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How to treat a sunburn

Treating a sunburn

You must treat a sunburn on time so that it does not cause further damage. A sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation that mostly comes from the sun. So if you spend lots of time directly under the sun it’s better that you use proper protection.

Some signs of a sunburn are:

  • Reddish skin
  • Increased temperature, especially on the areas affected by sunburn due to accumulation of blood
  • A feeling of fatigue
  • Mild dizziness
  • Occurrence of other skin maladies like edema, rashes, peeling of skin and severe itching

The severity of a sunburn can vary according to where on earth you are exposed to the ultraviolet radiation. The cases of sunburns have also increased due to the thinning of the ozone layer that keeps most of the harmful rays of the sun out. Severe sunburn can even cause tumors and skin cancer.

How to treat a sunburn

Please keep in mind that these sunburn treatments are to be used when the condition doesn’t warrant medical treatment. Please do not use these methods if the situation is severe: seek immediate medical help then.

  • Cover the affected area with light cotton clothing. Keep the area covered with soft clothing until you can get some treatment. The skin gets very sensitive after the sunburn so you need to avoid contact with things that can cause further damage.
  • Get out of the sun. Remaining in the sun even after the sunburn will cause further damage. Move to a covered area and if there is no covered area around then go under a tree or a large plant.
  • Avoid lotions and oils. These may block your skin ventilation and prevent heat from escaping.
  • Apply aloe. This can be easily purchased from a medical store. It soothes the pain and brings quick relief. You can also use the aloe vera leaves: cut down the leaf in such a manner that you can get its succulent juice. Keep applying that juice to the affected area. You can also keep the aloe vera gel in the refrigerator for a while before applying it.
  • Apply green or black tea. Fill a pitcher with some warm water and dip 2-3 bags of green or black tea. Keep stirring until the water is pitch dark. Then dip a completely clean and soft cloth and apply the tea solution on the affected area. Don’t rub it, just dab it.
  • Use chilled moisturizer or cold cream. These help keep the moisture in your skin and removes the hardness.
  • Apply skimmed milk. Dip a clean and soft cloth in skimmed milk and apply it on the affected area without rubbing it. Aside from removing the burning sensation the milk creates a protein coating that mitigates the discomfort.
  • Apply a barley, turmeric and yogurt paste. Take equal portion of barley, turmeric and yogurt, grind them together and make a paste, and then apply this paste on affected areas for a soothing relief.
  • Use hydrocortisone cream. This will relieve the itching sensation.
  • Apply oatmeal. Wrap some oatmeal cups in a cloth and then pour some water on the pouch, compress the cloth and collect the liquid in a bowl. Apply this liquid on the sunburn affected areas for some good relief.
  • Use some anti-inflammatory medicine. This is not a treatment but this can give you some relief until the discomfort caused by the sunburn subsides.
  • Check if there are blisters. This means the skin is badly damaged and you need immediate medical help.
  • Take a cool shower. A cool shower brings immediate relief to the burning sensation. Don’t rub soap or other harsh substances over the affected area. Just let the water mildly run over your skin.
  • Wrap a wet cloth around affected area. If possible, put some vinegar on the cloth too. This brings relief until you can get further treatment.
  • Keep taking liquids. Drink lots of water when you have sunburn because you’ll quickly get dehydrated. This may cause further complications like high fever. You don’t have to gulp down tons of water, just keep sipping in small quantities so that your body gets enough time to absorb it.
  • Get some good sleep. Your body often goes into a shock after a sunburn and it’s advised that you take some rest so that the body gets enough time to heal itself.

Here are reviews of some good sun creams to protect you from sunburns.

Got some more tips on how to treat a sunburn? Please share it in the comments section.