by Andrea Purcell, ND
Summer is finally here and so are those warm healing rays. Even on the hazy days I had multiple reports of sunburn because the direct effects of the sun are less obvious. It can be deceiving but even though we can’t see the sun the Ultraviolet light still gets through. It’s important to practice safe sun to get the Vitamin D we need without the effects of sun overdose. However if you will be out too long here are some helpful tips in choosing a safe sunscreen:
Choose ingredients such as Zinc oxide or Titanium oxide. For an entire breakdown of safe sunscreens please visit www.ewg.org, 2010 sunscreen guide.
As with everything in life moderation is essential. In case you were fooled into thinking that you could garden all day in a tank top here are a few natural health tips to make soothing the burn a little easier.
My favorite natural tools in treating sunburn involve 3 topical remedies and 3 homeopathic remedies.
In choosing a topical remedy you can select from one of the following, as it would do no good to use all three together.
1) Calendula Cream – made from an infusion of calendula flowers, it is well known for healing scrapes, repairing burned skin, and promoting healing.
2) Aloe Vera – the fresh gel from the plant or in a bottle from the health food store. Cooling & soothing to burned skin.
3) Liquid Minerals from Trace Minerals research – Apply the liquid minerals to your palm rub your palms together and rub repeatedly and deeply into the burned area. The trace minerals have a way of balancing and re-hydrating the areas of damaged skin. This can initially generate more heat and feel sharp and tingly on the skin.
The top three homeopathic remedies for burned skin are:
1) Calendula 30c – Soothing the burn and helping heal the damaged skin.
2) Cantharis 30c –Itching, burned skin, with small vesicles, scalding pain, & restlessness.
3) Apis 30c - Swollen skin, worse with hot applications, better with cold.
Dosing: 2 pellets dissolved on tongue every 2 hours over 36 hrs or until burn subsides or patient falls asleep.
My personal story: The first time I traveled to Ecuador, I was deceived by the notion that I could sit under an umbrella all day with SPF 15 and practice safe sun. Well by the time I had returned to my lodging that night I was as red as a lobster! Initially I couldn’t understand what had happened since I was technically in the shade all day but then it hit me, the Ultraviolet rays had passed right through the umbrella and had been cooking me slowly for hours. After all I was on the Equator. I promptly got out my first aid bag of natural remedies and selected Cantharis, and Apis. I promptly twisted two pellets of each out of the caps and dissolved them on my tongue, which I did every two hours until night fall. I slathered trace minerals all over the burned areas and rubbed them in deeply. Then I dressed in loose clothing and went to dinner. The next day I was still burned, less red and my skin was tight but no blisters. I continued my dosing of the remedies and the minerals for an additional 24 hours. By the third day the burn had turned into a deep tan, and I was without discomfort. Two weeks after I returned home the top layer of my skin peeled and that was it! I attribute the remedies in my kit to saving me from 2nd degree burns & blistered skin.