Managing Sunburn

Managing Sunburn

Dark skin can get sunburned too!

This rainy season is bringing a lot of respite from the usual heat of our Nigerian climate, almost daily showers mean that the weather is usually on the cool side with cloudy skies  most of the time. Every few days though, the sun comes out with a vengeance, and you would almost think it is trying to remind us of its might. Lol!

The aftermath of such sunny days is sometimes a painful sunburn. I have heard many people say that black people don’t get sunburned, but this is a misconception. We do have a lot of Melanin which protects us from the sun’s rays, but there are spaces between these cells which leave us with areas that are vulnerable, especially after long periods of exposure to the sun. Lighter skinned people are of course at a greater disadvantage because they’ve got less melanin.

Now, as always, prevention is better than cure. You should avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun, and if you must go out on a sunny day, ensure that your skin is shielded from the glare. If you do get burned though, here are a few helpful remedies that naturally alleviate the pain and sensitivity that comes with sunburn.

1. Vitamin E Oilvitamin e

A well known antioxidant, Vitamin E oil also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Apply to affected areas at least twice a day on skin for about 5 days to see improvement.

2. Cucumbers

Cucumbers have amazing therapeutic properties and are probably the cheapest sunburn remedy you can find. It doesn’t hurt that they are also a very healthy snack alternative! To use, blend 1-2 cucumbers place the juice into the refrigerator to cool. After about 30 minutes to one hour, apply the juice to the sunburned skin to feel instant relieve from tightness. Use 2 to 3 times a day.

3. Milkfacial

The fat, protein and pH of milk together create a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. Soak a clean cloth in a bowl with equal parts milk, ice cubes and water. Hold the cloth on the burned area for about 5 minutes. Repeat three times per day.

4. Cornstarch

This cheap and cheerful cooking condiment is great for sunburn. Simply mix in some cool water until you get a paste, and rub it on the affected areas until the sunburn is less painful, and then rinse off. Do this a few times a day till you’re back to good as new.

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