Feel the Burn
By Megan Barber, Grocery and Wellness Buyer, Merchandising Manager, Co-op Owner
Most of us have been there (some of us more often than others) after a beautiful day kayaking, grilling out, and otherwise soaking up the sun. Your skin feels a little tight, maybe you’re more sensitive to both hot and cool temperatures suddenly – it’s the first signs of sunburn! How could this have happened?! You were (pretty) diligent on applying sunscreen as recommended, you (mostly) avoided going in the water to avoid washing the sunscreen off, and your sunscreen (probably) isn’t expired! Well, it’s a little too late and now your skin is red and incredibly sensitive. Reach for some of these remedies to help ease the pain and help diminish recovery times.
Cool water: because sunburn is a swelling inflammation of the skin, the simplest way to help is cool water, which should help take down the swelling and cool the burning. Try to avoid chemical waters like chlorine pools, which can cause more irritation.
Oatmeal bath: adding some uncooked oatmeal to a bath can soothe the skin and help the skin keep moisture in. As a reminder: pat dry afterwards – don’t rub your skin!
Aloe vera gel: either in plant form or in a topical gel, aloe can help cool skin, soothe the burning sensation, and help keep moisture in.
Some lesser known remedies:
Chamomile tea: brew a few bags of chamomile tea and let cool. Put the brew on a towel and apply to the affected skin. You can also use the brewed tea bags for application purposes.
Drink plenty of water: Your skin needs the extra moisture it lost during your frolicking in the sun and it should help speed recovery time as well!
Moisturize: use unscented and dye-free options to limit any further irritation to your skin. If the burn is bad enough, you can try hydrocortisone creams.
Anti-inflammatory: consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and discomfort, but consult a doctor should it worsen or conflict with existing medications.
Avoid: any perfumes and scented and/or dyed soaps as they might increase irritation.
Don’t go out in the sun until you’re mainly recovered or cover the burned area well with loose clothing! And for future reference: Read about Sunscreen 101 here!
As always: Please consult a doctor for any bad burns, worsening burns, burns with open wounds, burns
over large areas of skin, burns to sensitive areas like eyes, and more. If you’re experiencing fever, nausea, faintness or purple discoloration, seek medical assistance.