A common problem of being in the sun is sun damaged skin. This is true, especially during summer months when many are likely to spend
more time than usual out in the sun, often wearing less clothing than they would
normally. If not careful, this excessive sun exposure can cause unsightly
surface skin problems as well as deeper skin damage, which can lead to more
serious consequences usually developing later on in life.
Harmful Effects of UV Rays
Damage to the skin is caused by UV Rays, which are absorbed by the skin cells. While UV rays in small quantities can be beneficial for some conditions, such as psoriasis, they can be very damaging to healthy skin. The damage is rarely noticeable immediately but many go on to develop skin cancer or other diseases associated with sun damage.
The most common sign of excessive UV exposure is sunburn, a condition named erythema. Sunburn occurs when the skin cells absorb too many UV rays. The resulting damage to the cells triggers the body to increase the blood supply to the surface of the skin, causing the redness and irritation associated with sunburn.
Skin Sun Spots
Another common skin problem caused by excessive sun exposure is sun spots. Sun spots are unsightly lesions that develop on the surface of the skin. They are small, scaly, red spots that typically appear on areas of the skin that receive more exposure to the sun. Areas normally affected by sun spots include the:
The spots can be itchy and
painful, and if not monitored closely, can develop into a rare form of skin
cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. The more sun spots a person has, the
greater the risk of developing skin cancer.
Even for a person who never develops a sunburn or sun spots, there is still the possibility of sun damaged skin. Not all damage shows up immediately. Small, non-visible amounts of damage can build up over time taking many years, and lead to small lines wrinkles and changes in skin texture.
Quick Fixes for Sun Damage
The best fix for sun damaged skin, of course, is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It is important to avoid long-term exposure during peak sun hours (between 10am and 3pm) and always wear protective clothing and sunscreen when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.
However, even with the best
preventative care, there may still be times when the skin is exposed to too
much sun. When this happens, there are some natural remedies that can help
relieve immediate discomfort, heal the skin, and prevent further damage from
The top three natural remedies for sun damage are:
Aloe Vera - is one of the most well known remedies for the treatment of sun damaged skin. Whether used straight from the leaves of the aloe vera plant or in an over-the-counter preparation, aloe vera has an immediate cooling effect, reducing the pain and swelling from sunburn and limiting the permanent damage caused by the UV rays.
Aloe vera works as an astringent, keeping the skin clean as it heals, and when applied with a small amount of oil, such as coconut oil or avocado oil, it will keep the skin moist, preventing dehydration, which can lead to cracking and peeling of the skin.
Oatmeal - is not as commonly known for its effects in healing sun damaged skin, although it is known for treating other types of skin rashes. However, the same soothing healing properties that relieve skin rashes will also relieve the pain and discomfort of excessive sun exposure. The following procedure should be done as soon as possible to prevent peeling/blistering and soreness. This may prove especially effective for those who have moved to a tropical part of the world and are not yet used to the amount of sunlight.
1. Fill a bath tub with cool water
2. Add three cups of dried oatmeal
3. Stir until the oatmeal is mostly dissolved
4. Soak in the oatmeal bath for approximately 30 minutes for best results.
5. This can be done two or three times a day until the effects of the sun damage have disappeared.
Vitamin A – is an antioxidant that works both externally and internally to fight the sun damaged skin and aging effects of the sun. Vitamin A can be applied directly to the skin by puncturing a liquid capsule, squeezing the contents onto the damaged area of skin, and gently rubbing it in.
There are also over-the-counter lotions and oils that are made with Vitamin A. Avocado oil, mentioned above, is an oil that is naturally rich in Vitamins A, D, and E and is an excellent choice for relieving and preventing sun damage. A great source of this vitamin can be consumed naturally too, in the form of cheese, oily fish, eggs and milk.
These remedies should be conducted when the skin has suffered from sunburn. In cases when the individual is constantly exposed to excess UV rays, such as outdoor builders or farm workers, the remedies should be completed on a daily basis.
While avoiding sun damaged skin is not always possible, with good preventative care and these helpful natural remedies, it is easy to control the effects of sun damaged skin and prevent further damage from occurring. Proper skin care is important, not only for appearance but for good health as well.
This is a Guest Article Written by:
My name is Evelyn and I am a freelance writer based in the UK.
I currently specialize in writing articles regarding health matters. A particular focus of mine at the moment is skin health.
I enjoy writing about remedies for the treatment of common skin conditions such as acne, eczema and liver spots.
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