How to Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies
When you have a bad sunburn, you might be willing to try anything to get some relief. Although natural remedies for sunburn treatments abound, start by using remedies that are supported by scientific studies. There are many oils such as tea tree or evening primrose and plants such as aloe that treat sunburns. If you'd like to use unverified natural remedies, try a few and pay attention to what works for your sunburn.
Using Scientifically-Supported Natural Remedies
Soak in a warm, oatmeal bath for 20 minutes.To relieve the itchiness of a sunburn and speed up healing time, run a warm bath and pour in 1 cup (90 g) of colloidal oatmeal. If you only have regular oats, grind them in a blender and then put them in an sock or pantyhose. Tie the sock or pantyhose to prevent the oats from coming out and then toss it in the warm bath.
- If you'd rather make an oatmeal paste to spread on the sunburn, mix 1/2 cup (45 g) of finely ground oats with cup (59 ml) of milk and 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) (25 g) of honey. Keep it on your sunburn for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
Apply a tea-soaked cloth to the sunburn for up to 30 minutes.Steep 5 to 7 bags of green or black tea in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the bags and let the tea cool completely. Then soak a clean towel in the tea and wring it out a little. Lay the soaked cloth on your sunburn and keep it in place for up to 30 minutes. Reapply the cloth throughout the day to relieve pain.
- Research shows that tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which heal sunburned skin.
- The polyphenols from drinking tea can also heal your sunburned skin, so drink tea throughout the day as well.
Rub aloe vera on the sunburn.Studies show that aloe vera is great for preventing sunburns and repairing sunburned skin. Purchase pure aloe vera gel and rub it directly on the affected skin. Or cut a piece of aloe vera from the base of the plant. Trim off the prickly edges from the piece and then cut a slit down the center to expose the gel. Rub the gel on the sunburn.
- You can reapply aloe vera gel throughout the day whenever the sunburn begins to feel painful.
- Consider keeping a few aloe vera leaves in the refrigerator for an extra cooling effect.
Spread evening primrose oil on the sunburn.Evening primrose oil contains a fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Research shows that GLA repairs damaged skin and reduces inflammation. Buy pure evening primrose oil and spread a few drops on the sunburn. Gently rub the oil into your skin so the entire surface is covered.
- You can buy small bottles of the oil or purchase the oil in capsule form. To use the capsules, sterilize a needle and poke a hole in a capsule. Squeeze the oil out onto the skin.
Put tea tree oil on the skin to speed healing.If you're having trouble finding evening primrose oil, you should be able to get tea tree oil. Rub a few drops of the oil on the sunburned skin. Studies show that tea tree oil increases blood flow so important nutrients get to sunburned skin faster.
- Some sunscreens even include tea tree oil in their formulas.
Trying Unverified Home Remedies
Spread a baking soda paste on the sunburn.To soothe itchy, sunburned skin, mix 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) (36 g) of baking with enough water to make a spreadable paste. Dip a cotton ball in the baking soda paste and dab it over your sunburn. Leave the paste on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes before you rinse it off with cool water.
- Since this will give you temporary relief, you can reapply the paste throughout the day.
Apply honey to sunburned skin.Raw honey has been used to heal sunburned or damaged skin for centuries. To enjoy its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, gently spread raw honey on your sunburned skin. Leave the honey on the skin for at least 20 minutes before you rinse it off.
- Honey is also helpful in reducing the size of blisters that might form on sunburned skin.
Use coconut oil as a moisturizer.Once your sunburn has had 1 to 2 days to heal, rub cold-pressed coconut oil on the skin. The oil will prevent the skin from further drying and can relieve itchiness. Coconut oil can also relieve swelling caused by inflammation.
- Avoid using coconut oil immediately after the sunburn because it traps heat, making the sunburn feel worse.
Avoid applying vinegar to the sunburn.You may have seen home remedies that recommend spreading apple cider or white vinegar over sunburned skin. Unfortunately, the acid in the vinegar will dry out the sunburn which will make it worse.
- Studies show that repeatedly applying vinegar to the skin can actually cause chemical burns.
Video: Quick sunburn relief - Sunburn treatment and remedies
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