Are you prone to sunburn?
Spending just a few minutes in the garden or at the beach can leave you with excessive redness and peeling skin days later.
In this article, we’ll explore what happens when you get sunburned, its causes, and how to relieve a sunburn with natural remedies.
Discover the importance of sun protection to ensure enjoyable sunny days without the pain of sunburn.
Learn what causes sunburn and find natural remedies to soothe your skin. Prioritize sun protection to prevent future damage.
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.
The sun emits radiation composed of magnetic waves:
- UV ray
- visible light
- infrarouge ray
- 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.
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.
How to treat a sunburn?
While medicine doesn’t provide a direct cure for sunburn, several remedies offer relief:
- Applying cold and wet compresses
- Regularly moisturizing with aloe vera or calamine based lotions
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding premature peeling of the skin
- Using aspirin for pain relief
How to relieve a sunburn – Natural remedies
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.
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
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.
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 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?
To prevent worsening your sunburn, avoid the following:
- Makeup on damaged skin
- Exfoliating products
- Creams and lotions containing alcohol
- Tight clothing that can cause friction
How to relieve a sunburn?
Even if your skin tone reduces your risk of sunburn, it’s crucial to protect yourself from harmful UV rays to prevent DNA damage.
Prioritize sun protection by using sunscreen and enjoying sunny days safely.