Excess exposure to sunlight causes sunburn. Although sunburn rarely cause health complications, several episodes of sunburn increase the risk of developing melanoma or skin cancer later in life.
Mild to moderate cases of sunburn respond to home remedies. As soon as you realize that your skin has been damaged by overexposure to sunlight, you can evenly try the following home remedies to soothe the skin and reduce complications.
9 Home Remedies For Sunburn
Cool The Skin
Cooling the skin is the first line of treatment for sunburn. Soak a towel or washcloth in cold water and place the damp cloth on the affected skin for about fifteen to twenty minutes, several times throughout the day.
This helps to bring down the temperature of the skin. You can even take a quick shower with cool water to hydrate and cool the sunburned areas of the skin. However, do not use ice-cold water or ice packs. They might irritate the damaged skin.
Aloe vera gel is a popular remedy for sunburn. Applying the gel to the affected skin reduces the discomfort and hydrates the damaged skin. Continue using the aloe gel when the sunburned skin starts to peel.
For better result, refrigerate fresh aloe gel before applying it to the skin. The astringent property of aloe vera gel might cause mild irritation, which can be prevented by combining vitamin E with aloe gel.
You can even use vinegar for treating sunburn. Cover the sunburned area of the skin with a washcloth soaked in white vinegar. Acetic acid, the key ingredient in vinegar, vaporizes at lower temperature, cooling the skin. Moreover, it also possesses mild anti-inflammatory property, which reduces the sunburn pain.
Compress with cool green tea can ease the discomfort. Green tea contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that can reduce the inflammation. The polyphenolic compounds in green tea leaves can protect the skin from cancer linked to exposure to sunlight. Moreover, the green tea polyphenols promote rejuvenation of skin cells, aiding recovery of the damaged skin.
Applying cucumber juice to the sunburned area of the skin helps to cool the area. The fresh juice of cucumber possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation of the sunburned skin.
Grated potato or juice extracted from potato is an effective remedy for sunburn. The starch helps to soothe the irritated skin.
A cold compress with milk and water is a common home remedy for sunburn. Lactic acid in milk helps to reduce the inflammation caused by sunburn.
Dip a cloth in diluted milk and apply it to the affected area for about 15 to 20 minutes. Apply the compress once in every two hours. For better result use buttermilk or whole milk. The fat in milk accelerates healing.
Peppermint is another useful remedy for sunburn. Prepare an infusion with leaves and stems of peppermint, cool it, and wash the affected area to cool the sunburn. The natural cooling property of peppermint is attributed to its main active ingredient menthol.
Witch hazel is often used for soothing the sunburned skin. It reduces swelling, itching and irritation.