I think by now we all know about how to avoid sunburn. Regretfully, it still happens. Last week I was at the Airport in New York and saw a couple that looked like they belonged at a Lobster Boil. I have even been burned (so to speak) recently by failing to pack sunscreen in my golf bag. The information in this article is intended for use on Minor burns-not second and third degree burns. (Please seek help from a qualified health care provider if you have blistering or worse. Infection can set in and then you have more than just painful skin.)
When dealing with sunburn there are a few issues we need to address; pain and skin repair. Let’s address the pain aspects first. Treating sunburn should be like treating any other type of burn. If you burn your finger on the stove you apply ice immediately. The same is true with sunburn. I know it sounds crazy but even if you have sunburn over most of your body you should try to apply ice to the effected areas. This doesn’t mean all at once-you end up with hypothermia-but rotate sections of the body and apply towels soaked in ice water. I recommend no more than 20 minutes per area and then rest. In the meantime white willow taken by mouth (sort of an aspirin type of treatment) will help to relieve the inflammation and pain. I was taught in pharmacy school to use aspirin for sunburns. It works amazingly well, but I have gone natural now and White Willow is the closest thing to Aspirin I can find. If you wish to get more aggressive, add in my two favorite natural inflammation fighters such as turmeric, Celadrin (can be used topical and orally) or one of my favorite combo formulas IbuActin
Three great topical products that offer multiple benefits are Aloe and Calendula and AstaReal (astaxanthin) serum. With regards to Alow, look for a stabilized gel (or use the fresh gel from the plant) can be used as often as you wish. Not only is it helpful at soothing the burn but it also has properties that will help with your skin repair. Calendula cream may be applied to minor burns to soothe pain and help with skin repair. AstaReal is my new favorite topical antioxidant formulation. It even shows to be a natural sunscreen and the benefits as an antioxidant are one of the best for skin health.
Repairing and protecting from extended damage is also a critical part of treating sunburn yet often gets overlooked. Aside from the supplements mentioned above like Aloe and Calendula, we need to look at taking antioxidants such as AstaReal mentioned above and turmeric are a great start. Consuming green tea is another awesome approach too. Omega-3s from either Fish or Krill are also critical. Omega-3s possess anti-inflammatory properties (sunburn is a form of inflammation) as well as nutritional components to help generate new health skin sells.
Last but not least; drink plenty of water. Your skin becomes dehydrated when you get sunburn and the best way to rehydrate is by drinking fluids. Adding more water to your everyday diet will decrease peeling and speed the rate at which you heal. The nutrients required for repairing and regenerating skin cells are carried thru the blood (made up mostly of water). Being dehydrated will only delay the healing process.