Sooner or later, it happens to all of us: you slather on the sunscreen exactly as instructed, only to find at the end of the day that your skin is bright pink from sunburn. While over-the-counter remedies like hydrocortisone and chamomile lotion will relieve sunburn pain, you’ll be pleased to learn that you may already have products at home that will do the job just as well.
Adults may take ibuprofen or aspirin to alleviate the pain and inflammation that is associated with sunburn, but take care when treating children as aspirin is linked to Reyes Syndrome in children that have recently had flu-like symptoms.
Aloe and Vegetables
Aloe has been used for centuries to alleviate burn pain and is now sold over the counter in a gel form. If you have an aloe plant, cut off a leaf, split it length-wise, and rub the fresh gel directly onto the sunburn for fast relief. Sliced cucumber and eggplant can be used in the same way and will achieve the similar results.
Brew a strong cup of black or green tea and allow the tea to cool completely. Pour the tea on a wash cloth and then apply the cloth to the burned area. As the cloth warms from the skin’s heat, place it in the freezer for a few minutes and reuse. Similarly, a tea made from the flowers of the calendula plant will reduce inflammation and speed healing of the skin.
Plantain and Witch Hazel
Plantain contains allantoin and has been used for centuries to heal damaged skin cells as in sunburns; simply rub the painful skin with crushed plantain leaves for fast relief. Note that no scientific studies have confirmed plantain’s effectiveness, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Handy for insect stings and poison ivy, witch hazel will also relieve sunburn pain, and is available over-the-counter at low cost.