Sunburn is caused due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays from sun. Sunburn may be mild or serious, depending on the degree of exposure. When sunburn is mild, the person will have red, sore skin on areas such as shoulders, arms, thighs, back, and nose, which may begin to itch and peel a few days later. More severe sunburn can cause pain and blistering. Repeated sunburn may create premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, or there is an increase chance of having skin cancer. Sunburn is most likely in hot summer sun, also on an overcast day, in water, or at high altitudes. Children younger than six years, adults older than sixty and fair skinned people are at high risk.
- Redness of skin.
- Skin may radiate heat and feel hot to touch.
- Pain or tenderness.
- Blistering and peeling skin.
- Sunburned eyes may feel painful or gritty.
- Headache, fever and fatigue if sunburn covers a large area.
- In severe cases, faintness, nausea, and vomiting.
Home Remedies for Sunburn
- Cold compress: Apply cool water as quickly as possible to prevent the sunburn from getting worse but don’t apply ice, it could further injure the skin.
- Aloe vera: Apply aloe vera lotion or gel on the affected area. Coconut oil is also effective for soothing sunburned skin.
- Milk: Dip a gauze pad or cloth into cool milk, and apply directly to the sunburned skin.
- Milk cream: Apply a little fresh milk cream directly on the affected area.
- Sandalwood and turmeric: Make a paste by mixing equal amount of sandalwood and turmeric with a little cool water and apply gently to the sunburned area.
- Cucumber: Rub fresh cucumber slices on the affected area.
- Calamine lotion: Apply calamine lotion which has a cooling effect on sore, itchy sunburned skin.
- Potatoes: Grate some potatoes and apply them on the burnt skin. Starch from the potatoes will soothe the burn.
- Baking soda: Take cool bath and add about 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the bath water. Pat yourself dry with a soft towel.
Do’s for Sunburn
- Stay out of the sun when having sunburn.
- Wear loose, lightweight cloths, with sleeves, and also a hat.
- Apply neem oil (diluted in sesame or coconut oil) or good quality sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, even in the shade and on cloudy days.
- Drink coconut water or coconut milk.
- Eat lots of fruits and drink lots of fluids.
- Keep babies out of the sun completely. Use a sunshade or sit them in the shade.
Don’ts for Sunburn
- Do not stay in the sun too long.
- Don’t pick at peeling skin; let any blisters burst on their own.
- Don’t go out in summer sunshine when it is at its strongest, between 11am & 3pm.
- Don’t use tanning beds.
- Avoid spicy and fermented foods.
- Severe sunburn with extensive blistering, vomiting, fever, confusion, or headaches.
- Baby or child gets sunburned.