If you’ve ever experienced a sunburn, then you know how painful it can be. In addition to red, hot skin, people experience additional symptoms of nausea, dehydration, blistering, flaking and peeling of the skin. Even though by wearing sunscreen or staying out of the sun for extended periods of time you can avoid all of this. In the instance that you do go in the sun or to beach and you end up with a sunburn just know that there are several common household and culinary products that can help relieve and reduce the painful, hot, and tender symptoms of a sunburn.
The first thing you want to do after getting a sunburn is cool down the temperature of the burn. Once the skin has been burned your body is still radiating heat. However if you expose an overheated body to its extreme opposite, cold you run the risk of sending the body into shock. There for the idea is to sooth the skin with cool, not cold products.
A cool bath will draw the heat from your skin, which can sooth the affected areas. Additionally by adding essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus or chamomile to the bath water will re-hydrate the skin and body. Furthermore baking soda or oatmeal can be added to a lukewarm bath to relieve the pain of a sunburn and vinegar can be added to take the sting out of a sunburn. Let you skin absorb the oils, baking soda/oatmeal or vinegar. This provides vital nutrients and water back in the skin to start healing the burned cells.
Rubbing alcohol and vinegar are two household products that can be used to quickly cool the pain of a sunburn. By dabbing rubbing alcohol on a painful sunburn you can easily decrease the discomfort of the affected areas. However, rubbing alcohol dries very quickly and can dehydrate the skin. Remember to drink lots of fluids to re-hydrate the entire body when using this product.
Vinegar is another very effective way to sooth and relieve the painful affects of a sunburn. However it does not dry as quickly as rubbing alcohol, so there are a couple of different applications. You can dab vinegar onto the skin, but this may take a while to get all of the effected area. An easier way to get a larger area is to use a spray bottle or soak a towel in vinegar and drape on the sunburned areas. Drying time averages about 5-7 minutes, meaning you may want to stand or sit with a towel under you why applying the vinegar. The smell should subside within an hour and it is recommended to reapply vinegar every 4-6 hours.
Other household products that can reduce the symptoms of a sunburn come straight from your kitchen. Egg whites and potatoes, two very unexpected foods can both reduce the pain of a sunburn. Separate the egg whites from the yolk, and spread the egg white over the affect area (best for use on the face, neck or small sunburned area).
Potatoes can be used in two different manners. After washing potatoes, cut in round slices and place directly on the skin to reduce inflammation and heat. Or place chunks into a blender with a little bit of water to liquefy. Then pat the potato juice on the area and allow it to dry. This will draw out the heat of the sunburn. After any of these applications rinse the food off the skin in a cool shower and pat the skin dry.
All of these home remedies work effectively and quickly however, if you symptoms do not start to subside in a couple of days or your symptoms get contact a doctor immediately to determine if there is something additional going on. Otherwise remember when you go in the sun, protect your skin with sunscreen.
Sarah Labdar graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me.