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7 Preventive Tips for Sunburn & Heat Exhaustion

It’s official: heat wave 2011 is in full force. And if you’re out roaming in this scorching summer heat wave, it’s inevitable that you’re going to find yourself in the middle of some intense situations like sunburn or heat exhaustion.




Taking a pain-reliever, like ibuprofen and aspirin, is a sure-fire way to relieve sunburn pain, dermatologists say. But there are also a bounty of natural options that can help.

#1. Aloe Vera

If you look in any pharmacy or drug store aisle, you’re sure to find shelves of aloe vera gel to soothe sunburn pain. That’s because the plant has a long history of providing sunburn relief because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Though it feels soothing, most scientific evidence doesn’t show that aloe vera actually speeds up healing of sunburns. But it feels good, and it makes [the skin] feel cold. So if relief is your goal, it’s still worth it to slather up.

#2. Vitamin E & Vitamin C

Science agrees that the vitamin helps, but preventatively: Both vitamins E and C have been shown in studies to work as a preventive measure against sunburn. That’s because the vitamins act as antioxidants to heal sunburn that is a result of oxidative damage to skin cells. The vitamins are “more effective when used regularly, rather than with a single application.”

#3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Theoretically, vinegar could help to balance the body’s pH levels to take away the stinging feeling of the burn, though it likely works by just providing a cooling sensation to the skin. There haven’t been any studies on the effects of vinegar on sunburn, but it’s likely effective, because vinegar is an antiseptic and helps to cool the skin as it evaporates.

#4. Oatmeal, Milk, Honey

Oat extract has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve sunburn pain. It’s likely that making up a batch of oatmeal and chilling it down will soothe sunburn when applied to the skin.

Milk is known to help soothe pain, itching and burning when used in cold compresses. Yogurt also seems to have a similar effect. However, there aren’t yet any scientific studies backing this up.

Honey is antibacterial and multiple studies have shown that honey can help to heal wounds; Applying honey to a sunburn could help the skin re-epithelize (grow new epithelial skin cells), especially Manuka honey because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

#5. Tomato

A German study shows that smearing tomato paste on the skin helps to prevent sunburn, likely because tomatoes are rich in the chemical lycopene that helps to reduce the sunburn response from ultraviolet radiation.

Well, to prevent all these heat-induced troubles, take precautions like applying lots of sunscreen and staying in the shade (and out of the sun’s UV rays). Have a safe and hydrated summer!

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5 Responses to “7 Preventive Tips for Sunburn & Heat Exhaustion”

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