No matter how many times we are warned by health professionals that excessive exposure to the sun can increase our risk of skin cancer, we still tend to worship the big yellow ball in the sky like never before. The tan is still a major benchmark in societal beauty, a sign of life and virilty. Also, it makes you look thinner. So as long as the sun is around, so will be the sunburn. Here's how to prevent that red skin from peeling off.
Things You'll Need
- Aloe vera (plant extract or lotion)
- Apple cider vinegar
Don't get sunburned in the first place. Depending on when you read this, this advice may be like shutting the barn door after the horses have escaped. Nontheless, the best way to avoid a peeling sunburn is to avoid the sunburn in the first place. This can easily be done by limiting your exposure to the sun, especially on days when the UV index is high. Always use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when you're going to be in the sun for more than a few minutes, and reapply every 2 hours as needed. A hat and a shirt are essential on days where the UV index is above 8.
Enjoy the healing power of aloe. So you went and got sunburned anyway? Oh well, it's time to take care of your skin as well as we can. Thankfully, just as nature has given us the piercing rays of the sun, it has also provided us with a soothing plant to heal our burns. It's called aloe vera, and its extract is a powerful remedy for a sunburn. Apply it either in a prepackaged lotion form or directly from the plant (if you have such a plant available). The oil from the plant will make your skin feel better, and will help to cut down on flaking and peeling.
Take some aspirin. Aspirin can really stop a sunburn in its tracks if taken early enough. It can reduce the swelling and redness in the skin, as well as alleviate the worst of the pain. For best effects, the aspirin should be taken every few hours on the first day of the sunburn. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen work in similar ways, but they are not as effective at slowing down the pure mechanism of the sunburn itself.
Moisten with an apple cider vinegar bath. This is one of the most effective ways in which to prevent peeling. Purchase a good apple cider vinegar bath at your local health food store. Mix it in with your bath, lie back and let the healing begin. The vinegar helps to restore a healthy Ph balance to your skin, which is an important component in the healing process.
Avoid the sun until you are fully healed. Too many people make the mistake of thinking they can "work through" a sunburn. This is a fallacy. Once your skin is already damaged, it is twice as dangerous for you to be out in the sun. You are inviting serious sickness and a severely increased risk of skin cancer when you do this. Whatever you do, wait until your sunburn is fully healed before making another venture out into the sun.
Tips & Warnings
- All remedies work best when applied immediately and consistently--don't wait several days before putting these steps into action.
- Chills and a fever could mean sun poisoning--get to a doctor if you experience these symptoms!
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