People of all racial and ethnic groups can get sunburn, even when you're aware of its dangers and say you’ll be careful.
According to a survey by the National Cancer Institute, over 33,000 people report severe sunburn annually that requires emergency room visits.
Sunburn symptoms include redness, warmth, tenderness, or edema, and may cause pain or blistering. Sunburn is also a strong predictor of future skin cancer and especially melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, per the National Cancer Institute
Despite knowing the damage of too much sun exposure, some people still do not use sunscreen and end up suffering adverse skin conditions later.
Sometimes, however, exposure to harmful levels of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun is due to negligence, ignorance, or unavoidable circumstances.
No matter how, where, and why you got sunburn, the good news to know is that you can treat and manage the skin burn at home.
Best Home Remedies for Fast Recovery from Sunburn
Here are some top tips you can use to treat and cure sunburn quickly at home:
1. Bath with Natural Ingredients
A common method used to quickly help ease the burn from the sun, even while you're still outside, is to jump into cold water, regardless of whether it's a sea, lake, or stream. An instant shower with cold water may also alleviate pain and irritation from the skin.
Use clean and uncontaminated water. Try and avoid swimming pools, because highly chlorinated water can harm your skin more. You can simply rub ice cubes for cooling and instant relief.
For more effectiveness, add natural ingredients to your bathing water at home. For example, adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath can help to balance the pH (acid or alkalinity) of sunburned skin, and promote healing:
i). Oatmeal Bath
Oats also have good healing properties. Adding one full cup of oats to your bathing water can majorly relieve the irritation of sunburn. Finely ground oats, also known as colloidal oats, have soothing impacts when blended in with shower water.
ii). Apple Vinegar Bath
As already mentioned, apple juice is a good pH fix you can use to treat sunburn at home. It might seem illogical to use apple vinegar on sunburn, but apple vinegar has anti-inflammatory effects.
When treating sunburn, add two cups of apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water and take a bath after a few minutes. This can help to neutralize the acid effects on the skin and majorly relieve sunburn symptoms with apple cider vinegar’s natural healing characteristics.
iii). Baking Soda Bath
Moreover, adding a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda into a bathtub full of cool water and soaking for about 15 to 20 minutes can also help minimize sun damage.
2. Natural Skin Smoothers
Some natural skin smoothers can also offer quick relief from sunburn:
i). Aloe Vera
The aloe vera plant is a succulent plant species from the genus Aloe that grows abundantly in tropical climates. It has been used for centuries around the world for its medicinal properties
Aloe vera is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that may help protect your skin by neutralizing the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Its calming, skin-curing traits can also help reduce redness and quickly heal UV damaged skin.
Aloe vera is perhaps the most notable natural solution for a burn from the sun. You can extract aloe vera gel, prepare its ice cubes, and rub them on the affected area of the skin for best results.
Honey contains a classic healing power that can quickly treat skin burns from the sun. It soothes the skin, while effectively relieving discomfort and repairing your skin from existing UV damage.
The antibacterial properties dispense with the dangers of getting any disease. Apply a layer of raw honey on the influenced region and fold a gauze over the space.
Some experts agree that cool whole milk can relieve the adverse effects of UV rays on the skin. Soaking milk in a bandage to treat burns from the sun can bring a cooling impact and relief.
However, note that overuse of milk can cause other issues on the skin as it contains lactic acid, which may harm people with sensitive skin.
Place a washcloth or cotton dressing capable of absorbing fermented tea—like chamomile, dark, or green tea on the area of sunburn for instant relief.
Tea can function as an effective home treatment solution for burns from the sun on the face.
While applying coconut oil is not the main way for curing skin harm caused by the sun, it can be an effective solution after your primary sunburn treatment options.
That said, never make the mistake of using ice cubes directly on the skin after applying coconut oil, as it might harm the skin tissue more.
Other Things to Remember: Do's and Don'ts for Sunburns
Our lifestyle habits affect the health and healing power of our body, so when it comes to preventing and curing sunburn quickly, you'll need to make changes in your daily lifestyle.
Always wear sunscreen when going out on a sunny day, seek shade to avoid the sun in the middle of the day, particularly between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when UV rays are at their strongest, and wear protective clothing and sunglasses that filter UV light.
Moreover, consider the following factors that affect the results you get when treating sunburn at home for best results:
I. Skincare Tools
Modern skincare gadgets used in regular skincare routines must be used with proper guidance. If sunburn damages your skin, a radio frequency facial, for example, has the potential to nourish the damaged skills and rejuvenate the skin.
With advancements in technology, beauty devices are readily available in the market for curing skin problems. But, avoid using just any device on the recent sunburn without proper guidance from a qualified medical practitioner as it can irritate your skin further.
II. Get Enough Sleep
Sound sleep allows your body to rejuvenate and develop hormones that heal all damages in the body. Sunburns can be quickly healed if you are getting proper sleep on a regular basis.
II. Drink Plenty of Water
One of the main reasons sunburn occurs is due to the loss of moisture in the skin. UV radiations extract all the hydration from your skin and harms the epidermis layer of the skin.
Drinking plenty of water will help to stay hydrated all the time and lessen the effects of sunburn.
IV. Stop Smoking Tobacco
Tobacco contains toxic substances that hinder your body’s natural healing mechanism. Quitting tobacco may seem difficult for some people, but you can definitely quit smoking with enough determination, effort, and commitment despite of addiction. Contact a dermatologist if needed.
Your skin tone is a key factor when it comes to sunburn – darker skin tends to generate more melanin, which can protect the skin from sunburn, but when exposed too long it absorbs more heat than bright skin, increasing the chances and severity of sunburn.
Moreover, sunburn treatments can take longer if you have a health condition that hinders the healing function of your body like diabetes. Other aspects like age or a hereditary skin disease may also affect treatment and contribute to taking different times to heal.
However, while there are no medications that can cure sunburn immediately, there are numerous ways to boost your healing as shown above. Mild sunburns can take 3 to 5 days to cure on a healthy person, but severe ones can extend for a longer duration.
If you have sunburn, the hacks above work well to treat it at home. Select the best option that suits your body, skin, and health condition in consultation with your doctor.
By understanding your skin and taking the appropriate steps in consultation with your doctor, you can avoid and quickly cure sunburn, so you get on with your life sooner.