A sunburn is literally a burn from the sun. The sun is beneficial to our skin in small amounts because our bodies use the sun’s ultraviolet rays to create vitamin D, which is used for healthy bone formation.1 Melanin is a pigment in the skin that helps protect against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.1 However, too much sun exposure can cause the UV rays to penetrate deeper into the skin, resulting in permanent skin damage.1 This prolonged sun exposure can cause a skin condition known as sunburn.
Sunburn occurs as a result of long-term sun exposure. Each person reacts to the sun’s rays differently. Fair-skinned individuals are more likely to burn faster because they have less melanin in their skin to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays.2 For some fair-skinned people, sunburn can occur with just 15 minutes of sun exposure while other people can withstand hours of sun exposure with no effects.2 Conditions like lupus and medications like antibiotic doxycycline can increase your sensitivity to the sun.2 To reduce sunburn risk, it helps to wear protective clothing, apply sunscreen, and limit your exposure to the sun.
Sunburn symptoms do not appear immediately. Instead, they develop about 4 hours after exposure and worsen over the next day or two.3 Sunburn symptoms usually get better in 3-5 days.3 Symptoms include red, tender skin. In severe cases, sunburn can result in blistering, nausea, headache, and fever.3 Bad sunburns can cause skin peeling at the affected area.
If you’re sensitive to the sun, the right lifestyle and diet choices can help reduce your risk of sunburn. However, if you end up with a sunburn, there are a variety of sunburn home remedies that reduce symptoms and promote healing. Start with these sunburn herbal remedies:
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Coconut oil is full of skin nourishing health benefits that can help to cool and soothe sunburns. It can also help to prevent the skin from peeling after a sunburn. Apply coconut oil directly to sunburnt skin and massage well until fully absorbed. Repeat multiple times daily until sunburn has healed.
Aloe vera is an effective home remedy for treating sunburns. It has natural anti-inflammatory health benefits that help to soothe damaged skin. Apply aloe vera gel directly to sunburnt skin multiple times daily until skin is healed.
Egg whites have natural soothing properties that can help heal sunburns. Apply raw egg whites directly to sunburn and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse and repeat daily to help cool and heal sunburnt skin.
Apple cider vinegar has natural skin astringent properties that can help nourish and heal sunburnt skin. Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part cold water. Apply directly to skin or bathe in the mixture to help reduce heat and heal skin.
Regular vinegar has natural skin soothing properties that can treat sunburns. Combine 1 part vinegar and 1 part cold water and apply mixture directly to affected skin. Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse. Repeat twice daily until sunburn heals.
Apply cold tea to the affected area.