Since the summer solstice is tomorrow, it’s time to celebrate the sun – on the longest day of the year it seems only fitting. Many of us need to be careful not to get too crispy from lots of fun in the sun.
Some basic facts:
-Most of us know from experience that a sunburn is red skin that is hot and usually painful to the touch.
-Sunburns are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation –aka sunlight.
-Sunburns can vary in severity. The top layers of the skin can be slightly pink or can suffer the damage of second & third degree burns.
-Tanning happens because exposure to some UV light triggers the skin cells to produce more melanin. Melanin is the dark color pigment in your epidermis that gives your skin its normal color. Production of more melanin darkens the skin and acts as a shield to the lower layers of skin. Genetics determines how much extra melanin can be produced which is why some of us are dark brown, others turn golden brown and others will only ever turn a crispy shade of red after time in the sun.
After a sunburn the most important thing is usually minimizing the uncomfortable symptoms. Here are a few natural remedies and suggestions:
-Take a cool bath – will help to cool the skin and lower the body’s temperature to give you a little relief. Avoid using wash cloths, bubble baths and perfumed body washes that will either irate or dry out your already sensitive skin.
-Moisturize – use unscented, all natural products as much as possible. Consider raw or unrefined products such as jojoba oil and coconut oil. Apply these gently to slightly damp skin and let them absorb.
-Stay hydrated – drink lots of water. Stay away from flavored waters or sports drinks. Stick with room temperature water.
Great guide for the amount of water to drink every day is take your body weight and divide it in half, that is how many ounces of water you should drink a day. Example, a 200lb person should drink 100 oz of water a day.
-Wear loose fitting cotton cloths – these should not rub or chafe and will allow for airflow.
Over the years, I have developed an After Sun Spray to combat the ouch and the heat of a sunburn. The chemistry of the ingredients has also shown to aid the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
-Applying it using a spray avoids touching or rubbing your already sensitive skin
-Aloe vera & Peppermint are cooling
-Lavender & Peppermint are analgesics (help reduce the pain)
-German Chamomile reduces inflammation
-Helichrysum helps the skin heal
All of these work together to soothe the skin allowing you to rest and heal.
*Be very cautious if you have blistering due to the burn.
The above should not replace the advice or treatment suggestions of your trusted medical professional. Seek help if you feel faint, have a racing heart rate or rapid breathing, if you are severely dehydrated (really thirsty, drinking, but not urine), nausea, fever, severe blisters/burns covering a significant portion of the body and and/or you feel that it is important that your burn be seen by a medical professional.
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