any remedies for sunburn???

teengardener86(Zone 5b S.E. MI)April 25, 2004

I also asked this question in a couple other forums. We just had our first hot & sunny day here in Michigan. I worked in the yard all day and got burnt. Being this early in the year I totally forgot about sunblock. I usually don't burn but it was a big change for my skin to go from having no sun all winter to having a sudden high dose of it. So is there anything that someone can reccomend for a sunburn- herbal or not? Is there anything I could have done right away that would have lessened the severity of my burn? Thanks for any help!!!

-tg86

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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

If you aren't sensitive to it, Aloe Vera gel is very soothing and healing, and a specific for burns. You could also try bathing with tomato juice (or wipe over with a cut tomato, or mix together some buttermilk and tomato juice), potato juice (or a cold poutice of grated raw potato), parsley juice (or a cold poultice of the leaves), cool wet teabags or some cold strong tea; lettuce leaves; cucumber; watermelon; the inside of a banana skin; some yoghurt; diluted lavender essential oil; cold, mashed pumpkin (or tinned); honey; macerated oil of St John's wort; elderberry juice; waterlily leaves as a poultice.

You can also make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water, and apply that, or have a lukewarm bath with bicarb in it. Very soothing.

While recovering from burns, drink plenty of water, and take some Vitamins A, C and E.

Next time, use sunblocks, protective clothing and hats. I know at first hand how ugly and dangerous skin cancers can be!! I recently was in danger of losing my nose from them.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 7:32PM
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andy_sa(South Australia)

You could try rose hip oil. I've also heard that cold lavender "tea" works, too.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 8:18PM
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bushpoet(z6 Bronx NY)

Oooh, sorry to hear about your sunburn. Ditto the aloe & cool lavender tea as a wash. Vitamin E oil (from capsules) topically & powdered vitamin C internally if you can tolerate it (I'd take 2,000 mg or so every 4 hours). And I'd up my intake of anti-oxidant supplements as well.

If you are comfortable using comfrey oil topically, I'd highly recommend that for helping the skin repair quickly (some folks find its use very controversial though).

Once it heals, be sure to give those areas extra protection for the rest of the year.

Speedy healing,
~bushpoet

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 11:21AM
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teengardener86(Zone 5b S.E. MI)

Thank you everyone for helping me. I will be sure to wear the sunblock next time!

-tg86

    Bookmark   April 27, 2004 at 12:20PM
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Hapslappy(Mi z5b)

Aloe, Aloe, Aloe! This stuff is great! I was given an aloe plant when I went to the chiropractor (haha) and it's been a lifesaver for burns. Try to get ahold of one, you'll love it! Just break off pieces of the lower leaves (new ones grow from the center) slice open & apply directly to skin. Works best when used soon as possible after a burn. Sometimes I break open a vitamin E capsule and add it to whatever lotion I put on - this works too. Hope this helps, Shannon

    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 5:37PM
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Traute_Biogardener

I have a long list of natural burn remedies, all tried and proven, too long to list. Will send it out on request.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 3:10AM
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paganpoet

i have found that aloe and oatmeal baths realy relax the skin i always burn no matter what but usually it only takes me about 4 baths sometimes i mix the aloe and oatmeal and just rub it on my skin let it sit about 5 min it seems to help.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 5:43PM
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thorspippi(z9/s14 CA Sacramento)

white vinegar. thank goodness for a friend who told me about it! pain was gone in minutes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 5:41AM
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Traute_Biogardener

Yes, I recommend protection over cure, but sometimes even I fail to protect myself in time to get a sunburn. Most remedies are only soothing, but I know of two which will turn a sunburn into a tan without any ill effects, provided that they are applied immediately, and one of them has already been mentioned.

  • Natural source vitamin E squeezed straight out of the capsule. That is the only form of vitamin E which is concentrated enough to do the trick. The 400 IU capsule is the most cost-effective.

  • A wet clay poultice will do the same trick. The wet clay has to be applied thinly and kept wet with a layer of plastic wrap. The clay won't work if it dries.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 6:35AM
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murphyl(Metro Detroit)

Strong black tea compresses (4-6 tea bags per quart of water, allowed to steep 10-20 min) will also work to "tan" sunburned skin. Being the proud owner of a glow-in-the-dark complexion, I manage to burn at least once a year, and the tea compresses help a lot, especially if applied cool or cold.

(As a side note, I've been outside all weekend myself, and the only reason I didn't get fried was because I wore long sleeves and a hat, thinking it was going to be colder than advertised. I'll be stocking up on sunblock a few months early this year...)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 1:20AM
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lis214

I was reading all the discussions on this forum and thought I would share a product that has really allowed me and my family to still enjoy time outside and not be constantly worried about the sun and sun damage. The product is called UV Skinz sun protective swimshirts and they are a MUST HAVE for any family. I own several shirts now and can not imagine life without them. I love these swimshirts. My one year baby girl LOVES to be outside, but I worry so much about her fair skin. Once I purchased a few UV Skinz shirts, I immediately felt more comfortable with her being outdoors under the sun. She loves them, they have super fun designs and they are breathable so she's not hot or sweaty. I have her wear them to the park, beach, lake, or just out and about. They are affordable and I feel you just can't afford to be without them. I give these shirts two thumbs WAY up!!!!

A little background on these shirts:
They carry a UPF rating of 50+, which blocks out over 98% of the sunÂs harmful rays. UV Skinz are sun shirts that are not made with any chemicals or lotions.

Again...I love these shirts, the company, and their mission. Check them out...

www.uvskinz.com

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 1:17AM
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medontdo(8)

for me it was white vinegar and lots of it, and olive oil for the after care once ya got the stinging and the burning to go away! ummmmm **smack on the shoulder** LOL don't forget the sunscreen!! you just can't forget that stuff anymore!! its getting crazy out there!! oh ya that smack is like a boomarang, cuz in a few weeks i'll forget mine, LOL when i don't think its to bad out, yep, it'll happen to me, and i 'll forget to wear it and my hat. hope you get over your sunburn fast!! also it helps if ya put the vinegar in a spray bottle and hold your breath when ya spray it if your burn is on your face. LOL if your burn is really bad, also helps with insect bites and poison ivy!! among other stuff!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:05PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I read recently a recommendation for prepared mustard for sunburn but haven't tried it, it was said to stop the pain immediately. I have used aloe vera gel for sunburn and it works great.

I believe the sunscreen thing is a trap as we need to make Vitamin D when in the sun (it is protective against cancer) and need to be out in the sun a couple of times a day to be healthy. I'm a gardener and I'm out every day from early spring so build up natural protection in my skin and by summer can be out all day without burning. Parts of my body that are under clothing of course don't have protection so if I were going to be in a bathing suit I would apply sunscreen just for that occasion. With small children it may not be practical to be out in the sun daily for enough time but the shirts sound great. Being out for just a short while a day without sunscreen might work for children.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 6:56PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

"I believe the sunscreen thing is a trap as we need to make Vitamin D when in the sun (it is protective against cancer) and need to be out in the sun a couple of times a day to be healthy."

The real "trap" is falling into the belief that sun in unlimited quantities is good for you.

Far from building up "natural protection", what the previous poster is doing is heightening the risk of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and worst of all melanoma, which frequently kills) as well as prematurely wrinkled and aged-looking skin.

I also garden a lot, and while I may go unprotected for short periods (especially early in the morning and towards sunset), I've seen enough unnecessary cancer to respect the need for sunscreen.

By the way, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 1:56AM
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apollog

At higher latitudes, sunscreens can actually increase the risk of melanoma. Most sunscreens protect against the type of UV that causes burning, with lesser or no protection against the type of UV that scrambles DNA.

Limiting exposure is the only certain way to reduce the risk of skin cancers. Risk is not linear - having a few very bad sun burns (with blistering, peeling, etc) raises the risk to protect far more than moderate exposure.

Reducing skin cancer risk may come with a cost - vitamin D is correlated with lower levels of many cancers other than skin cancer (and skin cancer is relatively easy to detect and treat early - unlike most internal cancers). Vitamin D also seems to protect against osteoporosis, certain heart diseases, type II diabetes, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, and a variety of other serious conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Do sunscreens increase the risk of melanoma away from the equator?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 11:12PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Depending on just that article will lead you down the wrong path.

First of all, it's a review of past publications that notes the possibility of increased melanoma risk in some locations when people use sunscreen that protects only against uVB rays.

Many modern sunscreens offer protection against both uVA and uVB. From another article:

"BACKGROUND: Meta-analyses of observational case-control studies have demonstrated no association between sunscreen use and the development of malignant melanoma. OBJECTIVES: To examine whether this observation is to be expected given the period duri

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:18AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Sorry, the post got cut off for some reason. Here's why apollog's article is misleading:

First of all, it's a review of past publications that notes the possibility of increased melanoma risk in some locations when people use sunscreen that protects only against uVB rays.

Many modern sunscreens offer protection against both uVA and uVB. From another article:

"BACKGROUND: Meta-analyses of observational case-control studies have demonstrated no association between sunscreen use and the development of malignant melanoma. OBJECTIVES: To examine whether this observation is to be expected given the period during which the case-control studies were conducted, the sunscreens prevalent at that time, and how sunscreen is used and applied in practice. To predict whether modern sunscreens are likely to be effective as a preventative agent in melanoma. METHODS: The protection against solar ultraviolet radiation delivered by sunscreens available prior to the early 1990s (when the data used in most published case-control studies were collected) was estimated by combining their absorption properties with the amount applied in a way reflecting common usage. Similar estimates were made for the protection offered by modern sunscreens. RESULTS: It is not surprising that case-control studies have failed to find any association between sunscreen use and the risk of melanoma when consideration is given to the sunscreens in common usage at the time and the way in which sunscreen is applied in practice. Modern high Sun Protection Factor, broad-spectrum sunscreens, on the other hand, can be expected to be an effective measure in helping to prevent melanoma compared with sunscreens typical of those used 10-20 years ago. CONCLUSIONS: It is reasonable to suppose that the improvement in performance of modern sunscreens will lead to a worthwhile benefit as a preventative agent against melanoma, although these benefits may not be seen for several decades.

Both the American Melanoma Association and the American Dermatology Association recommend use of sunscreen to lower cancer risk.

"Generously apply a water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to all exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating."

The ADA also notes that it is a bad idea to seek out the sun to get vitamin D, since a healthy diet (possibly augmented by vitamin supplements) gives us the vitamin D we need without raising our skin cancer risk.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:21AM
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apollog

Disagree. Fifteen minutes of sun exposure gives us ~10,000 to 20,000 IU of vitamin D, after which vitamin D levels hit a plateau. The common belief that we need only 200 to 400 IU per day for optimal health is not supported by the research. A 'healthy diet' might contain 200 IU, but is unlikely to contain optimal levels unless one frequently eats fatty ocean fish or bear liver. Yes, sun exposure can age the skin, and it is normal for dermatologists to think about the skin. But there is overwhelming evidence that people do not get anywhere near enough vitamin D from even a healthy diet, and that this contributes far more risk of disease and premature death than that of moderate sun exposure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 10:26PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

The claims made in your link are not supported by a medical or scientific consensus. The author appears to be more interested in hyping supposed sun exposure benefits than in accurately characterizing the need for it. For instance, he repeatedly notes the risk of rickets in children who don't get enough vitamin D. In reality, rickets in the U.S. is a rare disease, cropping up occasionally in settings such as moms who breastfeed for long periods without giving their babies vitamin D supplementation, or use formula that doesn't include fortified milk.

An NIH review (see link below) notes that while evidence suggests that vitamin D may have a role in protecting against some cancers, the evidence is limited and sometimes contradictory on this score, with a number of studies showing no protective effect or even increased cancer risk with higher levels of vitamin D (a Finnish study found an elevated risk of pancreatic cancer among those with higher serum levels of vitamin D).

The skin cancer risks through excessive sun exposure are very well documented. By contrast, anticancer and other touted benefits of increased vitamin D intake are nowhere near as well supported. Jumping on a vitamin bandwagon prematurely has its problems, as you might recall with the recent overenthusiasm for vitamin E. High doses of vitamin E were supposed to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer and other ailments - until researchers found evidence that death rates actually are increased in people who take large doses of vitamin E.

Some of the current campaign to get us to relax vigilance about overexposure to sun comes from groups with questionable motives. The tanning bed industry, for instance, has been running full-page ads in various publications suggesting that their services are somehow good for health. In some cases they quote a prominent dermatologist in support, while not mentioning that this individual is in an extremely tiny minority among his colleagues in dismissing melanoma risks from too much sun or tanning beds. From the NIH:

"Despite the importance of the sun to vitamin D synthesis, it is prudent to limit exposure of skin to sunlight [31]. UV radiation is a carcinogen responsible for most of the estimated 1.5 million skin cancers and the 8,000 deaths due to metastatic melanoma that occur annually in the United States [31]. Lifetime cumulative UV damage to skin is also largely responsible for some age-associated dryness and other cosmetic changes. It is not known whether a desirable level of regular sun exposure exists that imposes no (or minimal) risk of skin cancer over time."

Contrary to your suggestion, we don't need to gorge on "fatty ocean fish or bear liver" to get enough vitamin D in our diet. There are a number of foods (including vitamin D-fortified milk) as well as vitamin supplementation that will provide us with what we need while continuing to limit sun exposure to prudent levels.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:46PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

BUMP up rant

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 8:29PM
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