Monday, August 19, 2013

Natural Remedies for Sunburns

Several topical remedies can provide relief for sunburns.

Hands cupped around the sun

It's summer time! The sun is out and so are you. After a long, dark winter, it's easy to spend too long outside without sun protection.

The primary step in sunburn treatment is prevention. Limit time in direct sunlight without protection to 10 to 20 minutes a day. Use a topical sunscreen (the Environmental Working Group has a fantastic Guide to Sunscreens). If you plan to be out for longer, wear a hat and clothes that cover your extremities.

If you're already burned, several topical remedies can provide relief:

  • Topical aloe vera will help soothe and heal skin tissue. Choose a brand as close to 100 percent aloe vera as possible.
  • CCC cream, an herbal-infused lotion often made with calendula, coneflower and comfrey, will help soothe and heal the tissues.
  • Topical coconut oil (food-grade) will moisturize the affected area.

Clinicians at Bastyr Center for Natural Health can also tailor a treatment for your specific needs.

Finally, keep the affected area clean and pat dry (no rubbing) with a towel after bathing. It’s also important to stay hydrated out in the hot weather. Take a refillable water bottle with you when you leave the house.

— By Justin Steurich, ND, naturopathic doctor and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

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