15/02/2016 admin


Symptoms :

First degree burns –

  • painful, reddened skin, warm and tender to the touch.

Second degree burns –

  • extreme reddening,
  • swelling,
  • pain
  • blisters

Very severe sunburn –

  • fever,
  • chills,
  • weakness,
  • nausea,
  • possibly delirium,
  • rarely, the patient may go into shock (very low blood pressure, fainting, extreme weakness) 

Complications –

  • Infection in cases of second degree burns
  • Dehydration (especially in children)


Risk factors –

People with albinism

Acute sunburn –

Brief overexposure to UV light


Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Avoid exposure, particularly to strong, direct sunlight, especially between 10 am and 3 pm, and during summer and at high altitudes,
  • Wear protective clothing (long sleeved shirts of tight-weaved material, hats, etc), sunglasses, as well as sunscreens with adequate UV protection (chemicals that filter out UV light)
  • High protein foods for tissue repair, and raw fruits and vegetables to supply the required vitamins and minerals
  • Plenty of fluids to combat dehydration
  • Soak for half an hour in a bath containing a pound of baking soda to relieve pain
  • In order to obtain a tan, it is best to start off with 15 minutes exposure, increasing this by 15 minutes every few days. Self-tanning lotions are a safer alternative
  • Certain medications and chemicals increase sensitivity to sunlight, so a doctor should always be consulted before sun exposure if on medication.

Supplement Recommendations

  • Add the contents of 1 capsule each of vitamin A, C and E, and selenium to sunscreen to help prevent free radical damage to the skin,
  • Lip ice containing natural ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E are ideal for use on lips
  • Cold tap water compresses can be used to soothe raw, hot areas
  • Skin moisturizers that do not contain anaesthetics or perfumes that may irritate or sensitize the skin can also be used
  • Aloe vera gel relieves discomfort, speeds healing and moisturizes the skin. A thin layer of gel should be applied to the burned area/s every hour until the pain has gone. Pulp from the inside of a fresh plant is best. If a commercial product is used, it should not contain mineral oil, paraffin waxes, alcohol or colouring
  • A salve of calendula flowers and St. John’s wort applied to the burned area/s has antiseptic and painkilling action, and promotes healing
  • Six cups of chamomile tea or 6 drops of chamomile or lavender oil added to a lukewarm bath, in which the patient should soak for half an hour, will ease pain and stinging
  • A compress made with strong comfrey or gotu kola tea, cooled and applied to the affected area/s for half an hour will provide relief
  • Horsetail, a good source of silica, aids tissue repair.
  • A cream containing at least 5% tea tree oil helps to heal sunburn
  • A wash of apple cider vinegar diluted with an equal amount of water can be used to wash the affected area/s, followed by application of an herbal infusion of St. John’s wort oil to the burned area/s


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