The radiation that emanates from the sun, whilst giving you that much sought after tan, can also cause sunburn and damage the living tissue of your skin.
Overexposure to the sun’s UV – ultraviolet – radiation can make you look like a freshly caught lobster. We all know that too much exposure to the sun can damage our skin, but yet, many of us still chase the rays of the sun hoping that we’ll tan rather than burn.
The truth is that approximately one-third of adults and almost 70% of children are sunburned each year.
Degrees of Sunburn
The obvious sign that you’ve gotten too much sun is reddened skin. The more severe the sunburn is, the more symptoms develop, such as blisters, swelling, fever and chills, weak muscles, nausea and headache. After a few days the skin may begin to itch and peel – a sign that your body is ridding itself of the damaged cells.
Unfortunately, the full extent of sun damage isn’t always visible on the top of your skin. Beneath the surface of the skin, DNA damage is occurring from the ultraviolet light you’ve been exposed to. This causes premature aging and possible skin cancers, the worst of which is melanoma.
If you happen to get too much sun, use the following natural remedies to relieve the pain and to help you heal:
- Baking Soda – After too much time in the sun, mix baking soda in your cool bath water. Don’t use soap and ‘air dry’ rather than rubbing the skin with a towel.
- Ice Pack – Your burning skin from sunburn can be relieved by an ice pack wrapped in a damp cloth. If you don’t have an ice pack, try a pack of frozen peas.
- Apple Cider and White Vinegar – Mixing a cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is a great astringent used to soothe sunburn pain.
- Tomato – Many people rub their skin with a fresh tomato to relieve and reduce the redness of their sunburn.
- Black Tea – Tannins found in black tea can greatly help to relieve sunburn. Soak a couple of tea bags in cool water and place them on the burned areas.
- Cornstarch — Make a paste from cornstarch and water, then apply to the affected areas. The anti-inflammatory agents in this mix helps relieve sunburn pain.
- Lettuce – Lettuce has analgesic properties. Boil lettuce leaves in water, then strain and cool the liquid in the refrigerator. Apply the liquid directly to the burn with cotton balls.
- Yogurt – The proteins and fats can relieve pain with its anti-inflammatory properties. Simply apply the yogurt to sunburned areas and then rinse it off in cool water. Pat dry.
- Milk – The fat, protein and pH in milk have anti-inflammatory effects that can relieve sunburn pain. Mix a cup of milk with four cups of water and some ice cubes and soak a clean cloth in it. Apply to the skin every two to four hours for about 15 minutes at a time.
You must drink plenty of water to slow the drying effects of sunburn. Watermelon and other fruits also contain water that can hydrate and supply much-needed nutrients.
Remember that certain medications may cause the skin to be more sensitive to radiation. Antibiotics, acne medications and anti-psoriatics prescribed for skin conditions and the herb, St. John’s Wort may make you much more vulnerable to sunburn.
No matter how much you want that golden tan, remember that it may not be worth the damage you are doing to your skin.