Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why we need Sun Protection: Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Sun Damage Skin

As per a paper published in 2005 in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology,  approximately one-third of american adults suffer from sun burn each year and yet only one in every three practices sun protection guidelines. Further, sunburn is also linked with skin damage increasing the risk of premature aging and skin cancers.While using sunscreen and avoiding the sun are best recommended tips, there are certain home remedies and natural treatments that can help reduce the implications of post exposure damage.
Red, Inflamed, Sunburn Skin
Why do we need sun protection?

Sunburn is skin damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiations from the sun. In absence of melanin (a hormone providing protection against ultraviolet radiations), the high energy photons can trigger disruption of DNA bonds and result in damage to the DNA. However, melanin acts as a ‘photoprotectant’  and absorbs UV light preventing this direct DNA damage. However, free radicals are generated by these high energy photons which indirectly damage the DNA molecules.

The damage of the DNA molecules not only speeds up the process of aging, but also increases your risk of developing skin cancer.Experts say sunlight that is reflected off water, snow or sand; even on an overcast day can be as harmful as direct sunlight. The extent of sun damage depends up on one’s skin pigmentation, season, geographic location and the time of the day.
Sunburn is seen as reddening and inflammation of the skin due to overexposure to the sun. Sun related damage may be:
  1. Mild, with only redness and burning; 
  2. Moderate, with fluid-filled blisters; 
  3. Severe, with a deep red skin and blisters. In addition other systemic symptoms like fever, nausea and giddiness may also be present.  

Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief

Here are some simple home remedies that can be considered useful in the management of sun burn and protect the skin from sun damage, 
Aloe Vera Soothes
Sun related damage
  1. Aloe Vera gel: Aloe Vera is the best home remedy for sunburns; it soothes an inflamed and irritated skin, heals blisters and accelerates healing.
  2.  Flax seed oil: Flax seeds are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for a healthy, damage-free skin. Applying flax seed oil reduces inflammation and swelling and reverses the sun damage appreciably.
  3.  Lavender oil: blend lavender essential oil with a carrier oil such as almond oil or avocado oil, and apply generously over the affected area. Lavender essential oil is calming, soothing and relaxing; it heals sunburns with incredible and speedy effectiveness.
Supplements cannot prevent sun related damage, but when taken orally, they can help reduce the discomfort and damage and hasten repair of the skin. 
  • Vitamin A: is a ‘skin vitamin’. It speeds up healing of the damaged skin and thwarts the appearance of wrinkles associated with sun exposure. Have 25000 I.U. daily for a fortnight.
  • Vitamin C: is another powerful ‘skin vitamin’ and a potent oxidant. Sun exposure releases free radicals that damage your skin, vitamin C fights free radical damage effectively. Have 1000 mg thrice daily for a week.
  •  Vitamin E: is a potent antioxidant as well, working as a free radical scavenger and destroyer. Have 400 I.U daily for a fortnight.
How to Treat Sunburn Naturally? 

Here are some simple tips that can help treat and protect the skin from sun damage,  
  • Use sun block daily. Your sunscreen must have at least SPF 15. Cover up with shades, scarves and hats, for added protection.
  • Also, it would be prudent to not step out between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun is strongest
  • For severe pain and burning, soak cotton napkins in cold milk and place over the affected area. It is soothing and quickly relieves the pain and discomfort.
  • Ground oatmeal with a little honey should be applied immediately over the sunburn area. Leave on for half an hour; then rinse with cold water. It will relieve the burning and itching successfully.
How To Reverse Sun related damage?
An effective tried and tested remedy is yogurt and lime. Mix 3 spoons of yogurt with a few drops of lime. The moment you get home, apply this blend all over your body (especially, the sun exposed parts) and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off. This therapy helps get rid of day-to-day sun damage effectively and efficiently fights of the ravages of aging.


  1. Thanks Shweta!

    It's always nice to see home remedies that give people the option of treating sun-damaged skin.

    (By the way, in your second subtitle, I think it was supposed to say "Protection" instead of "production.")

    I actually have a little article about this as well at, but I really like what you've done with the home remedy approach!


  2. Thank you for the helpful and informative tips Shweta.

    In Greece, they had us spread yogurt over sunburnt skin. I tried it on my husband once and he said it helped alleviate the pain from the burn. We had to leave it on until pretty much of it was absorbed into the skin. Then he took a cool shower to rinse the rest off. Just thought I would share another tip with you!

    Have a nice day.


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