7 Home Remedies To Soothe Sunburn
7 Home Remedies To Soothe Sunburn

Sunburn is the term used to describe red and sometimes painful and swollen skin triggered by overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sunburns can be mild or severe. The extent of the damage caused may vary depending on the skin type and the amount of exposure to the sun. The risk of getting a sunburn increases as you near the equator.

On a minute-by-minute basis, the highest risk of developing a sunburn is at solar noon, when the sun is right above you. While you may need to upgrade your skin care regimen, it is also necessary to soothe the sunburn to prevent further complications. Continue reading to find out a few natural ways to alleviate the symptoms of a sunburn.

What Causes Sunburn?

The sun emits UV rays of three wavelengths. They are:

  • UVA
  • UVB
  • UVC

While UVC rays do not reach the surface of the earth, the other two rays not only enter the surface of the earth but also penetrate your skin. This penetration of UVA and UVB rays can result in sunburn.

Sunburn is one of the most obvious signs that you have been spending too much time in the sun. However, damage caused by exposure to the sun isn’t always visible. Under the surface of your skin, the UV rays can alter your DNA, resulting in premature aging.

Over time, the accumulation of damaged DNA can also contribute to life-threatening conditions like skin cancer.

Sunburned skin may exhibit the following signs and symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sunburn?

The signs and symptoms associated with sunburn may vary from one person to another. A minor sunburn is often accompanied by redness and may be tender to touch.

In case of severe sunburn, blistering may occur. Extreme cases of sunburns may cause pain to the point of debilitation. Such sunburns may need medical attention.

Other symptoms that accompany severe sunburns include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Chills
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness

Severe cases of sunburn are best treated at a hospital. Here are some common medications often prescribed to treat sunburns.

Medications To Relieve Sunburn

  • Over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs may be used to relieve the pain.
  • Topical application of hydrocortisone formulas can help alleviate itching and inflammation.
  • In case of severe sunburns, you may be prescribed oral steroid therapy.

However, if your sunburn is mild to moderate, it can be easily treated using all-natural home remedies – like the ones listed below.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Sunburns

1. Coconut Oil

The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activities of coconut oil can speed up the healing of burn wounds and may also help soothe sunburns.

You Will Need

Virgin coconut oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some virgin coconut oil in your palms and apply it directly to the sunburned skin.
  2. Leave it on until it dries completely.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this multiple times daily.

2. Essential Oils

a. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the sunburned area.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three drops of chamomile oil to a tablespoon of any carrier oil like coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on until it dries completely.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

b. Lavender Oil

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of lavender oil can help in relieving symptoms of pain, inflammation, and redness associated with sunburn.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three drops of lavender oil to a tablespoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply the mixture to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on to dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

3. Ice Pack

An ice pack or cold compress is used to relieve sunburns as it can decrease the skin sensitivity, numbing the affected area, thereby reducing inflammation.

You Will Need

Ice pack or cold compress

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply the ice pack or cold compress to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove and reapply as necessary.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this multiple times daily.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel can help in treating the symptoms of sunburn, such as pain and inflammation, with its anti-inflammatory properties.

You Will Need

Freshly extracted aloe gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract some gel from an aloe leaf.
  2. Whisk it using a spoon or fork.
  3. Apply the gel to the affected area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

5. Green Tea

Green tea contains beneficial polyphenols that can help in the treatment as well as prevention of sunburns.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 green tea bags
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Put a green tea bag in a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5-10 minutes and strain.
  3. Drink the tea.
  4. You can also refrigerate the used tea bag and apply it to the affected area.
  5. Rinse it off in 20-30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

6. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities and is used for treating various skin conditions. These properties of oatmeal may also be useful in soothing sunburns.

You Will Need
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill your bathtub with water.
  2. Pour a cup of oatmeal into it.
  3. Soak in the oatmeal bath for 15-20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily for best results.

7. Milk

Milk is a rich source of many nutritional elements that exhibit a healing effect on wounds (8). This effect may also help in treating sunburn.

You Will Need
  • 1 cup of low-fat cow’s milk
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Dip a cotton ball in a cup of low-fat cow’s milk.
  2. Apply it to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

In addition to these remedies, here are some useful tips to prevent sunburn in the future.

How To Prevent Sunburn

  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun during peak hours – 10 AM to 4 PM.
  • Stay in the shade wherever possible.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 40+.
  • Wear sunglasses that offer UV protection.
  • Wear a wide hat when outdoors.
  • Use sunscreens all year round, even during the winters.
  • Use a water-resistant sunscreen.
  • Apply sunscreen to the scalp if you have thinning hair or are bald.
  • Wear full-length clothing.
  • Use a lip balm that offers sun protection to prevent sunburn on your lips.

Following these tips can help prevent sunburns and also assist the remedies discussed above in yielding better results.

Don’t let the sun get the better of you! Try any or a combination of these home remedies for sunburn relief and let us know about your experiences in the comments section below.

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