July 5, 2009
This is a big outdoors weekend for most folks, and I’m betting that more than a few of you have a nasty sunburn today! I’m sorry about that! We know that using a good sunblock is your best protection against a burn, but if you’re already burned, what you need now is sunburn relief…not a lecture! These are my favorite tips for easing the pain, itching and burning.
- Apply aloe vera gel, ideally cool gel that has been kept in the refrigerator. If you have an aloe vera plant, pluck off some leaves, squeeze out the gel and use it.
- Wet some clean towels, and place in the freezer until almost frozen, then apply gently to burned areas. Repeat as often as you wish.
- Brew a bunch of tea bags, and add the bags and the cooled tea to a tub full of tepid water. Soak.
- Add some oatmeal (uncooked!) to a tepid bath and soak for as long as you can.
- Mix a handful of baking soda into a tepid bath and soak.
- Take aspirin for the inflammation and pain (if you don’t have any problems with taking aspirin).
- After using one or more of these treatments, I’d also recommend that you sleep au naturale (nekkid) under a ceiling fan turned on high!
It’s my understanding that you do not want to use any creams or oils or butter on a bad blistered burn, because they can cause infection. I’ve heard about lots of other home remedies for relief from sunburn, but have not tried them and can’t personally recommend them. If you have any experience with these remedies, let me know.
- With a spray bottle, spritz apple cider vinegar on the affected areas and allow to air dry. I’ve heard this can be very cooling, but I imagine it would also be drying and irritating.
- Apply shaving cream. Again, seems cooling but potentially irritating.
- Apply Preparation H or other hemorrhoid treatments to the burn. It is said to reduce swelling and burning, similar to the claims of reducing under-eye wrinkles and puffiness.
To all of the miserable sunburn victims out there, I wish for you some relief and a good night’s sleep!