. Stop by the road and pick a bunch of dandelions. Use them exactly the same way as you use calendula. It works great.
- Add Green Tea. Throw a bunch of green tea bags in a pot of hot water and let it steep until it cools. Then soak a towel or whatever and lay it on the sunburned area. Rewet when it starts to dry.
Green tea has been shown to help reduce skin inflammation and redness, protect skin cells, and to assist with the adverse effects of UV radiation exposure. It naturally contains tannic acid, theobromine, and polyphenols – all of which are soothing and healing to sunburned skin.
- Add Lemon. You can actually cool your sunburn quickly with lemon as a sunburn treatment because the acid in the lemon disinfects and helps heal your skin.
Add the juice of three lemons to two cups cold water, stir well, and soak a folded cloth or sponge in the solution.
- Add Plantain. To use plantain as a sunburn treatment make a tea, dip your cloth into the cooled solution, then place it on the sunburn as a compress.
You can also put some in a blender with a little water and make a paste. For me this works best if you fold a piece of cloth around it and make a poultice which can be left on until it dries. Then add more wet plant material and do it again.
With Plantain you can also just chew it up and put it on the sunburn if the area is small - this is what you do for a sting.
But if you don't have lemon, or green tea, or calendula, or plantain, or vinegar, or any of the other things, simply wet a cloth in cool water, place it on the sunburn and leave it there until it begins to warm up, then re-wet it and put it on again.
This was a new idea for a sunburn treatment to me, but my daughter tried it with her bad sunburn and loved it.
Use full fat, plain yogurt. It can be applied as a poultice by laying out several layers of cheesecloth and wrapping yogurt inside. Put this on the skin and replace when the yogurt warms up.
You can also apply the yogurt directly to your skin - covering large areas such as your back or legs - when it begins to warm add more - then rinse off in the shower when done. Yogurt is cool because you take it directly out of the frig, and the enzymes it contains help rebuild the damaged skin.
These common items make a great sunburn treatment because you always have something on hand even if you are camping and are miles from a store.
Hopefully they will be useful and you will find your favorite sunburn treatment. Of course, remember, the best idea is not to get sunburned in the first place. Cover up, wear sunscreen, stay out of the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, and don't be in the sun too long.
Have a great summer.
(You can visit Namas's Natural Remedies for Health for the even more ideas as well as some fun recipes.)