How Aloe Vera Treats Sunburns
Picture this: it’s a nice day to be out in the sun and you lie on a lounge chair with the hopes of getting a nice tan. Your perfect plan comes apart when you walk away from the chair looking less tan and more burned. It can be a horrible sight, not to mention the sometimes swollen and painful skin that comes with it.
According to the CDC, more than one-third of adults and 70% of children have gotten sunburned in the last year. Despite the unhealthy effect of harmful UV rays on the skin, some of us still take the risk of exposure to these burning rays of the sun.
So what happens when you become one of the statistics with red, swollen, and hurting skin?
Well, if you have ever tried it, you would know that there is nothing more soothing than a layer of aloe vera gel or lotion on sunburned skin.
Aloe vera is sometimes called the ‘burn plant’ because of its healing properties and soothing effects on burns. In fact, when the various outstanding benefits of aloe vera were first discovered, the Egyptians called it, ‘the plant of immortality’. We all know it’s a name well-deserved.
As we always do, we will look into how aloe vera treats sunburns and how you can use this benefit on those tricky days.
Learning About Sunburns
It’s not surprising that there are misconceptions about sunburns. Some people may understand it differently from others. So let’s clarify.
Sunburn is the word that describes a radiation burn on the skin from overexposure to ultraviolet rays. We can easily identify this condition as red, swollen, painful skin after a long time outdoors. Any tan or color added to the skin after a time under UV rays is a sunburn. Hence, there is no such thing as a ‘base tan’. The skin is hurt when this occurs and should be treated. The redness that occurs with sunburns is as a result of the extra blood filling the capillaries. You can test this by pressing sunburned skin. It will turn white at that moment and redden again as you let go because the capillaries are filling with blood.
UV damage to the skin doesn’t have to be severe to become an issue. Any UV damage at all can lead to skin cancer and other skin problems.
How soon can you experience sunburn?
When you stay outdoors or under UV rays for too long, sunburn can happen. However, other factors like your skin type and the intensity of the sun affect how soon sunburn it occurs.
What are the signs and symptoms of sunburn?
The first sign is the redness of skin and pain. In the case of severe sunburn, you may experience swelling and sunburn blisters. You may also feel symptoms of flu, chills, nausea, headache, and weakness. Sunburn peeling and itch are further signs of severe damage to the skin.
When the skin starts to peel and itch a few days later, it is the body’s way of trying to get rid of the sun-damaged cells. This stage is important because sun-damaged cells can become cancerous. Even after new skin has formed, there is a higher risk of skin cancer. This also increases the risk of melanoma and accelerates skin aging.
The ideal sunburn relief or sunburn treatment should relieve the inflamed skin and ease the pain. It should heal the skin completely and prevent any effects like skin aging.
The good news is, most home remedies can soothe sunburn. But this only applies to minor cases. Severe sunburn might need medical attention.
Aloe Vera- the ideal sunburn remedy
There are several home remedies for sunburns but their efficacy may differ. Aloe vera is well known for its benefits on skin and its ability to treat sunburns. The gel of the plant is nutrient-packed and effective to hydrate, moisturize, and smoothen skin. Here are the properties of the plant that make it an efficient sunburn remedy.
Sunburned skin is always inflamed. This often generates the pain and need for quick relief. Aloe vera has soothing properties that make it suitable for sunburn relief. The vitamins and minerals contained in the plant replenish that lost from the skin and the anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin and reduce pain.
Soothing the skin to ease the pain is only one step to sunburn treatment. The next is to promote skin repair and the growth of new skin. Aloe vera contains the key ingredients needed for this process, and they are glycoprotein and polysaccharides. The glycoprotein helps to minimize inflammation while the polysaccharides aid skin growth and repair.
Sunburn also means depletion of moisture and increased dryness of the skin. Aloe vera the burn plant is 99% water and is valued for its hydration properties. When applied, aloe vera replaces lost moisture and keeps the skin supple and fresh while the repair takes place. In the end, it’s almost like nothing ever happened.
Because of its nutrient-packed property, aloe vera is a quick and natural sunburn solution. It has all you need to repair the damaged skin, and this speeds up the healing process.
Sun damage to the skin can speed up symptoms of aging. Aloe vera stimulates fibroblast activity, which in turn promotes collagen and elastin production. The zinc in aloe vera helps to tighten the pores and the antioxidants prevent free radicals from forming. Therefore, aloe vera helps to reduce or eliminate skin aging from skin damage. Learn more about aloe vera and skin aging here.
The salicylic acid in aloe vera acts as an exfoliator. It helps to remove dead skin cells and improve the penetration of other ingredients to the skin for healing.
How to use Aloe Vera to Treat Sunburns
Aloe vera is a highly versatile plant not just in benefit but also in the method of use. There are several convenient ways to use aloe for sunburn treatment.
If you have access to a raw and freshly grown aloe plant, you can easily break off a chunk of the plant to reveal the inner gel. You can apply the gel directly on the skin to treat a minor sunburn. Use it consistently once or twice a day for best results. You can place the plant in the fridge for even cooler sensation to soothe the skin.
Pure and fresh commercial aloe vera gel can be applied just as easily as the raw gel from the plant. There’s no need to worry if you cannot obtain a plant, just buy an aloe vera product. Before you purchase or use such products, you must check and ensure that the ingredients or the aloe vera are pure. Some companies use fillers, color, and other unhealthy additives that defeat the purpose of the plant altogether. Browse our store for the bestselling Forever aloe vera gel. It is pure and highly effective. With Forever Living Aloe Vera gel you don’t have to worry about unhealthy manufacturing practices or ingredients.
Lotions containing a high percent of aloe vera are available in online or local stores and can work for treating sunburns. However, they cannot be used often or in high amounts. Make sure the lotion does not contain additives like color or artificial fragrances. You can browse the store for several aloe vera lotions and effective sunscreen.
Ingesting aloe vera juice is as effective as applying aloe vera gel topically. It provides even more benefits than a sunburn remedy. The only drawback is that ingesting the juice won’t soothe the pain and irritation from the sunburn. Neither do you get to enjoy that feeling of relief when the cool gel touches your inflamed skin.
How to Prevent Sunburn
There are helpful and easy practices that can help to prevent sunburns in the first place.
Remember to stay updated with us on more aloe vera content. Check out the store regularly for natural, pure, and powerful aloe vera based products to help you maximize these benefits.
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Dusza, S., Halpern, A., Satagopan, J., Oliveria, S., Weinstock, M., Scope, A., Berwick, M. and Geller, A. (2012). Prospective Study of Sunburn and Sun Behavior Patterns During Adolescence. PEDIATRICS, 129(2), pp.309-317.
Maenthaisong, R., Chaiyakunapruk, N., Niruntraporn, S. and Kongkaew, C. (2007). The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: A systematic review. Burns, 33(6), pp.713-718.
Wu, S., Cho, E., Li, W., Weinstock, M., Han, J. and Qureshi, A. (2016). History of Severe Sunburn and Risk of Skin Cancer Among Women and Men in 2 Prospective Cohort Studies. American Journal of Epidemiology, 183(9), pp.824-833.