It is not only the summer when you can get painful sunburn. Sunburn is caused by the Ultraviolet rays of the sun and it can damage your skin any time specially in winter, when your skin is left exposed to the sun rays. Sunburn is actually the result of a protective mechanism of the skin. The melanin pigment present in our skin works as a natural sunblock. In people with lighter skin tones, the amount of melanin is much less and this is the reason why fair people get more sunburned than the people with darker skin tones.
What is sunburn?
When a skin with less melanin is exposed to the sun rays, the body starts producing more melanin in the exposed area to save the inner layers of the skin from the harmful effects of the ray. In this way, body gets a natural coverage of melanin which gives a protection of around SPF 4 to the skin. If you got sunburns on your face, you must treat it carefully.
How to prevent it?
Using a sunscreen lotion is surely the right way to protect your skin from sunburn, but you can get sunburn even after using an SPF lotion if you do not repeat it frequently or use low SPF. Hence, having a physical cover from the sun along with using a suitable SPF lotion is must to protect your skin from sunburn.
Symptoms of sunburns
In case the extent of burnt is not extreme, the skin might be healed naturally over time with a bit more care, but the pain and redness is sure to make you suffer in this span. In extreme cases of sunburn peeling of the whole area of the skin is possible along with blisters and in such cases consulting a skin specialist might also be necessary. However, normally the sunburn can be cured with a bit of extra care and even the pain and the redness can be reduced through home treatments. Here are some measures that can be very helpful to get rid of sunburn quickly. You should use these treatments repeatedly to get quick results.
The first things to do after getting sunburn
As soon as you realise that you have got sunburn, get under cover. Letting your skin face the sun rays even after getting the burn can worsen the situation. After you are under shade take long bath in water without using soap. Ensure that the temperature of the water is slightly on the colder side; but do not opt for very cold water because that can harm the skin that is already burnt. Staying away from using soap on the sunburnt skin is important because the SLS in the soap can cause more dryness leading to itching and peeling of the skin. After taking a bath for 8-10 minutes, have plenty of water to kill any skin dehydration and then follow with any or a combination of the next treatments that can be helpful to get rid of sunburn quickly.
Apple Cider Vinegar and coconut oil
This remedy is considered as one of the oldest and most effective. Spray some ACV to a clean and soft cotton towel. Now compress the skin of the burnt area with this towel. Do not rub, as that can increase the pain and cause skin peeling. After you have compressed the skin for 10-15 minutes apply coconut oil on the skin. Use the oil in excess but do not rub, rather dab the oil on the skin. This treatment can give you visible results within a single night. Continue the treatment to get rid of the burn completely.
Potato has skin healing properties and due to its high starch content it can be very helpful to reduce sunburn quickly. Take a potato, clean it with water and grate it. You can apply the grated potato directly onto the sunburnt skin or squeeze out the juice, soak cotton pads in the juice and apply the cottons on the sunburnt area. You will start to feel a cooling effect within minutes and it will help to reduce the pain as well as the redness of the skin. Wash off the grated potato or remove the cotton pads once it turns to black.
Tomato is full of lycopene and other vitamins and it can be really effective to treat sunburn, reducing the pain, stretchiness and redness within minimum time. Clean a tomato with water, grate it and apply the grated potato onto the sunburnt skin. You can also leave the grated potato in the fridge for 15 minutes before applying. This will cool down the tomato paste and give quick comfort. Remove the paste after 30 minutes and repeat as often as possible.
Aloe Vera is the other natural remedy that has been found to be very effective in curing sunburn quickly. Apply some freshly prepared Aloe Vera pulp to the burnt skin. It will give an instant cooling effect which will reduce the pain and also due to the moisturising effect of Aloe Vera, the itchiness will be reduced. Repeat the treatment as often as possible.
Cucumber can be effective to reduce the pain and the redness caused due to sunburn. Grate some cucumber and apply it directly to the affected area of the skin. Alternatively you can also squeeze out the cucumber juice and apply this juice to the affected skin.
Baking Soda heals the sunburnt skin pretty well and also helps in reducing the pain quickly. Take baking soda according to the area of skin you need to treat. Mix it with cold water to make a thick paste. Apply this paste to the affected skin and wait till the pain and burning sensation goes away. Finally wash off with water without rubbing the skin.
Fuller’s earth is rich in natural mineral content and it can cure sunburn to a great extent. Soak sufficient amount of fuller’s earth in cold water to make a smooth and thick paste with the clay. Now smear this paste onto the affected part of the skin. Keep the pack wet for at least 30 minutes by sipping it with water or milk. Finally wash off with water. Fuller’s earth can be very effective to cure the redness and the pain.
Uncooked oats have been found to be effective is treating sunburn quickly. Make a thick paste by mixing adequate oats with cold water and apply this paste to the affected skin. You can also use milk instead of water to make the paste. The proteins present in milk will help in quick healing along with the oats which will also control the dry and itchiness.
Apply a thick coat of yogurt to the affected skin. It is best to use yogurt directly from the fridge because the coldness will give quick comfort. Leave the yogurt on your skin for 10 minutes and then wash off with water. This will reduce the pain and the redness and will also moisturise the skin reducing the itchy sensation.
Witch hazel lotion
Witch hazel lotion is a natural astringent that is rich in tannin and catechin content. It can be soothing for the sunburnt skin and can also help in reducing the inflammation quickly. Apply the lotion directly onto the affected skin. Let it get dry and re-apply.
Green tea is a very effective cure of sunburn. Seep some green tea bags in hot water till the water gets cold. Apply these tea bags onto the affected skin and leave on. Green tea has high tannin content which can be very helpful for curing sunburn quickly.
Cold milk compress to get rid of sunburn fast
To get rid of sunburn, compress with cold milk can be effective and relaxing as well. Cold milk can soothe the burning sensation on the skin caused due to sunburn and the lactic acid present in milk will initiate gentle exfoliation of the skin which can be helpful to get rid of the sunburn quickly. Take some cold milk and soak a cotton ball in it. Now dab the milk on the affected area on the skin for some time and leave on for 20-30 minutes before washing off.
Almond oil for treating sunburn quickly
Almond oil can be another effective remedy for sunburn. Almond oil has high Vitamin E content which can be very effective to soothe and moisturise the skin, helping in boosting the natural regenerative mechanism of the skin. You can apply a coat of almond oil on the affected area of the skin and let it set. Remove the excess oil after 1 hour with the help of a soft cotton cloth. Do not wash.
Get rid of sunburn with lettuce
Lettuce has high Vitamin A content which can be soothing for the skin and can also deal with sunburn effectively. The Vitamin A present in lettuce can boost the regenerative power of the skin cells, helping in curing the sunburn quickly. Boil some cleaned lettuce leaves in pure water for 10 minutes and then strain the leaves. Let the decoction cool down in a fridge at least for 1 hour before using on the affected part of your skin with the help of a cotton ball. You can repeat the application 3-4 times and finally wash off with water when the skin starts to feel stretchy.
Follow any or a combination of a maximum of two treatments to get rid of the sunburn. You need to repeat the treatment within short span of time to get maximum results. Always ensure that the affected area of the skin is not rubbed hard, that can cause peeling of the skin. If you feel that the skin has become dry, use some natural moisturising remedies like Aloe Vera or coconut oil to the skin. Never cover the sunburnt skin with cloth, rather keep it open to air; this can help in quick healing. Avoid sweating until the sunburn is healed completely, because sweat can exaggerate the condition.