Sunburn: Home Remedies, and How to Prevent

Sunburn is skin damage caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds. It can be prevented and treated with some home remedies.


Summertime means beach vacations, family cookouts, balmy evenings, and sunburn? Unfortunately, even if you use sunblock regularly, UV rays may penetrate your skin and cause a painful, itching red burn.

While I think that even moderate sun exposure is beneficial to your health to avoid vitamin D deficiency, too much of a good thing may result in harmful sunburn or sun poisoning, which can raise your risk of skin cancer and wrinkles.

If you’ve spent too much time outside in the scorching sun after a long summer day, numerous natural sunburn treatments really work.

How can you get rid of sunburn quickly? If you’re looking for a quick way to cure sunburn, go no further than your kitchen cupboards for natural sunburn remedies like black tea and oats. Do you use essential oils in your house and have them on hand? If you answered yes, you’re in luck since essential oils are another excellent natural sunburn cure.

What Is a Sunburn?

So, what exactly is a sunburn? Sunburn is defined as skin irritation induced by excessive exposure to UV radiation, mainly from sunshine. How long does it take for a sunburn to heal? It usually lasts for a few days.

A sunburn happens when UV radiation from the sun or another source reaches parts of your body that your skin cannot tolerate. This causes your skin’s defensive pigment, melanin, to be released.

Here are some fascinating facts:

  • A fair-skinned individual may develop a sunburn during intense noon light in less than 15 minutes.
  • A dark-skinned individual may get burnt for hours in the same amount of sun exposure.
  • The sunburn process begins long before it is apparent to the human eye, and the initial symptoms may not appear for many hours.
  • Sunburn blisters may take anything from hours to days to appear.
  • The full symptoms of a sunburn may take up to 24 hours to appear.


It is possible to burn or tan your skin if you spend too much time in the sun without wearing protective clothing or sunscreen. So what is it that causes some individuals to burn while others are more prone to tan? It is determined by the amount of melanin present in the skin. Melanin levels are lower in individuals with lighter skin, whereas they are higher in those with darker skin.

When the sun’s rays inflict harm on the skin, it produces more melanin to defend itself from future damage. As a result, the hue of your skin will be on the skin; the skin of lighter-skinned people is more prone to become red.

Do sunburns develop into tans? If peeling is prevented, a sunburn may sometimes develop into a tan naturally. However, you should never allow yourself to acquire a sunburn in the hopes of ultimately obtaining a tan since you would be harming your skin!


Symptoms of sunburn include:

  • Pinkness or redness of the skin
  • To the touch, skin that feels warm or heated
  • Tenderness and pain
  • Itching from a sunburn
  • Swelling
  • Small, fluid-filled blisters that may rupture
  • Fever, nausea, and tiredness are all symptoms of a headache (if you have severe sunburn)

Sun poisoning is characterized by a sunburn rash or “sun rash” (hives and blisters on top of a sunburn), sunburn, chills or fever, and nausea.


What is the best sunburn treatment? Many physicians will suggest traditional sunburn therapy that looks like this, according to the American Academy of Dermatology:

  • To relieve discomfort, take frequent cold baths or showers. Allow a little quantity of water to remain on the skin after drying, and then use a moisturizer to help retain moisture in your skin and improve hydration. (It also works as a natural sunburn treatment!)
  • Search for components like aloe vera and soy in a traditional sunburn lotion.
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream is another joint sunburn therapy if you have a more severe sunburn than a moderate sunburn or if you are in pain.
  • Sunburn swelling, redness, and irritation may be reduced by over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water. (It also definitely makes the list of natural sunburn remedies!)
  • If your skin blisters, you’re suffering from a second-degree sunburn. Leave the blisters alone (do not burst or pick at them!) since they assist in the healing of your skin and preventing infection.

How long does it take to recover from a sunburn? “Unlike a heat burn, sunburn is not immediately apparent,” according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Instead, symptoms begin 4 hours after sun exposure, become worse in 24–36 hours, and go away in 3–5 days.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, even the most excellent sunburn treatment will not cure your skin, but it will reduce pain, swelling, and irritation.

Natural Treatments

How can you get rid of sunburn quickly? If your sunburn isn’t too bad, utilizing home remedies for sunburn regularly may help you get rid of it quickly.

1. Staples for the Pantry and Fridge (Used Topically)

If you’re looking for a natural way to cure sunburn, you may be shocked to learn that several things in your kitchen might assist when applied topically! Here are some popular foods that may help you recover from a sunburn:

  • As burns heal, oatmeal has been shown to soothe itchy, dry skin and reduce inflammation. Blend dry oats in a blender or food processor until finely pulverized and smooth to enjoy its restorative properties. Spend some quality time soaking in a warm bath (not hot!) with a cup of oats.
  • Milk may also aid in the relief of skin aches and pains. You may make a cold compress by dipping a washcloth in the cooled milk and applying it directly to burned regions or soaking in a cold bath with approximately a cup of cold milk. Make sure it’s whole milk so you can get the benefits of healthy natural fats.
  • Black tea is tasty to drink, but it also helps reduce the redness of sunburns and speed up the healing process. First, soak a few black tea bags in a pitcher. Do this until the water is entirely black. Then apply it to the afflicted regions with a washcloth and don’t rinse. Tannic acid, which gives the tea its black color, relieves the heat and offers much-needed comfort.
  • Probiotics and lactic acid are included in yogurt, making it an excellent option for decreasing redness and relaxing the skin. Choose a full-fat plain yogurt and gently massage the sunburned regions with it. Allow it to rest for approximately 10 minutes before rinsing it off in the shower.
  • Cornstarch may help you avoid the unpleasant chafing that happens when your irritated skin rubs against your bed linens at night. While putting cornstarch on your bedding may require washing laundry the following day, it will decrease friction and provide a barrier between your skin and the sheets, allowing for more comfortable sleep during muggy nights if your sunburn is very severe.

2. Coconut Oil with Aloe Vera

Your body is in urgent need of moisture while you’re dealing with a natural sunburn cure. Moisturizers such as pure coconut oil and aloe vera gel may significantly improve the appearance of a burn. Aloe vera is so beneficial that it’s also a frequent traditional suggestion. Because it is such an excellent natural treatment for a severe burn, it is often referred to as the “burn plant.”

You may purchase pure aloe vera in a container or utilize the sap from an aloe vera leaf by splitting it apart and applying it to your skin. Refrigerate a bottle of aloe or an aloe vera leaf for an additional burst of soothing cooling when you use it.

3. Foods that keep you hydrated

There are many natural external sunburn treatments available, but if you want to know how to get rid of sunburn quickly, you need also consider some internal therapies. It’s a good idea to hydrate from the inside out by consuming meals that are rich in water.

Snack on fruits that are rich in vitamin C and aid healing, such as oranges and watermelons. Watermelons are 92 percent water. So drink lots of water as well as electrolyte-rich beverages such as coconut water. Avoid alcohol and sugary meals when recovering from sunburn since they may promote inflammation and slow down the healing process.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar 

Did you know that apple cider vinegar may be used to treat sunburn? When you add apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your sunburn-fighting regimen, you may not smell fantastic, but you’ll most likely feel a lot better. Apple cider vinegar has a wide range of health benefits, but it may also be used to soothe burned skin.

Combine a cup with 14 cups coconut oil and a few drops of lavender essential oil in a cold bath for a soothing soak. Don’t you have time for a bath? Make a 1:1 vinegar-water solution in a spray bottle or soak a washcloth in the solution and dab it on the afflicted regions.

5. Essential Oils

Essential oils aren’t only for making your house smell good or reducing tension and anxiety; they may also be used to treat sunburn. I suggest two popular choices:

  • Peppermint oil is a natural analgesic, which means it relieves pain. It also provides a cooling feeling, which helps to heal burned regions. Bonus: Because peppermint oil relieves headaches, it may assist with the after-sun headache that some individuals experience.
  • Another essential oil to use for sunburns is lavender oil. It may help to relieve the pain and redness of burns. In addition, it’s the ideal option for speeding up recovery and enabling your body to recover quicker because of its antioxidant, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory qualities.

How to Avoid It

Even when the weather is overcast or cold, the sun may cause sunburn. It’s also worth noting that UV radiation is more significant at higher elevations, and the sun’s rays are readily reflected when you’re near sand, water, or snow.

The following are some helpful hints for preventing a sunburn:

  • If you’re going to be outside for an extended period, try to stay in the shade, particularly between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their harshest.
  • Apply a natural sunscreen to all exposed skin (and double-check that it isn’t expired).
  • Apply more sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes, or sooner if it has been rinsed away by swimming or sweating.
  • Protect your skin by wearing clothes and helmets.
  • Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB radiation should be worn.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, particularly water, to stay hydrated.

Sunburn prevention is also known to be aided by nutrients present in sure meals, typically in a time-dependent manner:

  • Vitamin C and E: Citrus fruits, peppers, guava, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C, while almonds and sunflower seeds are good sources of vitamin E.
  • Beta-carotene is found in foods such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
  • Lycopene is found in a variety of summer fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes and watermelon.
  • Dietary fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help to decrease the sunburn reaction.

Last Thoughts

Suppose you have a severe sunburn with blisters covering more than 15% of your body, a high temperature, dehydration, and intense discomfort lasting more than 48 hours. In that case, you should seek medical care, according to the CDC.

Of course, the best method to prevent sunburns is to avoid them in the first place. However, I do not recommend that you avoid the sun. It usually takes a few minutes to acquire enough vitamin D. (and you can always supplement if you need more).

The most efficient sunburn therapy is both natural and effective. If you’ve spent too much time in the heat and need some relief, milk, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and hydrating meals like watermelon are all excellent options.

You may even assist prepare your body to help naturally avoid sunburns by eating a diet high in lycopene (think tomatoes) and omega 3s (think wild-caught Alaskan salmon and sardines). Finally, don’t forget about essential oils, which are another fantastic sunburn home cure.

While no one likes sunburns, discovering natural sunburn treatment may make the experience much more tolerable while also improving skin health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop getting sunburned so quickly?

A: You should always wear sunscreen when you are outside.

How do you prevent sunburn naturally?

A: You can use sunscreen, wear a hat, and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

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