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Cool the Sunburn

August 13, 2013  by: Sapna Chaurasia  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.60   Views: 917

Sun burns and sun damaged skin is an increasing skin disorder all around the globe. We can''t hide from the sun but we can surely take some preventive measures to beat the sun. Read on to know more about sunburn.


Our skin accepts everything that the nature offers it has been it the golden warmth of the morning sun or the scorching and prickling sunlight. No doubt the sunlight is essential for our body as it is an easy source to generate vitamin D in the body but along with it comes various harms to our skin with visible disorders. Sunburn is one such condition in which there is painful skin reddening caused due to the overexposure of the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

The UV rays of the sun are very harmful for our skin as they can alter the DNA of our skin causing fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration to a more severe skin cancer. Regular and prolonged exposure to these harmful rays worsen the already ageing skin. This premature wrinkling, ageing, and damage done to our skin due to the overexposure to the sun rays is also called Photoageing, that is characterized by a skin which is coarse, dry, deeply wrinkled, uneven discoloration, leathery and lifeless. Moreover the depletion of the ozone layer in some places which prevent the harmful rays entering the earth's atmosphere has also posed severe hazards on the skin in the form of skin cancer.

What happens inside Sunburn

Deep within our skin, what happens when we stay in the sun for a long period two changes take place. As the UV rays kill and destroy the living cells of the epidermis that is the outermost layer of the skin, our immune system comes to the rescue. There is an increase in the blood flow in the affected area. The capillary walls are opened to release the WBCs which repair and remove the damaged cells. This increased blood flow makes the skin reddish and warm.

Secondly the nerve endings start sending signals to the brain to cause pain. The cells that are sun damaged also release chemicals that activate pain receptors hence making the skin painful and sensitive.

Ways to prevent the skin from sunburn

Cover Your Skin

Make it sure to keep as much clothing on as possible because clothing makes the first line of defense against the harsh sun rays. Covering the head with a large brimmed hat can offer a good shield to the face. Clothing made up of dark, tightly woven material should be preferred over cotton fabric in light color as they absorb UV rays better.

Invest in some good Sunscreen

Whenever you are planning to step out ensure the use of a good quality sunscreen to put a protective shield on your skin. Choose a sunscreen by taking into consideration the Sun Protection Factor or SPF, time and the kind of activity. Apply sufficient amount of sun blocking lotion preferably above SPF of more than 15 about 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun to help the skin absorb it. Reapply it after every 2-3 hours your face, neck, hands and other body parts. Go for opaque sun blockers as they fuse into the skin and prevent the sun says to enter inside the skin. Sunscreen that provides a wide range protection from both UVA and UVB rays can reduce the effectiveness of these harmful rays by up to 50%. Daily use of sunblock not only heals the skin but also allows repairing of the existing damaged cells thus preventing the long term risk of skin cancer.

It is important to note that sunscreen can also be used on cloudy and cold days as UV rays project their damaging effect on the skin during not so sunny days also. Regularly use sunscreen coverage throughout the year to save your skin from being devastated.

Avoid peak radiation

The time between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is considered the time when the sun rays are at their peak and damage due to the UV rays is maximized. If possible stay indoors during this period or be well prepared to fight the sun if you can't escape from being out.

Keep yourself hydrated

Sun exposure makes skin coarse and dry and aggravate other skin breakouts that mainly occur due to the dehydration of the skin. Drinking water is perhaps the best way to replenish the water loss and keep the skin smooth and moisturized. The sunrays dry the skin surface causing cells and blood vessels to leak out resulting in higher water loss. Applying moisturizer containing Aloe Vera which is an excellent moisturizer and a remedy to cure sun damage.

Include loads of Antioxidants in your diet

It has been found that UV rays result in the formation of free radicals that triggers harmful reactions and cause premature ageing. Antioxidants like Vitamin A C and E protects the collagen and elastic tissue from the hazards of free radicals that cause wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Antioxidants also protect the DNA of the skin and thus prevent the skin from deadly skin cancer. Antioxidant like the polyphenol is present in the green tea and apart from the many health benefits green tea can also be applied directly on the skin to fight against sunburn.

Some home remedies to cure Sunburn

Taking a cool bath or shower comes as an easy and effective way to cool the burn and ease the sting caused by the prickling sunrays. It is important to remember that avoid too much bathing and use of soap as it may worsen the dry skin and result in itching and peeling of the skin. Go for mild soaps and restrict the use of bathing scrubs. Do not apply ice or ice packs directly to the affected skin instead use a cloth soaked in chilled water and put it on the affected area to cool down the burning sensation.

However some ingredients when added to cold water can become a sure shot cure for sunburn.

Baking Soda

Add a few heaped teaspoons of baking soda in cold water and soak the affected area for 15-20 minutes, do not soak for longer than this as it may cause drying of the skin. Do not wipe but let yourself air dry to get relief from sunburn.


Add 1 to half cup of oatmeal in cold water to make a potent skin soother to reduce the redness and pain In the affected area.


Potato act as a pain reliever in conditions like sun damaged skin. Wash potatoes, make small pieces and then grind it in the blender to make it in liquid form. Pat it on the affected area, let it dry then take a cool shower to get rid of the pain.

Author: ushakiran        
Posted Date: 08/19/2013    Points:2    

Excellent article with very useful tips and details. Sunburns can be very painful and cause a great amount of discomfort esp in a country like India where the heat is very intense during summer months..
Author: Writer013        
Posted Date: 09/01/2013    Points:7    

I agree that sunburns can cause a lot of pain and discomfort especially during the summer months in India.
We can follow some simple home treatment measures that may provide some relief if you suffer from a mild sunburn.
Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.
Take frequent cool showers or baths.
Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas.
Topical steroids may also help with sunburn pain and swelling.
A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache.
It is best that you lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve the headache.
A headache may be caused by dehydration, so drinking fluids may help. For more information, see the topic Dehydration.
There is little you can do to stop skin from peeling after a sunburn-it is part of the healing process.
Lotion may help relieve the itching.
Other home treatment measures, such as chamomile, may help relieve your sunburn symptoms.

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