Monday, May 12, 2008

Natural Remedies for Sunburn Prevention & Treatment

This past weekend I was a bad Floridian-- I went to the beach and neglected to put any type of sun protection or sunscreen on my back. The unfortunate price of my forgetfulness was a nasty sunburn.

As we approach memorial day and the summer months which bring beach trips and vacations to sunny locals- I figure it would be good to highlight a few tips to prevent sunburn as well as ways to naturally treat sunburn after long days in hot sun.

Food is a great way to minimize sun exposure- eating a diet rich in lycopene-- tomatoes is proven to reduce the intensity of a sunburn. Drinking V8 juice, eating watermelons and drinking pink grapefruit juice at the beach would be a good idea; all three contain high levels of lycopene. Similarly- cooking pasta dishes at the beach can cut the risk of sunburn. There is almost a shield like role lycopene plays in protecting the skin from severe burn.

I am fortunate to have olive skin and can burn and tan without peeling; but many of you are not that lucky. Even with any burn- I have a routine that proves helpful in minimizing the effects of burn- itchy skin, potential to peel and reduces the heat.

I will take a lukewarm shower after being in the sun. This helps keep the oils of the skin together to moisturize the burned areas. After a shower- I will use natural aloe (from the plant) and slather it all over the reddened skin. Drinking fluids helps as well.

If you feeling really itchy- a bath in Aveno and dried milk can help soften, soothe and heal your skin. Prevention of peeling is absolutely key - as new exposed skin is more prone to further burn and damage.

A cool rag compressed soaked in green tea and vinegar applied to the sunburned skin will help draw out the heat and reduce the pain. The green tea acts as an antioidant and helps reduce inflammation. Moisturizing the burn is essential-- the cool lotion with Vitamin E will feel great and keep skin soft.

Have a question about treating a sunburn?

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