Seven Tried and True Ways to Treat a Sunburn Here on the Suncoast
It’s that time of year again when locals and vacationers hit the amazing beaches on the Suncoast. We are fortunate to boast some of the most amazing shorelines anywhere, and getting out there for a long day with friends and family benefits from where we live. That said, we almost all have at one time or another dealt with a dreaded sunburn after a long day outside.
Sure we all know to apply sunscreen regularly, cover up during the hottest times of the day, and wear hats and glasses for the best prevention of sunburns. Even the most diligent might end up with that telltale redness that follows an amazing day at the beach. We put together ten of the best remedies for sunburns to help you get comfortable sooner rather than later in your sun-traumatized skin.
A cool shower may be too painful to endure for more severe sunburns. You may find that the water beating down on your skin does more harm than good. If this is the case and cool clothes are not enough to help alleviate the pain, try taking a cool bath. Cool water is an effective way to treat sunburn. It will help to relieve some of the inflammation, itching, and pain that is associated with a severe sunburn. It is important to ensure that you do not add any bath salts, oils, or perfumes to the bathwater. All of these items can increase the skin’s sensitivity and may cause the symptoms to become worse. When using a towel to dry off, make sure that you are patting the tender skin and not rubbing it, as this can cause further irritation.
Cucumber & Peppermint
If a person’s eyelids have become burned or swollen, they can place cucumber slices over them for 15 minutes. A cool, wet tea bag can also help reduce eye swelling, but only an herbal tea that does not contain peppermint should be used, as mint may sting the eyes. For facial burns, a mask of yogurt and cucumber pieces can be mixed and applied to the entire face.
Oatmeal for a Sunburn
Another sunburn cure: Add oatmeal to your bath. Research shows colloidal oatmeal helps tamp down inflammation and reduces itching, says board-certified dermatologist Michael Schreiber, M.D. You can also grind up plain oats in your food processor and add them to your tub. Mix the oatmeal treatment with the cool bath water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Rubbing your skin to dry off will only irritate it further.
Hydrocortisone creams are used to treat swelling, irritation, and itchiness. Apply hydrocortisone cream to manage swelling and pain. You can get 1 percent hydrocortisone over the counter, or if necessary, your doctor can prescribe a stronger ointment.
Cleanse without Soap when Sunburn at Worst
Skip the soap – All types of soap, even very gentle ones, are drying. They strip away all the oils and residues from the skin. This is a positive thing in most cases, but sunburned skin needs all the moisture it can get. Skip using soap for a few days after a sunburn. Instead, rinse the affected area with cool water and apply a deep moisturizer several times a day.
Cooled Teas for Relief of Sunburn
The active ingredient in tea is tannin, which helps to soothe and relieve the discomfort of sunburned skin. Slosh the affected areas with a soft sponge or washcloth after brewing a large pot of tea and allowing it to cool completely. You could also fill a spray bottle with the tea and spray it directly on your skin. Also, do not discard the used (cool) teabags. These are especially beneficial for the sensitive areas around the eyes. If your eyes are hot and tired, place the teabags over them.
Aloe Vera for the Win!
Aloe vera is an especially effective treatment for sunburn. The substance contains a variety of vitamins, including A, C, and E, and folic acid and choline, which replenish and rejuvenate the skin. The substance also contains several amino acids and fatty acids that relieve inflammation and redness.
Did you find some amazing suggestions for sunburns? Should it happen? Are you ready to get out and enjoy the beaches and do the best you can against the sun? Have a safe and happy spring and summer here on the Suncoast, enjoying the amazing natural resources and hopefully stay sunburn safe all season long!
Feature photo courtesy of Deposit Photos