How to Relieve Sunburn Pain Naturally – 12 Remedies

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Do you get sunburned easily?

It only takes a few minutes in the garden or at the beach to blush excessively and a few days later to start peeling.

But what happens when you get sunburned?

All the answers to your questions and some natural remedies to treat your sunburn.

Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin triggered by ultraviolet rays from the sun
It causes an accentuated redness and pain, sensation of heat, tightness and even blisters on the damaged area
It heals slowly after removing the affected skin and often leaves a bitter memory

The cause of sunburn

Usually, a burn occurs when you come into contact with a surface that is too hot. But that’s not the case with sunburn.

It is generated by a multitude of different radiations.

Electromagnetic radiation

The sun emits radiation composed of magnetic waves:

  • gamma-ray
  • X-ray
  • UV ray
  • visible light
  • infrarouge ray
  • microwave
  • radio waves


The consequence of sunburn

Infrared radiation allows us to feel the heat of the sun.

Visible light allows us to see sunlight.

Ultraviolet or UV rays are solar radiations that make us tan and cause sunburn.

They can destroy skin cells by disrupting essential molecules like DNA, which is why the body reacts immediately to protect you from this radiation.

The mechanism of tanning

When UV rays reach the skin, the pigments called melanin absorb them and form a barrier to protect DNA.

Melanin is a permanent constituent, it is at the origin of your skin color.

It is created by melanocytes which distribute it to other cells, the keratinocytes which make up the layer surface of the skin.

When you expose your skin to UV, melanocytes increase their production of melanin and therefore transfer more to keratinocytes.

This is the reason why skin tans and darkens in the sun to varying degrees depending on your genetic markers.

The mechanism of sunburn

The natural protection of melanin is not foolproof and depending on your skin color or degree of tan, some UV will creep in and can damage DNA.

This can happen in two ways:

– radiation directly hits DNA, instantly damaging it

– radiation modifies the behavior of melanin and produces dangerous molecules called free radicals which, by ricochet effect, will lead to an abnormality of the DNA

Regardless of how this phenomenon occurs, as soon as cells are damaged, they send out warning molecules to signal the danger.

The body will then trigger an inflammatory response by sending squads of blood cells to stop and repair the damage.

This rush of blood results in redness appearing on the skin during sunburn.

Peeling skin after erythema solare

Imperceptibly, the skin cells are constantly replenishing themselves.

Stem cells are present in the dermis for decades.

They produce layers of keratinocytes which are regularly renewed.

But these keratinocytes do not develop normally when damaged by UV.

Not functioning optimally, they flake off, stick together to form a dry patch, this is the sunburned skin peeling you can notice a few days after sunburn.

How long does sunburn last?

A sunburn is an extensive burn that takes a while to heal.

Of course the first 24 hours after prolonged exposure to the sun are the most painful due to irritation, tightness, dehydration, and the feeling of intense heat.

But it will nevertheless take an average of 5 days to a week for the skin to regain its normal appearance and be fully regenerated.

The danger of sunrays

The body contains enzymes that repair damage caused by UV rays. But it also has its limits.

If the damage is irreversible in a stem cell, a major problem appears.

And if these cells replicate, they can create a mutation in the affected area that can potentially lead to cancer risk.

How to treat a sunburn?

Medicine does not treat sunburns, which are just superficial burns.

It nevertheless points to solutions that provide relative relief.

      – apply cold and wet compresses: they reduce redness, the cold provides a soothing anesthetic effect

      – moisturize the skin regularly: the best way to relieve sunburn is to frequently apply a lotion or moisturizer based on aloe vera or calamine while scrupulously avoiding excessively oily creams that clog the pores.

Any itching can be relieved with antihistamine ointment.

      – drink lots of water: sunburn also causes dehydration due to evaporation through the pores of the skin

      – do not peel too quickly: removing dead skin too early can trigger an infection. Avoid speeding up the process even if it is tempting to remove them.

      – Aspirin can relieve sunburn: well-known anti-inflammatory, aspirin can reduce redness.

Taken as prevention before sun exposure, aspirin can also prevent sunburns although it will not protect against UV damage.

12 sunburn tips that work

Here are some natural remedies that can provide quick relief from a painful sunburn:


    • Plain and whole yogurt: The fat and proteins in yogurt help reduce inflammation.
      In addition, the fact that it is cool decreases the feeling of heat and provides instant relief.
      Apply the yogurt directly to the skin to benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties then rinse with cold water


    • Whole milk: just like yogurt, fat, protein, and the pH of milk have anti-inflammatory properties.
      Apply the milk to the skin for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day.


    • Chamomile tea: well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, chamomile (#ad) has the same effect as milk.
      Apply the tea to the skin in the same way.


    • Raw honey: honey significantly reduces pain and treats infections.
      It can also relieve sunburn.
      Apply a thin layer of honey to benefit from its antiseptic and analgesic properties.
      Cover with gauze, leave to act, and then rinse with cold water.


    • Cucumber: thinly sliced, it can be applied directly to the skin to relieve the burn.
      You can also soak the sliced ​​cucumber for a few hours and then spray the collected water directly on the sunburn to both hydrate and cool the skin.


    • Apple cider vinegar: mix a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water then spray on the skin.
      The astringent properties of apple cider vinegar (#ad) soften the dermis and its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects reduce irritation caused by the sunrays. It also prevents peeling of the skin.
      Note that if you find it difficult to bear apple cider vinegar, white vinegar has the same virtues while being less aggressive.


    • Baby wipes: the particularity of these wipes is that they are intended for sensitive skin. They hydrate and cool irritated skin.


    • Frozen bag: just place any frozen bag in a tea towel to make an ice pack.
      Its application helps relieve burning and pain


    • Turmeric: mix a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of plain yogurt to make a fluid paste.
      Apply to skin and let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.
      Turmeric helps heal burns with its anti-inflammatory properties.


    • Lettuce: boil a few lettuce leaves in a pot of water for 20 minutes, filter then let cool before placing the solution for 3 hours in the fridge.
      Spray several times a day on damaged skin.
      Lettuce is a natural pain reliever because it contains analgesic substances that quickly relieve the burning sensation.


    • Aloe vera: apply a pure aloe vera gel (#ad) to moisturize the skin and accelerate its healing while cooling it.
      Check its composition before application, it should not contain irritating chemicals.


    • Coconut oil and essential oils: mix a teaspoon of organic coconut oil (#ad), 2 drops of lavender, 1 drop of peppermint, and apply to the sunburn.
      Peppermint has a cooling effect and reduces inflammation while lavender softens the skin, nourishing it and tempers pain.

What to avoid after sunburn?

Sunburn is a dermatological trauma that should not be aggravated. Some precautions are therefore in order.

avoid makeup

using makeup products on damaged skin increases the risk of infection. Let your dermis breathe to heal faster!

avoid exfoliating products

peeling after intense sunburn is normal. Do not attempt any peel on damaged skin as this may slow healing.

avoid creams and lotions containing alcohol

you will only intensify the pain, exacerbate the inflammation without hydrating deeply.

avoid wearing tight clothes

the friction of the tissue on the skin will increase the pain and slow down healing. Opt for airy clothes!

Remember, even if your skin tone is dark enough that you can avoid sunburn, UV rays can damage your DNA.

So think about adequate sun protection.

Enjoying sunny days, heat, light, and sun in summer must remain pleasant.

You can avoid painful evenings and nights with a simple outstretched hand … towards sunscreen.

  Read more:

Which sunscreen to choose?

This article contains affiliate links echoing my recommendations.
I use Amazon’s Partner Program, an affiliate program designed to pay commissions through links
This process does not affect my opinions in any way but each purchase helps this blog to live – Marie

This blog is copyright ©2023 by All rights reserved


Natural health is paramount to me, natural remedies have always been part of my life. Whatever the problem, I make sure to find natural solutions that can often be associated with traditional medicine. Everything I write here allows me to share them with you.

The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment.
Keep in mind that you should contact your doctor or any qualified healthcare professional to determine if you can add a supplement to your treatment or change your diet.

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