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Treating Sunburns Gently and Naturally

Written by Lisa Jillanza

ID-10046769 Summer Sun It's that time of the year again when the days are longer and the sun seems to shine a little bit brighter. But along with these hot and sunny days comes a common problem, sunburn. We always say that too much of a good thing is bad and when it comes to sun exposure, exposing ourselves for long periods under the sun could certainly do more harm than good.

We often make the mistake of only wearing sunscreen during our forays to the beach or strolls in the park. But the truth is that even when we are driving or just walking a few blocks to the office also leaves us susceptible to sunburns. It all starts with a noticeable darkening of the skin and before you know it skin areas have reddened or painful to the slightest of touches.

Sunburns are the result of overexposure to the sun's radiation or UV rays. But this does not only cause sunburns, it can also cause skin cancer. UV rays do not only damage the skin but could also damage our DNA.  The result is the production of abnormal skin cells that can lead to skin cancer.

Simple ways of treating sunburns includes applying anything wet or cool to soothe the skin. Cells might have lost their fluid content leaving them dry and damaged. Taking in anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen is also recommended.

Foods rich with anti-oxidants helps fight free radicals and prevent skin cancer. Soaking towels with water is an easy way of treating sunburns. It immediately relieves pain by soothing and cooling damaged skin areas. Drinking water also helps restore lost fluids and skin moisture.

Aloe vera has long been used as a treatment for sunburn. This could be used in the form of creams and gels or by using the plant's extract directly.  Aloe vera is not only an excellent first aid treatment it also helps in the healing process. It promotes natural healing and speeds up healing time. This has been proved by medical studies and is highly recommended by medical professionals.

Sun block is not only perfect for preventing sunburns. It could also be used as treatment. Sun blocks contain moisturizers that could help cool and restore lost fluid in the skin. Just be sure to use sun blocks that are fragrance- free or do not contain chemicals. The skin's naturally protection has been compromised leaving it sensitive to chemicals.

Another natural way of treating sunburns is by applying oatmeal to the skin. Oatmeal has long been used as a natural treatment for many skin diseases including chicken pox. It soothes the skin, reduces pain and itchiness. Oatmeal is also a great antioxidant, natural anti-inflammatory agent and is safe to use during bathing.

One interesting way of naturally treating sun burns is by using black tea. Yes, you could simply reach out for your tea bag to instantly heal your burned skin and reduce redness. To make this more effective, chill the bag before using it on your skin. The anti-oxidants are also great for helping restore your skin's health.

Many of the natural skin beauty treatments could also be used for sun burns. Because these are natural, they don't contain any chemicals that could harm your skin. Cucumbers for example are not only great for treating tired eyes but could also be used as a first aid treatment for sun burns. It is even more effective if chilled. Slices could be applied directly over the skin to immediately soothe and reduce pain.

Potatoes could be also be used for sun burns. Cold potatoes can reduce skin heat and its covering is said to prevent infection.

If you don't have any of these readily available, you just might have a carton of milk stored conveniently in your ref. You could use this in lieu of water for your cold compress. It's a natural way of relieving pain and itchiness. Simply soak cloth in a bowl of milk with ice cubes. You could also use yogurt as a substitute for milk.

Why go the trouble of treating sun burns when the best treatment is prevention. But just in case you find yourself with a nasty sun burn, these natural treatments could go a long way in alleviating the pain and itchiness without further damaging your skin.

Image credit: Freedigititalphotos.net/photostock