A friend of mine loves to spend her January vacation traveling to places where the weather is a bit forgiving. The cold winters are too much for her and she prefers places where there’s plenty of sun and sand. This year, she decided to visit one of the African countries. Upon arriving home, besides a tan, she had sunburn on her left shoulder. It was healing and she attributed this to an old sunburn remedy she got from her mom – vinegar.
I sought to know if vinegar really helps treat sunburn or it’s just a myth. My research concluded the following.
This is damage caused to living tissue by the suns ultraviolet rays. These destroy living tissue especially the skin and in more severe cases such as second degree sunburn, it can cause considerable damage to nerves.
Vinegar for sunburn
While some people might believe the contrary, vinegar does help in the treatment of sunburn. It contains antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. These will help relieve pain and prevent infection. Applied on sunburned skin, vinegar also helps to dry out the blisters promoting fast healing. In addition, vinegar has the unique ability of bringing the skins pH back to normal after sunburn. This helps to prevent further damage to neighboring skin cells.
How to use vinegar to treat sunburn
The process of using vinegar to treat sunburn in quite simple. The first step involves cooling the affected area. This provides relief from pain as well as prevents severe damage to the skin tissue. Use cool running water and never use ice as it can lead to further tissue damage. After cooling, lightly dab the affected area dry with a towel.
Mix vinegar with water at a ratio of 1:1. The reason for doing this is that vinegar can sting if applied on sunburned skin. This is especially so if the skin has blisters which have broken.
Dip a soft cloth in your solution and lightly dab the affected area and let it dry. After this, apply moisturizer to protect the skin from being too dehydrated.
When is it best to use vinegar?
The best time to use vinegar for your sunburn is immediately you start experiencing symptoms such as redness, swelling and pain. These are the initial symptoms of sunburn.
What are the other measures to use alongside vinegar?
Sunburn of the second degree will typically take between 2 and 3 weeks to heal. Vinegar alone won’t completely relieve the condition. Some other measures to use alongside vinegar include the following.
Ensure that the sunburned area is covered and away from direct sunlight. Exposure can lead to more damage to the skin tissue.
Damage to the nerves will lead to pain in the affected area. Take anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen and aspirin to relieve pain.
Keep your skin hydrated by taking lots of fluids. Besides ensuring that further damage doesn’t occur in the sunburned area, hydration also promotes the development of new skin cells to replace the damaged ones.