Summertime is here and the feeling is lazy – or is your skin smarting from too much time in the sun? Sunburn and summer seem to go together, and the pain can be intense. Damage caused by the sun’s rays can be repaired with natural remedies. Here are seven of them to try if you’re feeling burned or suffering from the flakes.
Dr. Anne Williams, ND, integrates the medicines of East and West at Rochat Holistic Health in New York.
Williams advises the best treatment of sunburn is to avoid getting one in the first place.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to use sunscreen. Studies have shown it does not significantly decrease vitamin D production and sunburns are key factors in skin cancer formation.”
But if you do get a sunburn here are some natural remedies.
Slideshow: click the arrows to move to next slide
Aloe vera soothes sunburn: Perhaps one of the best known remedies for sunburn pain, aloe vera also repairs your skin with its powerful glyconutrients that actually accelerate healing. If you grow this in the garden, just pick a couple of leaves, split them down the side and apply to the burn directly. Putting leaves in the blender to make a gel will utilize more of the plant and will last longer.
Potatoes pressed into the skin can soothe: Potatoes can soothe scorched skin with their starch-based compounds. Grind them into a paste and put that on the affected areas. This paste also helps relieve scratches, and bites as it reduces inflammation.
Mix cornstarch and baking soda for burns: Everyone should have cornstarch and baking soda in the pantry, but not everyone knows they can be used to ease the pain of a sunburn. Mix the two 1:1 and add cool water until you have a thin paste. Rub that paste over the burned area and leave it on until the pain is gone. Rinse it off when you feel better.
Mint boiled in water: Mint is a natural soothing substance with its tannic acid and theobromine. Boil about three cups of fresh leaves in about a quart of water and let it cool before dabbing it onto the burned area with a soft cloth or cotton balls. Pouring it over the burn helps, too, but doesn’t go as far.
Apple apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is an amazing remedy for many things. Most kitchens have a bottle for cooking, but once you figure out what this does for you, you will want to buy it by the gallon. For sunburns put the vinegar into a spray bottle or soak a cloth. Spray it on after a shower or when in discomfort, or dab it on.
Witch hazel can reduce inflammation: Dab witch hazel onto the impacted area and feel instant relief from pain.
Take an oatmeal bath:. Oatmeal in the bathwater will coat your skin with polysaccharides, which will cool the burn down while it helps your skin rehydrate. Use it by filling a tube sock or sheer stocking with oatmeal and submerging it in a tepid tub. Once the water in the tub is cloudy, gently lower yourself into it. Pat yourself dry with a soft towel.