Sunburned, and what to do about it?
Sunscreen and common sun-sense are important aspects to avoid sunburns when enjoying the warming and comforting sun. But when birds are singing and the sky is blue, it sometimes happens that we forget all about time and place and… We get sunburned.
In this article, we give you our best healing tips on how to take care of your sunburned skin - from the inside and outside.
How to treat sunburned skin
Avoid the sun. If you are sunburned, it is important to stay out of the sun, until all signs of redness and inflammation in the skin are gone. If your sunburned skin is exposed to the sun shortly after a sunburn you risk that the sunburn will get worse.
Cool down the skin. Start by covering the sunburned skin with wet bed sheets or icepacks wrapped in a towel. Never put ice directly on the skin, as it might result in frostbite. Alternatively, you can take quick and cold showers to cool down the skin. Avoid using any soap in the shower, as it can make the skin more stressed than it already is. When you get out of the shower, gently pat dry your skin with a towel or let your skin airdry.
Care and hydration. Make sure to nourish and hydrate your skin at regular intervals, and continue in the following days. It takes time for the skin to heal properly. Use moisturising skincare with soothing and restorative ingredients.
Karmameju PRE- & AFTER SUN serum-lotion is made with clinically proven ingredients, which helps repair the skin after sun exposure. Opt for INFINITY face & body serum-lotion for a perfume-free choice; ideal for sensitive skin and children.
Soothe with pure Aloe Vera. Soothe the skin with fresh gel from the healing Aloe Vera plant “Aloe barbadensis miller”. Avoid the yellow juice that appears at the edge of the leaf when cutting the leaf of the plant. A combination of aftersun and pure Aloe Vera can be an effective and calming treatment.
Soothe with yogurt. Apply a layer of cooling yogurt on the sunburned skin. Choose a fat yogurt that is acidified with lactic acid and l.acidophilus culture. The yogurt will soothe and the lactic acid will strengthen the skin’s microbiome, immune defence, and natural barrier.
Avoid tight and synthetic clothes. Instead, wear loose-fitting clothes in natural materials to allow the skin to breathe.
Stay hydrated. A sunburn draws fluids away from the organs out to the surface of the skin to compensate for the dehydration in the skin. Consequently, it is important to drink more than usual. However, the vital organs will always be the first priority when we drink water, meaning that the skin is the last organ to benefit from our water intake. So, stay hydrated.
Drink water with electrolytes. Electrolytes are nutrient salts that help our body to maintain an optimal fluid balance. Electrolytes can be purchased in tablet form at the pharmacy but electrolytes can also be found in coconut water, which is available in most supermarkets.
If you don’t have electrolytes or coconut water at hand, you can mix a simple electrolyte drink with a few ingredients from your kitchen.
Electrolyte drink recipe
Mix 1 liter of water with ½ tsp. salt and 2-3 tbsp. sugar.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice to make it taste like lemonade (optional). The sugar will help your body to better absorb water and salt so that you can maintain optimal hydration.
Eat foods with high water content. It is said that the body absorbs fluids best from fruits and vegetables. As such, it can be a good idea to eat cucumber, melon and other foods with high water content if you are sunburned.
Disclaimer! Contact your doctor if the sunburn causes any of these symptoms:
Dizziness, nausea, fever, rapid heart rate, paleness, and cold sweat. If you feel bothered by light or feel pain around the eyes, or if the sunburn is very painful.
What is a sunburn?
A sunburn is similar to a first-degree burn and usually appear 4-6 hours after sun exposure. Some might already feel the burn when being in the sun as a sign that the skin has had enough, while others might not feel it until it’s too late.
A sunburn is the skin’s reaction to exaggerated UVB exposure. When the skin is exposed to the sun, the skin cells produce the pigment melanin, which helps to protect the skin against the sun and makes us tanned. Lighter skin is more likely to get sunburned compared to darker skin, as the lighter skin naturally produces less melanin than darker skin. As such, the darker skin is better at tolerating UVB rays at a larger amount without becoming sunburned. That doesn’t mean that people with darker skin should not use sunscreen. The UVA rays are still penetrating the skin and can cause cell damage and early signs of aging.
Our best tip is to always have sunscreen in your handbag during the summer months. Just to be safe.