Sunburn is a burn which is caused on skin due to overexposure to the sun. Sunburn can be caused not only due to exposure to the sun, but also to tanning lamps, UV light, etc. Sunburns could be darkening of color of the skin quite like tanning, or they may also cause other kinds of burns such as chapping of the skin, discoloration and even blistering. Sunburns may burn or tingle for a few hours even after the exposure to the sun is stopped. Some people are affected from sunburns more easily than the others. It has been found that people with fairer skin have more chances of getting sunburned than people with darker skins.
It is obvious that people who visit beaches often also get sunburns very frequently. People who sunbathe and deliberately work on getting a tan on their skins have a high risk of sunburn. Wearing clothing minimizes the chances of getting sunburns. Hence it is found that people who put on swimwear get sunburns only on the exposed parts of their skins.
Though most sunburns are mild problems that correct themselves in a few days, constantly getting your skin sunburned can increase the chances of skin cancer. Therefore, it is not good to expose your skin to the sun more than it is necessary.
Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Sunburn
Indian Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
The Indian aloe, more commonly known as the aloe vera, is a good sunscreen while going out on the beach. Its paste must be applied on the skin before going out into the sun. It is a natural barricade to the harmful rays of the sun.
Sandalwood (Santalum alba)
Sandalwood, known commonly in India as chandana, is known for its cooling properties. But at the same time it is a herbal sunscreen. Its paste is applied on the skin. However the paste is generally diluted because it becomes too thick and stretches uncomfortably on the skin.
Dietary Guidelines for Treatment of Sunburn
If you have sunburn, then it most certainly means that your skin has become dehydrated. You will have to replenish the water content. Drink lots of water (even though it makes you urinate a lot), and also stick to a liquid diet if possible for one whole day. Eat a lot of fruits that are high in water content such as watermelons, oranges, sweet limes and cantaloupes.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Sunburn
In case of mild sunburns, water therapies are used. But if the sunburn is severe, then medicaments such as satadhuta ghritam, aranaladi taila and chandanadi taila are used for external application.
Home Remedies for Treatment of Sunburn
If the sunburn is mild enough, then you can effectively use a cold and wet compress to correct the problem. This must be done for ten to fifteen minutes, thrice daily till the sunburn has healed completely. You can add some baking soda to the water to get better relief.
Almost all creams available in the market are good enough for simple sunburns. You must make sure that vitamin E is an ingredient of the cream, though.
For slightly more aggravated sunburns, you can have a tub bath in cool water. Be sure to keep the sunburned parts of your skin for at least fifteen minutes in the water. There will be better effects if the water is in constant motion, like in a Jacuzzi.
If the sunburn has affected your cheeks and the areas under your eyes, then used tea bags or slices of cucumber, potato and tomato can be placed on those regions.
Mix tomato juice in buttermilk, in the ratio of 1:6 by composition. Apply this on the sunburned parts. Both these sour elements will help the skin to be healed very quickly.
You can take cabbage or lettuce leaves and soak them in cold water or refrigerate them. When they are cold enough, lay them on the affected parts of the skin. This will reduce the sunburns and heal them.
Apply lanolin lotion to the skin before going out in the sun. This will act as a sunscreen and prevent your skin from the sunburns.
For sunburns on the face, this is a very good recipe. Mix some barley powder in milk and make it into a paste. Add little olive oil to it. Then add honey and the white of an egg. Blend the whole thing into a consistent paste and apply it on the skin. This method is only effective for sunburns on the face.
If your skin is tanning on exposure to the sun, then it is actually a good sign. Nature has provided us with this protection. The tanning is caused due to extra secretion of the pigment melanin. This makes the skin darker, which reduces the chances of getting sunburns.