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Natural remedies for sunburn

Essential oils from flowers and plants provide many benefits
Essential oils from flowers and plants provide many benefits
Photo by Angela Brooks

In these dog days of August, sunburn is a common problem with several natural remedies available to provide relief. A mild sunburn causes redness and pain for a few days and may cause itching and peeling of skin.

The following are some natural remedies:

1) Vinegar – white vinegar applied topically through a 50:50 solution of water and vinegar via compresses (soaked towel) or in a spray bottle spritzing the skin is an old folk remedy that may provide relief; cider vinegar is said to help prevent blistering;

2) Lavender essential oil – high quality lavender oil is a versatile aromatherapy oil that provides relief to burns of all types and aids in cell renewal and tissue repair;

3) Aloe vera gel – one of nature’s great gifts aiding in burns of all types and best utilized directly from the plant rather than gels from the store, as its cellular activity tends to be reduced when mixed with other chemicals. Simply cut off a piece of the leaf, split it open, and scoop the gel (the clear solid ‘goop’ inside), and apply directly to the sunburn (also good for cuts and scrapes). Aloe vera helps soothe the pain, moisturizes the skin, speeds healing, and has anti-inflammatory properties;

4) Hydrotherapy – a cool bath, shower, or towel compresses applied several times a day can help keep the sunburn cool and hydrated.

In Columbus, quality aromatherapy oils such as lavender are available in many venues including Whole Foods, Raisin Rack, Nutrition and , Pearls of Wisdom, and custom blends from local aromatherapists such as Aromatherapy by Tere and Divine Essentials.

The best remedy is prevention, so remember to dress lightly but covering the skin, wear a hat, sunscreen, and do your best to stay out of the sun in the peak sunshine hours of the day.


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