There are so many health warnings about protecting ourselves from sunburn. We sometimes forget, however and subject our skin to the sun rays. Maybe by the time you left the house in the morning, the sun was not hot but by midday it’s scorching, and you forgot to apply sunscreen. Sometimes you are going for a tan at the beach but 3 hours later you look like a lobster left in the pot too long.
Sunburn on the face makes the skin red, sore and tender. After a few days, the skin starts to flake, itch and peel but heals after a week. If it gets severe, your skin swells up and you get sunburn blisters. Some other symptoms include the flu where your feel feverish with chills, headache, weakness and nausea. One should avoid it mostly because it increases your chances of getting skin problems like wrinkling and skin cancer.
Sometimes we don’t realize that we have been sitting in the sun for too long until our faces get sunburnt. It begins depending on the sun’s intensity, your skin type and how long you stayed exposed to the sun
When you go outside into the sun, take extra care if:
- Your skin is white or pale
- You have freckles
- You burn instead of tanning when exposed to the sun
- You have skin problems
- You have moles
- Your family has a history of skin cancer.
Best remedies for fast healing
You can treat your sunburnt skin right at home without having to spend too much.
Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. This will help you replace lost body fluids and make the skin heal quickly.
Cold compress with apple cider vinegar, baking soda or oat meal
Apply a cold compress or take a cool bath. This will help soothe the burn. Some of the natural bath remedies that can help get rid of sunburn on face include:
- Using apple cider vinegar to balance the alkalinity of the sunburned skin. Add a cup of the apple cider vinegar to your bath water. Apple cider vinegar also promotes healing.
- Lavender and chamomile oil help relieve pain and stinging when added to bath water.
- If your sunburn is itchy, soak your face in an oatmeal bath.
- If there is redness or irritation caused by sunburn to the face, add 2 cups of baking soda to the bath water.
- Do not use soap or perfume in the bath water. They will dry your already dry skin.
Moisturize the skin
Rub on a lotion, cream or gel that contains menthol, camphor or aloe to help take the sting out of the burn. You can refrigerate the cream first before application to make it feel better on the burns. The Aloe Vera will moisturize and soothe the skin. The Aloe Vera also acts as an anesthetic to relieve pain and moisturize skin that’s peeling.
Apply cool milk to the affected parts using a clean cloth. (Do not use cold milk.) The milk will help create a protein film that will ease the discomfort caused by the sunburn.
Yoghurt will work the same way as milk. It will help soothe the skin.
Brew a fresh cup of tea and after cooling, apply it using a clean cloth to the affected area. Tea contains tannic acid which helps draw out the heat from the skin. It will also restore PH balance. For a cooling effect, add mint into the tea.
If your eyelids also got sunburned, apply soaked tea bags to the eyelids to reduce inflammation and soothe the burn.
Cucumbers contain analgesic properties and are natural antioxidants. If the sunburn on the face is peeling, cucumbers will help soothe the skin. Mash chilled cucumbers in a blender and apply the paste to the face.
The starch in potatoes will help draw out the heat from the sunburned face. This will speed up the healing process and reduce pain. Peel some potatoes, boil them and mash. Apply the paste to the sunburned face.
Cornstarch helps to soothe pain. Mix cornstarch with water to form a paste and apply this to the face.
Get face sunburn relieve by applying witch hazel. It also helps reduce inflammation.
Every household has some petroleum jelly, or at least I believe so. Apply some to sunburned lips to keep them moisturized. If you don’t have petroleum jelly, use Aquaphor ointment.
Coconut can be used to moisturize the skin once the initial sunburn subsides. However, it should not be used as a sunscreen. It does not provide UV protection or the sun protection factor. Using coconut oil as sunscreen will get you get sunburned.
How to prevent it
The following are precautions you can take to prevent your face from getting sunburned by strong sunlight rays:
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when going out into the sun to shield your face from getting sunburned. Add a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Stay in the shade or stay away from the sun until you have completely healed. If you expose your face to more sun, the burns will worsen.
- Apply sunscreen before stepping out of the house. Make sure the sunscreen you buy is suitable for your skin type. Apply a thick layer for enough protection. Also for great results, apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before you head out and reapply every two hours or more especially if sweating. Use sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of 30 or higher.
- If the sunburns on your face make you feel hot when in the house, use a fan to cool down your skin instead of the A/C.
- When the skin on your face starts peeling, do not pick at it or start peeling it.
- If you’ve got sunburn blisters on your face, cover them up and avoid touching them until they heal. Blisters are an indication of severe sunburn. Covering them up will prevent them from tearing.
- Some medications like thiazides, oral contraceptives, diabetes drugs and others make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Ask your doctor to prescribe different medications that will reduce your chances of getting sunburned. However, do not stop taking the medication prescribed to you until you get an okay from the doctor.