Sunburn is a very common skin problem that people living in hot places face during summer. But how actually it occurs? During summer when sun rays are the strongest, sunburn is more likely to happen. Sunburn happens in some degrees that determine its severeness. It can be mild or moderate and can also be very severe too. Sunburn is also known as Erythema which is basically burning of skin due to its overexposure with UV (Ultraviolet) radiations coming from the sun (which is also known as acute cutaneous inflammatory response).
A mild sunburn demands less management and isn’t that painful as compared to the severe one, which requires a lot of management. In the case of mild sunburn, the affected area gets red and after 7-8 days the skin of this area starts to peel off. In the case of severe skin burn, the symptoms are called Sun poisoning and they include immediate skin inflation, skin blisters, dehydration, and electrolysis imbalance.
However, the mild skin burn is most the common one and it can be cured easily using home remedies and as far as concern goes for severe sunburn, you should contact a doctor instead of treating it yourself. Furthermore, there are a few things you can follow to avoid sunburn completely. This includes using SPF 30+ cream, keeping yourself hydrated through the day and most obvious staying out from the sun.
Sunburn Symptoms and Causes
Here it’s important to understand that overexposure to Sun ultraviolet radiation can easily harm our living tissue of the skin. A common symptom in humans includes reddish skin with pain, general fatigue or mild dizziness. During high temperature, Sunburn can simply occur (sensitive skin) in less than 15 minutes. And the pain usually occurs 6 to 48 hours after exposure. The burn persists to develop for one to two days (seldom followed by peeling skin in 3 to 8 days and sometimes, shedding and itching may continue for several weeks).
Commonly, people with lighter skin tone (and limited capability to develop a tan after UV radiation exposure) have a greater risk of sunburn. The Fitzpatrick’s Skin phototypes classification describes the normal variations of skin responses to UV radiation. Persons with type I skin have the greatest capacity to sunburn and type VI has the least capacity to burn. Children younger than six and adults older than sixty are more responsive to sunlight. However, all skin types can develop sunburn.
An overindulgence of Ultraviolet radiation can be life-threatening in severe cases. UV radiation can lead to non-malignant skin tumors. Even there is an increased risk of three types of skin cancer: Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and Basal-cell Carcinoma.
Sunburn is a provocative retort in the skin triggered by direct DNA damage by UV radiation. When skin cells DNA are overly damaged by UV radiation, type I cell-death is triggered and the skin is changed without any notice. The cause of sunburn is the direct injury that a UVB photon can induce in DNA (left). As it is a reaction of the body to direct DNA damage from UVB light. Sunburn can even cause an inflammation process, including the production of prostanoids and bradykinin. These elements can increase sensitivity to heat by reducing the threshold of heat receptor. Two most common Sun defending measures are applying sunscreen and using sun protective clothing. But still, if you catch the sunburn you can check the following 10 home remedies to cure it.
The most immediate thing you can do after a sunburn is to take a cold shower or apply cold water on the affected area. But remember don’t go to a pool because it might contain Chlorine which can cause skin irritation. Furthermore, you should also avoid ice because it can increase the damage of the burn even more.
Apply Oatmeal on the affected area. Yes you read right, this breakfast item can be used as a skin smoothing agent and it reduces sunburn inflation too. If you got a large burn then we recommend bathing with cold water and oats in it. For smaller burns, soak oatmeal in cold water for 20 minutes and apply the solution on the affected area. Let it be air dry and wash it with water afterward.
Apply baking soda to the affected area or use in bath water. Baking soda is basic and helps in the neutralization of affected areas. But you shouldn’t rub the affected area with a towel or anything else, it can increase the problem.
Apply white vinegar on the affected area using a paper towel and let it air dry. White vinegar will reduce itching and pain in the affected area.
Use green tea. Drink a cup of green tea, its antioxidants will help in the internal recovery of the sunburn. Let the tea bag be cool and apply it on the affected area. It has a compound called EGCG, which is very effective on skin burn.
Apply plain yogurt on the affected area directly and let it sit there for 5 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. Its enzymes will reduce the pain of that area.
Apply canned milk on the affected area. Use a clean cloth and apply milk but it should not be very cold. Milk locks the moisture insides the skin and heals it. But remember you should avoid more fatty things because they trap heat.
Aloe Vera is very effective on skin burns. It heals skin burns three times faster as compared to the other methods of treatment. Same goes for sunburns too. Apply Aloe Vera on the sunburn affected area and let it sit for some time. It will surely help in case of burns.
Coconut oil is a good moisturizer and if you apply it to the sunburn area, it locks in the moisture and allows the burn to heal more easily.
Apply cucumber on the sunburn, like green tea it also contains antioxidants and it let the burn to heal.
There are certain food items that you should or should not take in case of sunburn here is a list that contains such items:-
Things You must Take:-
Strawberries, Potatoes, Green tea, Guava, Oatmeal, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Dark Chocolate, Carrots, and Pomegranate. All of these foods are rich in Vitamin C and have large antioxidants, which can prevent sunburn.
Things You must not take Take:-
To avoid sunburn you should avoid caffeine-rich food items, like coffee, tea and caffeine supplement. Furthermore, you should avoid everything that is rich in sodium i.e food which contains a lot of salt.
There are some things you never do if you have sunburn or you want to avoid it. This includes wearing tight clothes as they can be harsh on skin, use of tanning beds and use of face masks. Furthermore, if you have already got a sunburn you should not avoid touching it, peeling and itching can make it even worse.
Also, you should not apply coconut oil and butter to it as they suffocate your skin and traps the internal heat. You should not go out in pools cause lack of cleanliness and you should not use regular makeup on it because it can make it even worse. The last thing you should avoid is working out and all other exercises because it raises the temperature of your body and make you sweat, both of these increase sunburns.
Key Facts and Figures
- Annually in the Middle East alone, over 35,000 people are reported to visit infirmary emergency room due to sunburn.
- In Australia, more than 18,500 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in the year 2018. And more than two people die of the disease every day or so (mainly due to Sunburn factor involvement).
- 6.4 Million Cases of Non-Melanoma skin cancer were treated in over 4.3 million people in the U.S. alone in the year 2018, and 75% were due to Sunburn.
- Sunburn experienced at younger ages has greater chances of future skin cancer (especially melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer).
- Regular use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing Melanoma, Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) – types of skin cancers by about 40 percent.
- More and more people are identified with skin cancer each year in America than all other cancers combined. The diagnosis and treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers in the U.S. increased by 77 percent between 1994 and 2018. Therefore, one in five Americans has greater chances to develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- The annual cost of treating skin cancers due to sunburn in the U.S. alone is estimated somewhere at $8.1 billion (and about $4.8 billion for non-melanoma skin cancers and $3.3 billion for melanoma)
- Actinic keratosis is the most common type of sunburn (from exposure to ultraviolet radiation) that affects more than 55 million Americans.
- Melanoma, Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are most common form of skin cancer due to Sunburn.
Sunburn can be very harmful is it is not treated with care. The aforementioned home remedies will surely give relief to sunburn and will lower the pain. All these remedies are easy and all the ingredients are easily available at home. But there are certain things you must note. Always use a clean cloth to apply the heal and use cold water. Do not rub the affected area and don’t cover it with a tight cloth. Furthermore, ensure to keep yourself hydrated and use moisturizers on your skin to avoid sunburn.
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