While the best way to avoid the pain of a sunburn is to avoid getting one in the first place, sunburns are bound to occur if you spend any substantial amount of time outdoors during the day without protection. They can be quite miserable, making showering, sleeping, and even wearing clothes extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies that can help alleviate the discomfort sunburns cause.
If you have access to one, the juice that comes directly from an aloe plant is one of the best balms for a painful sunburn. simply slit the leaf open, scoop out the liquid, and apply it directly to your skin. If you can’t find a plant, there are over-the-counter options available at most supermarkets and pharmacies.
Known for its soothing properties, oatmeal is another great natural remedy for sunburn. Combine it with milk and honey to make a paste, or put it in a sock or cheesecloth to make a sachet to steep in your bathwater. Just don’t get the water too hot!
You can also create a paste using baking soda, or cornstarch, and water. It will be gritty, so use care when applying it to your skin. Also, unlike oatmeal which would make a mess if tossed into the tub loose), you can sprinkle baking soda directly into your bath and soak. Dusting baking soda onto dry skin can help reduce friction in areas where your clothes rub against you.
This remedy involves taking the same care to hydrate your skin from within as from without. If you were out in the sun long enough to burn, it’s likely you could be a bit dehydrated. Make sure to replenish by drinking plenty of water and eating juicy fruits like watermelon, oranges, and grapes.
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Prevention is the Best Cure
Once you’ve recovered from your sunburn, let your pain serve as a reminder to take extra precaution the next time you’re out in the sun. Not only is it uncomfortable for a brief time, but over time too much sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, dark spots, and even skin cancer. So cover up, use sunscreen, or limit your time in the sun as best you can. And be sure to contact your doctor if you notice any abnormal changes in your skin.
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