I am very prone to sunburn. I have extremely fair skin and it does not like to be out in daylight for long. To put it bluntly, I'm basically a vampire. However, I am a beach lover at heart and therefore find myself in the predicament every so often of treating a sunburn when I fail to reapply my sun cream at proper intervals, or it all sweats off. It seemed worse when I was pregnant, and if that's also the case for you, you'll want these sunburn remedies while you're pregnant, because not everything is baby safe.
My go-to treatment for sunburns is an aloe vera and lidocaine blend that soothes on contact and feels like heaven. However, topical lidocaine usage outside of a doctor's office isn't advisable during pregnancy and breastfeeding, according to The Mayo Clinic. The article noted that you should "weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication." That means talk to your doctor before you use it, especially if you feel your burn requires additional medication. Otherwise, it might be best to look for alternative methods of soothing the stinging itch of the seasonal beast that is the sunburn. Because, let's face it, it's just too nice to stay indoors, and sometimes, burns happen.
1. Cool Bath Or Shower
Sometimes the easiest remedies are the best. There is just nothing like jumping into a cool bath or shower when your skin feels like it's blazing with the fire of 1000 suns. It saps away just enough of the heat and burn to make life tolerable for a short period of time. If you hang out in the tub, you can extend this feeling. Just listen to your body.
2. Aloe Vera
Gels, oils, or straight from the plant, aloe vera is known as "the burn plant" for good reason. The naturally soothing plant contains chemicals that not only cool, but moisturize the skin, according to the University of Arkansas School of Medical Science. They wrote, "You can place the aloe vera plant or oil in your refrigerator a few minutes before applying it to immediately cool the skin. This should help the itching and stinging associated with a bad sunburn."
3. Soaking In Home Remedies
Adding a little something extra to your bath might be a good idea. Dermatologist Carl Korn, MD told Prevention that a little bit of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar added to the cool water can help take the sting out of the reddened skin. He said, "It's a great astringent; it soothes sunburn pain."
Doctor Sears wrote on his website that oatmeal is also a great additive to throw in there. He said that after the oat bath, you should "leave the burned area damp, and then liberally apply a moisturizer with aloe to it (steer clear of topical antihistamine and anesthetic creams, which can cause inflammation)."
4. Bath Bombs
There are soothing bath bombs on the market that are derived from everyday items which I've found can help. My favorite is the luxury bath bomb Avobomb ($7, Lush), which is made with avocado and baking soda. Not only is the avocado super rich and moisturizing, but baking soda is a known remedy for healing sunburns, according to Reader's Digest.
Honey has been used as a remedy for cuts, scrapes, and burns for millennia, and it's still useful today. Whether it's in a soothing bath or simply smeared on the burn, honey's antimicrobial and moisturizing properties really do help. Kathi Kemper, M.D., author of The Holistic Pediatrician. told Parents that "studies suggest it may work better than some antibiotic creams at speeding up healing, reducing infection, and minimizing pain."
6. Stay Hydrated
Sunburn dries you out. It's key to stay hydrated so you don't exacerbate the symptoms of your sunburn, according to Everyday Health. It doesn't just have to be water. Eating water-dense fruits and veggies like watermelon and cucumber also help.
7. Green Tea
There's a compound in green tea that appears to soothe sunburns when applied topically, according to Reader's Digest. The article noted, "You need about 3 milligrams of the green tea compound EGCG per square inch of skin." You'll need to brew a cup, "let it cool, and dab it on skin with a cotton ball after coming in out of the sun." Just pretend it's like a spa day.