How to Treat a Sunburn

Hopefully, you will not get a bad sunburn this summer. But if you do, there are some things you can do at home to relieve the discomfort and help prevent peeling. Here are some tips.

Time for Tea

Both black and green tea can help soothe skin. As soon as possible after you discover your sunburn, brew 4 to 6 cups of strong tea. Add this strong tea to a lukewarm bath and soak. You may want to do this tea treatment once a day for a few days.

You can also apply cooled tea bags to the burn, or use cooled tea as a wash or lotion.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has an interesting property – when mixed with water, a chemical reaction occurs that makes the mixture icy-cold, even if you use warm water. This cooling property can help relieve sunburn. You can mix a cupful or two of baking soda to a lukewarm bath for a soothing soak.

Cooling Poultice

If your sunburn is over a fairly small area, you could apply a cooling mask or poultice. Plain yogurt and cucumber are said to be healing and cooling to sunburned skin. Blend peeled cucumber and plain yogurt in a blender until smooth. Add milk if you need to make it thinner. Apply this to burned skin and leave on for ten minutes or so, then rinse with lukewarm or cool water. You can repeat this several times a day if you need to, or leave the poultice on for longer if you like.

As a variation, you can add sweet almond oil or coconut oil to the above mixture to add moisturizing properties to the poultice.

Aloe Vera

The gel from aloe vera leaves is not only soothing for “regular” burns – it also can soothe burns caused by the sun. If you have an aloe plant, you can split the leaves lengthwise and spread the gel on burned skin. You can also purchase pure aloe vera gel, or moisturizers that contain it. Some experts suggest, though, that the “real thing” straight from the plant is best.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Do you have a bottle of this in your home? It is said to be very good for promoting the healing of sunburn. Pour a cup or so into a lukewarm bath and soak as often and as long as needed. Rinse gently with lukewarm water before you dry off. If the smell bothers you, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your bath along with the vinegar. Lavender essential oil is said to be a good choice for soothing skin.

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