Sunburn

Natures Super Natural Remedy

Sunburn ~ Ailments & Remedies

The distractions of summer, the long, sunny days, the beckoning beach, losing track of time in the garden, all make it easy to forget that extra coat of sunscreen, or the need to take a break in the shade.

In addition to increasing cancer risk, this ailment can be quite painful.

Fortunately, common remedies are in your kitchen and possess sun-protection compounds to aid your sun-protection routine.

Some may not help in the prevention, but many do offer surprising relief.

Check out these natural remedies.

Water

Or, lack there-of.

We've all had this dilemma which causes dehydration, making already compromised skin even drier.

How to use it:

Drink at least 64 oz. of water per day while you're recovering.

You can also use water to reduce pain by applying it directly.

Dip a washcloth in cold tap water, then lay the cloth over the affected area.

Repeat up to several times a day.

Potatoes

Overindulging in potatoes may be a no-no if you’re trying to lose weight, but keep a few on hand in case a sunburn strikes.

The potato’s starchy compounds will help take out the sting.

How to use it:

Cut a raw potato into slices and rub a piece on your most painful areas.

For a more intensive treatment, grate a cold raw potato and apply it as a poultice.

Tea

Green tea’s catechin compounds help protect against the sun’s harmful radiation; its tanic acid helps soothe sunburn pain.

How to use it:

Studies suggest drinking just two cups a day could help provide a bit of added sun protection. (You should still use other sun-protection methods, like nontoxic sunscreen, sun-protective clothing, and time in the shade.)

If you’re suffering from a scorched face, soak two tea bags in cool water and apply them to your aching eyelids.

Tea’s tanic acid will ease your pain.

Oatmeal

When your whole body is sunburned, oatmeal provides the best type of relief.

How to use it:

Grind up a cup of oatmeal in a food processor, add it to cool bathwater, and soak.

You can also wrap dry oatmeal in cheesecloth or gauze, run cool water through it, and then toss the oatmeal and soak compresses in the liquid, applying every 2 to 4 hours.

Pomegranate

Pomegranates are a rich source of ellagic acid, which can help protect your skin from UVA and UVB-induced cell damage, according to research from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University.

How to use it:

Indulge in pomegranates during the summer months.

The fruit’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties could help add another layer of sun protection to your routine.

Zinc

Zinc helps stimulate the body's healing process.

How to use it:

You can take zinc in tablet or lozenge form or get it through food.

Where to get it:

Zinc-rich foods include wheat germ, oysters, bran cereal, pumpkin seeds, cashews and pine nuts.

Strawberries

The berries' tanin content helps reduce the sting of a sunburn.

How to use it:

Mash a few ripened strawberries and slather on the damaged areas for natural relief.

Rinse off after a few minutes.

If you'd rather not go the fruit route to avoid stickiness, you can make a paste out of cornstarch and water and slather it over sunburned skin for relief, also.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers offer sunburn relief on par with store-bought, sunburn-relief products, without added with chemical preservatives and harmful fragrances.

How to use it:

If you’re already burned, mash a cucumber and apply it to your skin.

Grab an organic cucumber from the garden or farmers' market, peel and chop, and then squeeze the juice.

Mix it with glycerin and rosewater for protection from the sun.

Lettuce

Lettuce’s natural pain-killing properties can help wipe away sunburn pain.

How to use it:

Boil lettuce leaves in water.

Strain, then let the liquid cool for several hours in the refrigerator.

Once chilled, dip cotton balls into the lettuce water and gently wipe over irritated skin.

Aloe

This is our tried and true remedy for a sunburn.

The inner gel of the aloe vera leaf has been shown to speed the healing of radiation-induced burns.

The juice of the aloe vera plant has been used for thousands of years to treat skin conditions.

It is believed that the plant's mucopolysaccharides are the active ingredients that help soothe skin.

How to use it:

You can buy packaged aloe vera gel at most drugstores.

Many grocery stores sell large aloe leaves.

Apply aloe gel after showering, then re-apply it a few more times each day until the pain has subsided, suggests sports medicine specialist Dr. Bill Maguire.

Usually, he says, the redness disappears in a day or two and the skin doesn't peel.

You can also keep an aloe plant in your home for easy and immediate access.

What to watch out for:

It's possible to be allergic to aloe.

If you've never applied it to your skin before, test a small area and wait a few hours to make sure you can tolerate it.

Guavas

An antioxidant-rich diet could help prep your skin for more potent sun protection before you even step foot outside.

One guava contains about five times the amount of vitamin-C, a skin-healing antioxidant, as a medium-sized orange.

How to use it:

Enjoy a guava here and there, but work more local vitamin-C-rich foods into your diet, including bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli.

White Vinegar

White vinegar's acetic acid acts like a topical nonsterioidal anti-inflammatory drug (think aspirin and ibuprofen).

How to use it:

If you’re red (just not blistered), dab a bit of distilled white vinegar onto your sunburn.

It will kill the pain for about 20 minutes.

Tomatoes

As if you need another reason to indulge in organic tomatoes from your farmers' market or garden.

It turns out the red gems help protect your skin from sun damage.

In one study, volunteers who ate 5 Tbs. of lycopene-rich tomato paste daily for 3 months enjoyed 25 percent more natural protection.

How to use it:

Indulge in fresh tomatoes and add organic ketchup to meals for a lycopene burst.

Calendula

This easy-to-grow plant is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that ease burns.

Research shows calendula flowers speed the healing of burns by stimulating the growth of new skin cells, closing wounds and reducing inflammation.

How to use it:

Make a poultice of calendula blossoms and apply to damaged area to help accelerate healing.

Yogurt

Yogurt is prized for its cooling properties in several cultures.

Indians serve raita and Greeks serve tzatziki, both made with yogurt, as a complement to spicier dishes.

It works just as well on the skin as it does in the belly to cool things off.

How to use it:

Apply plain yogurt to all affected areas.

Allow to dry, then gently rinse in cool water.

Pat dry with a soft towel.

Fat-Free Milk

The milk creates a protein film on your skin that will help ease the discomfort.

How to use it:

Apply cool, not cold, milk to your skin using a clean cloth or gauze.

Apply compresses for 15 to 20 minutes, and repeat every 2 to 4 hours.

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