We have all grown up studying about the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. It is an extremely dangerous kind of radiation and over exposure results in damage to the health and well-being of human beings. The ozone layer protects us from these destructive rays. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to pollution and several other factors, this ozone layer has been depleting. Some of the health issues that are a result of over exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun include life threatening diseases like cancer, cataracts, premature ageing, and skin damage among others. Sunburn is the most commonly occurring health issue and while it may not appear to be as serious as the aforementioned health problems, there is an urgent need to protect oneself from this problem and prevent it from happening in the first place as prolonging it could result in irreversible damage to one’s skin.
A sun burn could be classified into two kinds. While a mild sun burn includes symptoms like reddening of the skin, itching and skin irritation, chronic sunburn includes swelling, fever, peeling of the skin as well as dehydration in severe cases. Apart from long term exposure to the dangerous radiation of the sun, excessive use of chemical products like creams, deodorants and other cosmetic products deplete the natural oils of the skin, making it more vulnerable to the ill effects of the ultraviolet rays.
Here are certain home remedies that you can follow, especially in the summer months, to keep your skin glowing and prevent it from getting sun burnt –
1. Aloe Vera
According to the book The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad, aloe vera is often endorsed as the “burn plant”, indicating its natural properties to cure a sun burn. The leaves of the plant consist of anti inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and the jelly-like nature help calm skin irritation caused by the burn.
You can apply the jelly that comes out of the leaf directly on the burnt area, at least twice a day. Medical stores also sell aloe vera creams which are highly effective in case of sun burns. They must be applied regularly on the affected area for best results.
2. Coconut Oil
It is often referred to as “healing” oil that helps reduce the pain that the sun burn causes. It relieves and rejuvenates the skin, repairing the cracks that occur. It also helps to reduce wrinkling of the skin. A sunburn usually causes premature ageing of the skin, which could be cured using coconut oil. It helps make the skin appear healthier. It is also rich in vitamin D and E, which are essential for the skin.
Apply coconut oil on the affected area and leave on overnight. Massage it on the skin and apply regularly. It could also be applied every day before bathing.
3. Ice Bag/ Bag of Frozen Food
Its cooling properties help in absorbing the heat from the skin hence soothing the sun burnt area. A bag of frozen food like corn or beans helps in the same way by cooling down the dry skin. Applying these kinds of cool compresses regularly in the day shows a lot of improvement.
4. Sandalwood Paste
It is one of the simplest and most affordable home remedy to cure sunburn. It has several medical properties that are beneficial especially for skin trouble. Its anti ageing property reduces wrinkles caused by excessive rays of the sun. It provides great itch relief and is able to soften the skin, thus bringing relief to the sun burnt area.
Vasant Lad suggests mixing the sandalwood paste with ice cold water and applying it on the affected burnt area daily for 100 percent results.
Apart from these home remedies, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some pointers –
- The peak hours of sunlight are from 10am to 3pm every day. Avoid stepping out during this period unless absolutely necessary.
- If stepping out is inevitable, take preventive measures like applying a suitable sunscreen lotion, wearing a hat/cap, and wearing shades to protect the eyes from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
- Try wearing clothes that completely cover your skin, leaving it unexposed.
- Avoid sun contact for more than half an hour every day, if your skin is sensitive and prone to sun burns.
- Neem oil is the saving grace for those individuals who have a tendency of developing sun burns regularly.
- Lastly, drink tons and tons of coconut oil and you are good to go.
It is high time we start paying heed to our skin, before anything else.
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