Without a doubt, the best approach to sunburn is prevention rather than cure.

What is sunburn?

Sunburn is a first-degree burn, the skin’s reaction to UV (ultraviolet radiation) in the sunlight.  It can go hand in hand with skin that has become red and tender.  A second-degree burn is more severe with the burn penetrating the surface layer of the skin.  This is signified by swelling, blistering and a bright red colouring.  Some may require medical attention if dehydrated and the blistering is severe and extensive.

The cause of sunburn.

Skin can be damaged by two types of ultraviolet radiation rays.  UVA radiation contributes to wrinkling and premature aging, with the UVB rays causing sunburn and the possibility of skin cancer.  Reflections of sunlight such as that from snow or water can also cause sunburn.

Any person can be burned by the rays if the radiation is high enough or if they are exposed to them for a long period of time, although fair skinned people are more vulnerable to this than darker skinned people.

Various medications, most chemical suntan lotions and creams can also increase the effects of UV radiation.

 Symptoms of sunburn.

As previously mentioned, red blistered skin is an indicator of sunburn.  Fever, nausea and headaches are specific to sunstroke, with excessive exposure to the sun being a risk for skin cancer.

Which natural therapies can assist with sunburn?

Organic Aloe Vera, vitamin E cream and my preference, if available, UM Massage Cream can be applied to the skin to help soothe the inflammation.  These can assist the healing process of the body when applied topically.  To ease itchiness, use UM Massage cream or apply a cold compress to the area.

To help lessen the risk of oxidative damage and promote healthy skin, take vitamin A (best in Cod Liver Oil Capsules), C, E and Astaxanthin in combination with selenium and zinc.

For healthy skin this summer:

  • Carefully remove dried loose skin when blisters break or skin peels and apply UM Massage Cream to the skin to prevent infection.
  • Protect your skin by wearing a hat and shirt over swim wear when out if your body has not yet adapted to the sun.
  • Limit direct sun exposure to the skin particularly between the times of 12am and 3pm.
  • Drink a substantial amount of water and avoid liquids that will dehydrate the body, such as alcohol, soft drinks, coffee and black tea.
  • Use natural sunscreen to block UV rays. Natural formulations containing zinc oxide are particularly good for obstructing radiation from reaching the skin.
  • Be sun smart and allow your body and skin to slowly adapt by starting slowly and limiting your sun exposure until your system adjusts by increasing melanin pigmentation in your skin.

So, it is always best to avoid getting sunburnt as this can lead to skin damage and to skin cancer.