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Quench The Burn!

Almost everyone has at least one memory of an unpleasant sunburn. Whether you've personally suffered from it or know of a close family member or friend that has, the symptoms can potentially consist of everything from red hot skin either tender or painful to touch to blistering or peeling of the skin.

As just about anyone who may have experienced severe sunburn will certainly attest to, the length of time spent getting the sunburn, is relatively short (15 minutes on average) when compared to the length of time that can be spent suffering the painful consequences (up to three weeks per some experts). 
Based on the severity of the burn, pain and extreme discomfort could remain a problem for a number of days after the exposure. Meanwhile, your body's own natural defense systems are hard at work to help your skin heal and recover from the prolonged UV exposure.
Foter / Public domain

Unless the symptoms are severe, (then of course you might want to consider medical care), here are 5 simple do-it-yourself solutions that are likely to cost you pocket change, and which could simplify soothing the sting and discomfort of sunburn:
1. Cool Shower or Bath Method: - Soaking in a cool bath tub or standing under a gentle, cool shower is one of the most effective ways to draw heat from the skin and alleviate the pain and discomfort of sunburn (avoid using cold temperature bathwater because it could potentially cause your body to go into shock). 

Allow me to share a few other things to add to your baths for further relief:

i. Put in 10-12 drops or so of essential oil (chamomile or perhaps lavender) to the bath water. Immerse the affected areas for 15 minutes or until relief is felt.

ii. Adding baking soda (or oatmeal) to a lukewarm bath is also able to relieve sunburn pain. In order for this treatment method to be most useful, try to ensure sure that all irritated areas are submerged. Bath water may be poured over your entire body by using your hands or even a soft washcloth. Irritated facial areas may be gently dabbed using the cloth, or alternately you may also splash water directly onto your face. After soaking, lightly pat the skin dry with a soft towel (preferably 100 % cotton). If you've taken an oatmeal bath, try letting the light coating of oatmeal that clings to your skin remain.

iii. Adding vinegar to the bath water can certainly help in taking the sting from sunburn.

2. Rubbing alcohol: - Primarily because it evaporates quickly, dabbing on rubbing alcohol will begin to cool and relieve the painfulness of sunburned skin.

3. Vinegar: - Vinegar is an effective and cooling treatment for sunburn. Drench your clean cotton towels with it and gently apply to the irritated areas. Alternately you can fill a spray bottle and spray it directly on the skin as needed.

4. The Egg White Remedy: - If your sunburn is painfully hot, separating the white from the yolk of an egg, and spreading the white over the affected area will help to cool the burning quickly. This may be repeated as many times as needed.

5. Potatoes: - Potatoes may also be helpful to relieve the painfulness of sunburn. Grab two medium-sized potatoes and thoroughly clean them. Cut them into small bite-sized chunks and place in a blender to liquefy. (In the event that the result appears too dry, add some water). Pat the affected areas with potato juice. Allow to completely dry. Rinse the residue off in a cool (not cold) shower or bath.

Please bear in mind that along with producing different degrees of discomfort and pain, prolonged sun exposure and sunburn can accelerate the aging process and more than likely increase the risks associated with cataracts and skin cancer.

Prevention therefore should be considered as being a more effective method than treatment!

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ApolloGr3ed said…
Man, that girl's back looks like she got a bucket of red dye thrown on her! Sunburn can be a REAL PAIN! I should know, I had a really bad case a couple of years ago on my chest and face and it hurt like hell! I couldn't even take a gentle breeze blowing on me!! A friend of mine says you can use mayo to soothe the burning as well, is this true?
Kurt M said…
ApolloGr3ed, Long time no see! Great getting a comment from you. Sorry about the extreme sunburn experience you described in your comment. That truly had to hurt. Hope you didn't have any long term effects to your skin. We all just need to be careful about how much exposure we get from the sun (especially during the warmer months). It is no joke about how damaging it can be. I always use a high SPF sunscreen (at least 45) before I leave out on sunny days. As the saying goes: "an ounce of prevention with worth more than a pound of cure." (or something like that..) Your friends recommendation of using mayonnaise to coat and soothe sunburn is considered ineffective by many dermatologists. The reason is because, the mayo has a high fat and oil content that does little to heal the skin while it is burning. Just think about how oil or fat react in a hot skillet over an open flame. It just reflects back the heating source and could make the condition worse. Lifehacker has an old article about this that you and your friend may find as informative. Here is the link to the LifeHacker article -

Thanks for commenting!
james son said…
So, you're saying that you WOULDN'T smear mayo all over this hot girl's back???
Kurt M said…
Thank you for commenting, james son, we really appreciate it!

As I told ApolloGr3ed in my previous reply, mayonnaise on burning skin is a big no-no per most experts on the subject. The fats that are present in mayo (109g of polyunsaturated fat on the average) can only serve to further irritate the skin by nearly cooking it while it is in the process of being absorbed into the skin. To answer your question, I probably would not want to smear any mayo on her back when a cool shower (one of the tips I mentioned) would suffice.

Thank you again for commenting!

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