Typical symptoms of sunburn include redness, itchiness and swelling, peeling of skin, blistering, fever, headache, chills and fatigue. Let us discuss 15 of the best natural sunburn home remedies that are effective for treating redness and sunburn on face, hands and other exposed parts of the body.
1. Use Hydrocortisone cream
One of the best home remedies for sunburn on face is 1% Hydrocortisone cream that is readily available over-the-counter. Apply this liberally all over the dry, irritated and sun burnt skin. This will give much-needed relief from flaking, itching and also soothe the swelling, redness and pain associated with sunburn. Do not use hydrocortisone if the skin is peeling or blistered.
2. Use Cool compress
If you have spent a day at the beach but are now feeling symptoms of sunburn on face, neck and hands, then use some cool compresses to soothe them as soon as you are back home. You can chill a washcloth in the refrigerator or simply wrap up some ice in a thin cloth and use it as a compress for the hands, face and peeling skin. You can also soak some clean cloth in a cup of cold milk diluted with 4 cups of cool water and apply it on hot and irritated skin.
3. Add Oatmeal to bath water
Fill up the bathtub with warm or tepid water and pour in some powdered or colloidal oatmeal in it. Soak in this bath water for at least 20 minutes. You can also use Oatmeal based products (available from Aveeno®) to soothe the sun-burnt skin. This is one of the best sunburn home remedies for hands, face, neck and other exposed parts of the body.
4. Apply Calamine or Aloe Vera gel
Many topical moisturizer skin-creams, especially ones containing Calamine or Aloe Vera help cool down the heated skin and soothe sunburn immediately. These products rehydrate the skin and replenish lost moisture. Use it dark, peeling or dry skin as one of the best home remedies for sunburn.
5. Take a cool bath if the skin is not blistered
If your skin can handle it, take a cool bath as one of the first home remedies for sun burnt skin. If your skin is peeling or oozing, then apply some antibiotic ointment first. Do not use moisturizer lotions or creams on the blisters as these can aggravate the infection.
6. Avoid Petroleum Products and Skin Butters
Many people erroneously apply petroleum based products like Vaseline® petroleum jelly as well as butters like Shea Butter, cocoa butter etc as sunburn remedies for redness . This is to be strictly avoided since these products further clog the skin’s sweat glands and prevent heat from escaping from the skin. If you are looking for natural sunburn remedies, go for Aloe Vera gel obtained by cutting the leaf of an Aloe plant to soothe the skin and replenish lost moisture.
7. Avoid Skin Numbing Agents
Avoid the use of creams with Benzocaine or Diphenhydramine as these are skin irritants that can aggravate redness and itchiness associated with sunburn. It can also increase peeling and flaking of the sun-burnt skin.
8. Use non-sensitizing Topical Anesthetic creams
In case of sunburn related itchy skin on face and hands, apply some topical non-sensitizing anesthetic creams like products with Menthol, camphor, Praxomine etc as these can help relieve itchiness of Sunburn.
9. Use vinegar or baking soda
One of the best remedies to cure sunburn quickly is to soak in a tub with tepid water to which you have added about 2 cups of Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. Alternatively, add 2 ounces of baking soda to the bath water and soak for 20-30 minutes. This will soothe red and irritated dark sun burnt skin and cool it down.
10. Elevate swollen body part
Swelling of the face and hands after sunburn is common. You could sleep with two pillows to reduce swelling on the face. Swelling will ideally reduce within 24-48 hours. This is one of the effective sunburn remedies for face.
11. Avoid peeling the skin
Peeling sun burnt skin can lead to scarring. So let the skin fall off naturally. Do not touch it. Continue applying Calamine lotion or Aloe Vera gel to soothe it and facilitate healing. Stay out of the sun for a few days until the skin heals completely. Burning already sun-burnt skin can lead to permanent damage.
12. Wear loose, gentle cotton clothes
Avoid wearing abrasive clothing and, wherever possible, forego wearing clothes over the sun burnt skin. You could also wear clothes inside out so their seams do not abrade the skin further.
13. Drink lots of water
Sunburn indicates exposure to the sun for a long time that can lead to dehydration. So make sure you drink plenty of water at regular intervals. Water can further cool down the skin and help the sunburn heal faster.
14. Apply coconut oil
In many parts of the world, sunburn is treated with coconut oil. Coconut oil has moisturizing and soothing properties which can work well for the dryness and peeling that accompanies sunburn. So liberally apply coconut oil on the sun-burnt skin to facilitate healing. This is one of the best home remedies for sunburn peeling.
15. Apply cucumber juice or raw potato juice to sunburn
Cucumber juice is cooling and it contains more than 90% water. Blend some cucumber slices and apply the juice all over the sun burnt skin on face or hands. Likewise, you can apply some grated potato juice all over the sunburn to relieve the stinging pain accompanying it.
Sunburn often accompanies severe heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke especially in elderly people and infants. So do know when to see a doctor. If there is persistent fever of over 102 F, or very large blisters with pain or pus, or excessive swelling, fainting or vomiting; seek medical help immediately. Use the above 15 sunburn home remedies for hands and face to prevent peeling of skin and get relief quickly.