20 Super Effective Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief

Sun emits UV – A, UV – B, and UV – C rays. Too much exposure to these rays can lead to some very serious consequences like sunburn, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, pigmentation, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer, including melanoma. Sunburn is caused due to ultraviolet rays and its general symptoms include redness, pain/tenderness, swelling, blisters, flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fever, chills or headache.  UVA rays are present throughout the day and are responsible for premature aging of the skin, skin cancer development and photosensitivity reactions. On the other hand UV – B rays are known to cause sunburn and skin cancer. 

20 Home Remedies For Sunburn Relief

  • Remedy 1: Cool Compress

Procedure : 

  1. Take a bowl and pour cool water and add ice cubes in it. 
  2. Now take a cloth and soak it in the liquid. 
  3. Place this cloth on the sunburn affected area. 
  4. Repeat this process when the cloth becomes warm. 
  5. Apply the compress several times a day for 15 – 20 minutes. 

Tip: Do not apply ice directly on the skin as it can damage your skin.

  • Remedy 2: Apple Cider Vinegar 

Procedure : 

  1. Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water and add one cup of apple cider vinegar to it. 
  2. Soak your body in this water for half an hour. 
  3. This will help in soothing the itching, inflammation and sunburn. 

Tip: Don’t follow this remedy if you have abrasions on your skin.

  • Remedy 3: Oatmeal 

Procedure : 

  1. Fill your bathtub with cool water and then add one cup of oatmeal to it. 
  2. Soak your body in this water for half an hour. 
  3. After that air-dry your body and avoid rubbing the skin with a towel.
  4. Repeat this daily to get rid of the sunburn symptoms.
  • Remedy 4: Baking Soda

Procedure : 

  1. Fill your bathtub with cool water and then add two cups of baking soda to it. 
  2. Soak your body in this water for 15 minutes. 
  3. After that air-dry your body and avoid rubbing the skin with a towel.
  4. Repeat this daily to get rid of the sunburn symptoms.
  • Remedy 5: Essential Oils 

Procedure : 

  1. Take an empty spray bottle and pour equal parts of essential oils like lavender and helichrysum into it. 
  2. Mix these well. 
  3. Spritz on the skin as needed.
  • Remedy 6: Aloe Vera 

Procedure : 

  1. Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe vera leaf. 
  2. Refrigerate aloe vera gel for half an hour. 
  3. Apply a light coating of chilled aloe vera gel on the sunburned skin.
  4. Allow it to dry so that it gets fully absorbed. 
  5. Repeat this process 5 – 6 times daily for several days.
  • Remedy 7: Cool Milk Compress 

Procedure : 

  1. Take a bowl and pour cool milk and ice cubes into it. 
  2. Now take a cloth and soak it in the milk. 
  3. Place this cloth on the sunburn affected area. 
  4. Repeat this process when the cloth becomes warm. 
  5. Apply the compress several times a day for 15 – 20 minutes. 
  • Remedy 8: Yoghurt 

Procedure : 

  1. Take unflavoured yoghurt in a bowl. 
  2. Liberally apply yogurt to all sunburned areas. 
  3. Leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes. 
  4. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat skin dry.
  5. Repeat this process 5 – 6 times daily for several days.
  • Remedy 9: Cornstarch Paste

Procedure : 

  1. Take a bowl and add one cup of cornstarch and one cup of cool water to it. 
  2. Mix these ingredients well to obtain a mixture with a paste-like consistency. 
  3. Apply the paste gently over your burn and leave it on for half an hour. 
  4. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Remedy 10: Black Tea

Procedure : 

  1. Brew 2 – 3 tablespoons of tea in a pot of hot water. 
  2. After that leave it for few minutes to cool down. 
  3. Now take a cloth and soak it in the liquid. 
  4. Dab this cloth on the sunburn affected area. 
  5. Leave it on until it dries completely. There is no need to wash it off. 
  6. Repeat this process 5 – 6 times daily for several days.
  • Remedy 11: Cucumber Paste

Procedure : 

  1. Take two cucumbers and refrigerate them for few hours. 
  2. Now blend the cucumbers to obtain a paste of thick consistency. 
  3. Apply the paste gently over your burn and leave it on for half an hour. 
  4. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Remedy 12: Witch Hazel

Procedure : 

  1. Take a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of witch hazel and one cup of cool water to it. 
  2. Now take a cloth and soak it in the liquid. 
  3. Dab this cloth on the sunburn affected area. 
  4. Leave it on for half an hour. 
  5. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Remedy 13: Mint And Green Tea

Procedure : 

  1. Boil one-litre water. 
  2. Take a container and put 5 tablespoons of green tea and 3 cups of fresh mint leaves in it. 
  3. Now pour this boiling water over the green tea and mint leaves. 
  4. Now cover the container with the lid and leave it for one hour. 
  5. After that strain out the mixture and put the liquid in the refrigerator. 
  6. Now take a cloth and soak it in the liquid. 
  7. Using the cloth apply this mixture to the sunburn affected area. 
  8. Repeat this process 5 – 6 times daily for several days.
  • Remedy 14: Potato Paste

Procedure : 

  1. Take two potatoes and wash them thoroughly. 
  2. Cut these potatoes into thin slices and put them in a blender to make a fine paste. 
  3. Now take a cloth and soak it in the paste.
  4. Apply the paste gently over your burn and leave it on for half an hour. 
  5. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Remedy 15: Coconut Oil 

Procedure : 

  1. Take one cup extra – virgin coconut oil. 
  2. Warm extra-virgin coconut oil in a microwave.
  3. Apply this warm coconut oil to the sunburned affected area. 
  4. Gently massage the oil. 
  5. Repeat this process three times daily for several days. 
  • Remedy 16: Honey 

Procedure : 

  1. Take natural honey and apply a thin layer on the sunburned affected skin. 
  2. Leave it on until it dries completely.  
  3. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  4. Repeat this process 2 – 3 times daily for a week.
  • Remedy 17: Turmeric, Neem And Basil

Procedure : 

  1. Take raw turmeric, neem leaves and basil leaves. 
  2. Grind them to obtain a smooth paste. 
  3. Add sandalwood paste to this paste and mix well. 
  4. Apply the paste on the sunburned affected area of the skin. 
  5. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Remedy 18: Coconut Oil And Lemon Juice

Procedure : 

  1. Take a bowl and add half a cup coconut oil and 4 – 5 teaspoons lemon juice in it. 
  2. Mix these ingredients well. 
  3. Gently massage this mixture on the affected area for a few minutes before going for a shower. 
  4. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Remedy 19: Orange And Yogurt 

Procedure : 

  1. Take an orange and mash it properly. 
  2. Add half a cup yoghurt to the mashed orange.
  3. Mix these ingredients well. 
  4. Apply this mixture to the affected area for a few minutes before going for a shower. 
  5. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat skin dry.
  • Remedy 20: Sandalwood Paste

Procedure : 

  1. Obtain a moderate consistency sandalwood paste by mixing sandalwood powder and cool water. 
  2. Apply a thick layer of the paste on the sunburned affected skin. 
  3. Allow it to dry on its own. 
  4. Rinse off in a cool shower and then gently pat the skin dry.
  5. Repeat this process 2 – 3 times daily for a week.

Precautions

  1. Avoid going outdoors between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm as during this time UV rays are more intense. But if you can not avoid going out then never forget to carry an umbrella, hat, sunglasses and clothing that protect your skin from sun exposure. 
  2. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water, juice, or sports drinks. 
  3. Always use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and PA ++. You should apply sunscreen to sun-exposed areas before going outside, swimming or perspiring. 
  4. Never apply any cream, butter, oily or greasy substance on the sunburn affected area of the skin. Oil-based products cause more damage as they trap the heat and make the burn deeper. 
  5. Do not burst or prick any blister. 
  6. Wash the sunburned affected area of the skin with an antibacterial soap to prevent secondary infection.

Myths and facts

Myth: Skin cancer is caused by sunburn

Fact: It is not essential for all sunburns to cause skin cancer. Skin cancer develops when cells of the skin get damaged, this usually occurs due to overexposure to harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. 

Myth: You only need sun protection on hot and sunny days

Fact: Always make sure to use sun protection methods every day. Ultraviolet rays are present throughout the day irrespective of sunny, cloudy, or rainy weather. 

Myth: Skin cancer only affects fair-skinned people

Fact: Skin cancer can affect any person irrespective of the person being fair-skinned or not. However, it is seen that skin cancer is more common in people with fairer skin.

Myth: Sunscreen provides enough sun protection

Fact: Sunscreen does not provide enough sun protection. It vanishes very quickly, therefore, you must reapply it every 2 hours. It doesn’t provide complete protection therefore should be used with the other ways of protecting yourself.

OTC (Over – The – Counter) products effective for sunburn relief

  1. Hydrocortisone: Hydrocortisone is available as topical lotion, spray, or ointment. It soothes skin irritation and inflammation. 
  2. Antibiotics: If you want to rule out the possibility of developing any kind of infection then you should look for OTC antibacterial ointments like Polysporin or Neosporin. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Question: What is the best way to avoid sunburns? 

Answer: The best way to avoid sunburns is trying to avoid overexposure to the sun. But if you can’t avoid going out then the best way is to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, an umbrella, sunglasses and wearing clothes that allow minimum exposure to the sun.

Question: How do you treat sunburn? 

Answer: If you have mild sunburn without blisters then you can treat it at home using aloe vera, lotion, cool baths and cool compresses. But if you have sunburn with blisters then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Question: Why is SPF the most important factor to consider when buying sunscreen?  

Answer: SPF or Sun Protection Factor refers to the sunscreen’s effectiveness against UV – B rays but not about UV – A rays therefore you should look for the word ‘Broad – Spectrum’ on the label of the sunscreen. Broad – Spectrum ensures that the sunscreen will protect against both UV – B and UV – A radiation. It is also advised to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher sunscreen as it protects the skin from ultraviolet rays more efficiently.

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