Health > Sunburn
Sunburn is the inflammation of the skin caused by excessive exposure to sunlight
Gone are the days when people go to the beach hoping to get burnt in the hope of eventually getting a great tan. These days, it is almost common knowledge that too much sunburn may equal skin cancer and premature aging.
Everyone is at risk. If you have dark skin do not think you can escape the dangerous rays of the sun.
Your reddened skin will normally heal within a few days but the damage can last a lifetime. If your sunburn is accompanied by blisters, the sunburn is quite severe and no doubt will be extremely painful. You will lose a few layers of skin through peeling.
Any sunburn will inevitably cause skin damage.
The sun has two types of ultraviolet radiation important in a discussion of damaging effects to the skin.
Certain drugs can intensify the harmful effects of UV radiation.
At-home care will alleviate many of the symptoms of sunburn, but no treatment can undo the damage caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.
Few cases of sunburn require medical care. If the burn is very painful or widespread, a doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids to relieve the discomfort. Treatment for extremely severe cases of sunburn (those involving extensive blistering, dehydration, or fever) usually requires bed rest and possibly hospitalisation. (See Burns).
Herbal Therapies - Lotions, poultices, and compresses containing calendula (Calendula officinalis) will reduce inflammation.
Preparations containing aloe (Aloe barbadensis) are excellent for relieving sunburn.
Aromatherapy - A gentle massage using lavender essential oil diluted in a carrier oil. See our section on Aromatherapy for more details.
Homoeopathy - Cantharis taken orally every three to four hours for up to two days is recommended for relieving pain and helping to heal blisters.
Apply cold compresses or calamine lotion to ease itchiness, take a pain killer, and have a cool bath or shower for overall relief. Drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol.
When your skin peels or the blisters break, gently remove the dried skin and apply an antiseptic ointment or cream to the skin beneath. If you feel feverish or nauseated, drink lots of fluids and see a doctor immediately.
The best way to prevent sunburn is to limit your exposure to direct sunlight, especially between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Take a look at your shadow: If it's shorter than your height, stay under cover.
Don't forget to 'Slip Slop, Slap'.
By practising these sunsense tips you should prevent excessive sun damage to you and your family's skin