Sunburn, how to soothe it in a natural way?


The sun and all other sources of ultraviolet light can actually cause sunburn or make the skin redder.

While prevention is better than cure, especially if the damage to the skin is permanent , there are, however, natural treatments available to encourage healing, prevent infection, and reduce pain.

What is the definition of sunburn?

Sunburn is still far too common despite prevention campaigns . It is in fact equivalent to a first or second degree burn:

First degree sunburn:

The skin is red and sore but there are no “bubbles”.

Second degree sunburn:

It is red and painful like the first one, but there are also “bubbles” present.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays come from sunlight:

  • UVB rays are responsible for the “sunburn” effect and therefore the burn.
  • UVA rays are responsible for the aging of the skin.
  • UVA and UVB rays damage cells and are carcinogenic

Depending on the place of residence, the season, the time of day or the sunshine can be variable. In addition, the amount of UV received is very intense at altitude (in the mountains) and at the water’s edge (sea, lake swimming pool, etc.)

The three degrees of severity of sunburn

The banal sunburn:

It results in the gradual appearance of bright red patches, maximum in 12 to 24 hours. These can last from 3 to 5 days. The attack is limited to the superficial layers of the epidermis.

The 1st degree burn:

It is very painful and manifests as red patches, on which blisters can form. These are of varying sizes and can be grouped together.

2nd degree sunburn:

It is the cause of intense and lasting pain. Skin repair takes a long time. But with severe or extensive sunburn, headaches , chills, and fever are common symptoms.

When to seek medical attention for a sunburn?

Call the emergency room for severe cases!

Call the emergency room if you or a friend has the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Call a doctor if you have signs of heat stroke or dehydration!

If you have the following symptoms after sunburn, see a doctor as soon as possible. If any of these symptoms are debilitating, call the emergency room instead of waiting for your doctor’s appointment:

  • You feel weak
  • You feel like you are going to pass out or you feel dizzy
  • Pain relievers have no effect on your headache or the pain you feel
  • Your pulse or breathing is fast
  • You are extremely thirsty, you are not passing urine, or your eyes have sunk into their sockets
  • Your skin is pale, clammy, or cool
  • You have nausea, fever, chills or rash
  • Your eyes hurt and you are sensitive to light
  • You have large, painful blisters more than a centimeter wide
  • You are vomiting or have diarrhea

Watch for symptoms of an infection!

If you observe the following symptoms, especially around a blister, your skin may be infected. It is essential to have you checked by a doctor:

  • The area around the blister is painful, swollen, red, or hot
  • There are red streaks stretching beyond the blister
  • There is pus leaking from the blister
  • Your lymph nodes are swollen in your neck, armpits, or groin
  • You have fever

Call the emergency room for third degree burns!

It is possible to be burned in the third degree by the sun, even if this remains exceptional. If your skin looks burnt, waxy, and white, is brown in color, or is swollen and wrinkled, don’t wait any longer to call 911. Raise the burnt area above the heart while you wait, and move your clothes around the area to prevent them from sticking to the wound, without removing them.

The different treatments for sunburn

A medical opinion is necessary for a sunburn :

  • Second degree
  • Extended first degree
  • In babies or the elderly
  • In people with diabetes or suffering from venous or arterial pathology.

On the sunburn :

It is advisable to apply thick layers of Biafine by lightly massaging the sunburn by massaging lightly 2 to 4 times a day, then several times a day with a repairing cream after sun .

Homeopathy treatments for sunburn :

It is advisable to use homeopathy in addition to soothing creams such as Avène Hydrance Cream, for example in the following cases:

  • If the skin is pink and a little swollen: Apis Mellifica 15 CH : 5 granules 4 times a day
  • If the skin is red and painful: Belladonna 9 CH : 5 granules 4 times a day
  • If there are “bubbles”: Cantharis 15 CH : 5 granules 3 times a day, while waiting for the consultation.

To avoid sunburn, it is important to protect yourself physically with clothing and hats. Sunburns should no longer be exposed to sunlight.

Sun creams must have a protection factor adapted to the intensity of the sunshine as well as to the type of skin (matt, clear, very clear, etc.). Sunscreens should be applied half an hour before exposure and renewed every 2 hours or after each swim. Prefer creams with a maximum index for children and babies: always choose the cream with the maximum index (such as Organic Sun Cream Alga Maris SPF50 ), protect them as much as possible with clothing, caps, etc. and absolutely avoid sun exposure between 12 and 4 p.m.

If you are going to be in the sun and you are taking medication (by mouth or even applied to the skin), ask your pharmacist if there is any risk of photosensitization.

Natural remedies for sunburn

In order to soothe the burning sensation, you can use different natural remedies, namely:

The calendula oil bio :

Known for its healing and soothing properties, it is ideal for weakened and irritated skin and will help your skin to rebuild. You can apply a dab of oil by gently massaging the affected area and leave on overnight.

The green clay :

Once mixed with water, the mud obtained helps to stop inflammation and help healing. Apply as a poultice and leave for two hours before gently rinsing with cold water.

Egg whites in snow:

Create a foamy texture of egg whites to soothe pain with the calming properties of proteins.

Baking soda :

Apply soaked compresses (dilution of a tablespoon of baking soda in 250ml of cold water) in the mixture and repeat the operation until the burning sensation disappears.

Plain yogurt:

As a poultice, to soothe and refresh the skin; apply for 15 minutes and rinse gently with cold water.

Lemon juice:

With refreshing and antiseptic properties, lemon juice acts against sunburn and also helps the skin to regenerate. Dilute a lemon juice in cold water and apply in compresses. Repeat the process until improvement.

The aloe vera :

Natural remedy known for its properties against burns, irritations or even superficial wounds, aloe vera gel is applied to your skin to combine hydration and healing. Its fresh texture soothes and penetrates deeply.

Honey :

Moisturizing and soothing, it will nourish your skin and prevent it from peeling afterwards.

Cucumbers or vinegar:

To soothe the burn resulting from sunburn, you can apply fresh cucumber juice or vinegar water compresses (vinegar with a little water) to the skin, which provide real relief.


Arnaud. C. (Doctor of Pharmacy)

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