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Sunburnt? Here’s how you can deal with it. photo credit: griff le riff via photopin cc

In case, you didn’t know already, everyone is at risk for getting sun burnt! All races, ages, and ethnicities. Of course true, the darker the skin, the melanin protects you from the sun. However, don’t let that be an excuse not to protect yourself from the sun. Always be sure to use a spf higher than 30 and use it liberally throughout the day when exposed to the sun. Remember to reapply! Wear light loose clothing and a hat to always cover up as well. Recall, on ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure and pain that you’ll experience if you end up being burnt badly. There are many degrees of sunburn, but if all you have is a little redness, irritation and some peeling then read ahead. If you have blistering or open lesions then please consult your primary care physician for further evaluation and guidance.

1. Sooth it out

Using fresh aloe vera, cut it up and getting the juice out then liberally apply it on the skin at least 3-4x/day until you feel better. You’ll experience instant relief. If you don’t have access to fresh aloe vera, you can substitute with the gel or even the liquid but fresh is always better. There are other things you can try like Calendula ointment, arnica creams that have soothing properties you can find this at any health food store. Be sure to apply those only to clean dry skin.
Another one of my favorite concoctions is apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. Of course, both are natural healers and in combination magical things happen! On clean skin, dab organic apple cider vinegar on a towel let it soak in for a few minutes than immediately after apply coconut oil afterwards and the results are amazing. I used this technique when I actually had a second degree burn on my arm and a year later I have no scaring! The Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacteria properties, however due to limited studies it show it is not as effective. Coconut oil has re-epithelialization properties, which improve antioxidant enzyme activity, and stimulate higher collagen cross-linking within the tissue that’s being repaired.(1) Coconut oil has even been shown to work synergistically with conventional treatments to quickly improve burn wound healing. (2)

2. Apply cool compression

Ice actually may feel good as long as it’s not in direct contact with skin. Wrap it up in a towel before placing it on bare naked skin. My favorite for everything is teabag compressions. Boil tea, drink it and while you’re relaxing remove the tea bag, place in a towel and then place on your body, it actually is very soothing and feels great. It doesn’t matter what kind of tea really, but personally I say green since there’s more polyphenols and a girl could always use more!

3. Take a cool bath

Dive into a cooling bath; no more than 20 min, after that it can dry your skin out more. You can add oatmeal or baking soda as well for a more soothing, relaxing feel. Avoid harsh soaps or scrubs as it can irritate your skin.

4. Apply moisturizer immediately after your shower/bath

Always apply moisturizer liberally right after you bathe to seal in your body’s natural moisture. When you sunburn, your skin tends to be drier and loses moisture quickly, so quickly replace it.

5. Make a turmeric paste

Using organic coconut oil and turmeric (curcumin), mix 1tbsp of turmeric with 1tbsp coconut oil together make a paste and apply on your sunburn. Let it stand for 20 minutes. This is an old Indian, Ayurvedic tradition but it works. Both Turmeric and coconut oil have great anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties allowing your skin to heal naturally. (3)

References:
1. K G Nevin, T Rajamohan . Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skincomponents and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010 ;23(6):290-7. Epub 2010 Jun 3. PMID: 20523108
2. Pallavi Srivastava, S Durgaprasad. Burn wound healing property of Cocos nucifera: An appraisal. Indian J Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;40(4):144-6. PMID: 20040946
3. S Intahphuak, P Khonsung, A Panthong. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. Pharm Biol. 2010 Feb;48(2):151-7. PMID: 20645831

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