Be Well USF

Battle the Burn!

I have always been very strict about sunscreen because I’ve had family suffer from skin cancer. Five or more sunburns significantly increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Proper UVA and UVB protection greatly reduces your risk, and living in Florida, we can’t really take much risks. Remember to always use sunscreen with at least SPF 30, UVB and UVA protection.  I am also huge on healthy skin. I want to look as young as possible for as long as possible.

However, this past weekend I was lax on applying sunscreen at the beach. My friend had flown in to visit, and I was so concerned with her not getting burned that I forgot about myself. I haven’t been sunburned in years, so I didn’t think much of it. In the end we both ended up getting burned, and since she had only a few days left in her trip we wanted our burns gone ASAP. I tried out some quick-fix home sunburn remedies that can help the burn go away faster but do not reverse the damage done.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has various anti-inflammatory properties. For best results, use real aloe instead of the bottled version. If buying the lotion or gel, Make sure you look at the ingredients. You want aloe to be one of the top ingredients listed. I applied the lotion every few hours, and it soothed my burn and decreased the redness a lot. I am not sure if it actually helped speed up the healing of the burn, but it definitely helped with pain relief.

Hydration

Drinking water helps counteract the drying effects of the sunburn. The day after, my skin was hot and dry, but after drinking plenty of water it started to feel better. The burns will tighten and dry out your skin fast, so make sure you drink enough caffeine-free and alcohol-free fluids throughout the day to rehydrate your skin! Swap other drinks with water and drink more than you normally would throughout the day.

Vinegar

 It has antiseptic and pain-relieving qualities, and I used the apple cider vinegar directly on the burn area. My skin dried out and began peeling the same day. My burn didn’t look great at first, but it turned into a tan quickly and hurt less. This remedy should only be used on a fresh burn because if the burn is already peeling or dried out, the skin can be irritated further.

Shea Butter Lotion

If your burn is already beginning to peel, you will want to add a moisturizer to quickly rehydrate that layer of skin. Shea butter is anti-inflammatory and moisturizing, so look for a lotion high in shea butter to replace the lost moisture and sooth the skin.