Sunburn develops from prolonged exposure to sunlight. Although, anyone who spends a long time out in the sun can develop this condition, light-skinned people are more prone to sunburn.
Both ultraviolet A and B rays of the sun could injure the skin. You can even injure your skin by spending a long time on tanning beds.
Symptoms of sunburn
Sunburn is characterized by inflammation and redness of the skin. Severe sunburn could cause blistering. Mild to moderate sunburn usually responds to simple home remedies. However, severe sunburn needs medical help. You should immediately visit the emergency department of a hospital if sunburn causes severe pain, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, nausea, vomiting, headache and fatigue.
When sunlight falls on the skin, it triggers synthesis of vitamin D in the body. While normal exposure to sunlight is necessary for preventing vitamin D deficiency, prolonged exposure to sunlight leads to sunburn. The moment you experience mild symptoms of sunburn, immediately cover the exposed parts of your skin, and get out of the sun.
Compressing the sunburned areas of the skin with cool milk and water helps to heal the irritation and pain. You can bath in cool water. However, do not bath in chilled water.
Do not scrub your skin. Avoid oils, bath salts and perfumed moisturizers. You can add vinegar to your bathwater to reduce the irritation. Sometimes cooked oatmeal is added to the bathwater to alleviate the discomfort. You can even add peppermint oil, lavender oil or sandalwood oil to the bathwater.
Calamine lotion can sooth your skin and reduce the redness, itch and irritation. Chamomile is widely used for treating sunburn. Aloe vera gel could reduce the inflammation produced by sunburn. Potato juice or cucumber juice blended with milk is a natural remedy for sunburn.
You can even apply onion juice to the sunburned areas of the skin. A mixture of lime juice and honey could be applied to the affected areas to reduce the pain and lighten the tan.
Mild non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or aspirin can be taken to reduce the pain, inflammation and discomfort caused by mild sunburn. Drink plenty of water and fluid to treat heat stress.