Natural Home Remedies for Sunburn Treatment

Sunburns can affect you if you are exposed to shortwave rays from sun. Their symptoms can be mild or intense and the remedy can take several days for full relief.

Sunburn remedies and treatment aim to cool down the affected area, giving relief and prevent peeling of the skin.

Causes of Sunburn

Our skin has a protective pigment called melanin that protects it from the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. If the exposure of the skin to the rays exceeds the ability of the melanin protection, sunburn will occur. Sun's radiation include ultraviolet rays along with other rays. There are two types of ultraviolet rays, ultra-violet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).

Both the ultraviolet rays are invisible to the eyes and are harmful to the skin, damage our skin and cause many skin problems including sunburn and sun poisoning and diseases like skin cancer. The reflected UV rays from the water, metal, snow, or and become more intense.

Symptoms and Signs

Sunburn blisters

<--Sunburn blister picture

While the UVA rays attack the skin's inner layers, the UVB rays attack the skin's outer layers. The skin of fair complexion people is very sensitive to the sun. A dark skin person can tolerate longer sun exposure before he can have sunburns, whereas the same sun can burn the skin of a fair skin person in 15 minutes.

The symptom of the sunburn can appear from 1 hour to 1 day after exposure to the sun. While some of the symptoms such as red skin, are usually temporary, the skin damage is often permanent. In the case of severe sunburn, blisters are formed.

Possible symptoms of sunburn are:

  1. Swelling of the skin, especially in the legs
  2. Skin peeling
  3. Red warm skin
  4. Skin peeling
  5. Blisters (severe sunburn)
  6. Fever, chills, nausea, or rash (severe sunburn)
  7. Premature wrinkles, age spots (frequent sunburn)
  8. Most of the symptoms of sunburn are similar to sun poisoning symptoms.

Frequent mild sunburns make the skin complexion dark.

How to Prevent Sunburns?

It is better to prevent the sunburn rather than to treat it. The most effective way to prevent sunburns is to protect your skin from the direct sun, specially between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the ultraviolet rays are strong. More on how to prevent sunburns can be found at skin cancer prevention and sunscreen topics.

Don't for Sunburn

  1. Do not burst any blister to get relief. They form a natural protection to help the burned skin to heal faster.
  2. Do not apply any creams, butter, benzocaine, lidocaine, petroleum jelly, baby oil or any other greasy lotions or substance for sunburn treatment. They trap the heat inside and prevent healing. Leave the sunburn exposed to the air for faster healing.
  3. Do not use lotions with lanolin when you are in the sun.
  4. Do not wash burned skin with strong soap.
  5. Prevention of sunburn is similar to sun poisoning prevention.

Home remedies

The sunburn treatment are given below.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  2. Apply cold water pads on the burn. Cold compresses dipped in a solution of some vinegar, ice and water is very beneficial to take the heat out and to cure sunburns.
  3. Apply some mashed tomato mixed with crushed ice on the affected area to treat and get instant relief.
  4. Apply a mixture of 2 teaspoon tomato juice and 4 tablespoon buttermilk. Leave for 1/2 an hour and then wash off.
  5. A thin paste of sandalwood applied to the sunburn area is beneficial.
  6. Apply a mixture of 2 teaspoon olive oil and 2 teaspoon vinegar. Leave for 1/2 an hour and then wash off.
  7. Take vitamin E supplements to reduce itching and speeding up healing of sunburns.
  8. Put preparation H (available from pharmacies) very lightly on the sunburned skin. It will prevent the skin from peeling and reduce burning and swelling.
  9. Slowly rub slices of fresh cold cucumber over the burns.
  10. Apply the pulp of a stalk of live Aloe Vera over the sunburned area. The aloe vera contains aloectin B, an immune system stimulant, that penetrates into all the three layers of the skin. You can also use the Aloe Vera gel. Note that aloe vera alone will not prevent peeling.
    Take a leaf of aloe vera plant, slit it open at its end and rub the inside over the burn.
  11. Add some baking soda to cold water and apply. It reduces the burning effect immediately.
  12. Apply a paste of barley, turmeric and yogurt in equal proportions for the treatment of sunburn.
  13. Soak some tea bags in hot water. Take out the bags, let them cool. When they are still warm, place them over the affected area for 1 hour. This is good for the treatment of pain.
  14. Apply a paste of yogurt with barley and turmeric to affected areas for the treatment of sunburn.
  15. Apply some drops of lavender essential oil on the burned area and then spread it with a piece of tissue to cure sunburns.
  16. Put some vinegar on a cotton ball and rub lightly on the burned area.
  17. Remedies of sunburn are similar to sun poisoning remedies.

When to See a Doctor?


See your Doctor immediately if you have sunburns along with the following symptoms:

   Fever, feeling cold
   Painful blisters filled with fluid
   Dizziness, feeling faint, nausea
   Visual difficulties, eyes sensitive to light
   Rapid pulse, exhaustion
   Extreme thirst, no urine output

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Disclaimer: Please note that the home remedies for sunburn are only for minor common symptoms and should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition like that of sun burns. You should not rely on these remedies. Always consult your Doctor for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. You should also avoid using any of these remedies if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. The writer of this article or is not responsible in any manner.

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Details on sunburns, their causes, prevention, treatment, relief and remedies are given.