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How to treat sunburn

Sunburns is caused by the overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. People who spend lot of time exposed to direct sun are at risk of getting a sunburn, and if they cannot prevent it, they should know how to treat it.

Usual signs of a sunburn are red skin that burns and even hurts, accumulation of the blood in the affected area, which causes an increased temperature, dizziness, fatigue and other skin problems like edema, itching and peeling.

In case a sunburn causes blisters and a discharge, it is considered a severe sunburn and requires medical treatment. The severity of sunburns depends on the specific location on the globe. Some parts of the world are more exposed to harmful ultraviolet radiation due to the thinning of the ozone layer.

There are several treatments and methods that aim to cure or relieve symptoms of a normal, non-severe sunburn.

Naturally, the first thing to do is to get away from the sun. Further exposure of a sunburn may cause additional damage to the skin.

The affected area should be covered with light-colored, clean and thin clothing. Lotions and oils are not recommended because they prevent “breathing” of the skin, a process that is very important for the healing. Aloe vera products or fresh juice can be applied instead. Aloe vera has many beneficial effects and it promotes healing of the skin. It is best to take some fresh aloe leaves, if available, and to cut them in order to release the juice.

Green or black tea provide relief when applied to the sunburn. It is best if done with a clean cloth dipped in a cup of cold black or green tea and dabbed (not rubbed) onto the affected skin.

Skin needs moisture in order to heal and it can be restored by applying moisturizers or creams. For additional relief, moisturizers can be refrigerated for 20 minutes before applying them.

Skimmed milk is very useful in treating a sunburn. It relieves the burning sensation and creates a beneficial protein coating.

A very effective paste can be made with yogurt, turmeric and barley grounded together and applied directly to the skin.

If the sunburn causes itching, it is recommended to apply Hydrocortisone cream.

Anti-inflammatory medicines do not cure the sunburn itself but they provide relief for the discomfort until the sunburn heals and the symptoms subside.

A cool shower is always a god idea after being exposed to the sun. It is best to avoid soaps and similar products and just to let water run gently over the skin.

Dehydration is another possible consequence of exposure to the sun so it is very important to drink adequate amounts of water. It is best to sip it frequently in order to give the body enough time to absorb it.

Finally, sleep is highly recommended for persons who have sunburns, because the body needs rest in order to heal.

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