Sunburn is a radiation burn to the skin that’s caused when UV rays damage DNA in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. The term used to describe red and sometimes painful and swollen skin triggered by overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sunburn can occur in less than 15 minutes. It can lead to premature ageing and wrinkling of the skin. People with black skin can get a sunburn right alongside their friend with pale skin. It’s true! The risk of Sunburn has to do with the melanin in your skin, not the color but it can, we will show you how to treat sunburn fast on dark skin without anyone even noticing it.
Dermatologists rank all of us in a skin pigment level depending on your melanin level. Melanin is the pigment in your hair, skin and eyes that give color. Those with lighter skin have less melanin than those with darker skin.
While you should avoid getting sunburnt in the first place, if you do happen to get a sunburn you’ll find everything you need to know on how to treat it fast below. Sunburns should be treated the same no matter your skin coloring.
Table of Contents
- How Does Your Skin get Sunburnt?
- How to Treat Sunburn on a Dark Skin
- Keep Hydrated to Treat Sunburn
- Take Vitamins E and C to Treat Sunburn
- How to use Aloe Vera to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
- Using Essential Oils to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
- Take a Cool Bath to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
- How to use Green Tea to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
- How to use Coconut Oil to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
- Milk for Treating Sunburn on Dark Skin
- Leave Blisters Alone in Treating Sunburn on Dark Skin
- Use Plain Yoghurt to Treat Sunburn
- Things to Avoid while Treating Sunburn on Dark Skin
How Does Your Skin get Sunburnt?
Your skin can burn if it gets too much sun without proper protection from sunscreen and clothes. When your skin soaks up sunlight, your skin cells produce a dark pigment called melanin to protect your skin against damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. It’s a defence mechanism and when the defences are overwhelmed due to excessive exposure to UV rays, a toxic reaction occurs that results in sunburn.
How to Treat Sunburn on a Dark Skin
Treatment can help manage the symptoms of sunburn while your skin heals. Natural and home remedies are good for treating sunburns. Treating sunburns is actually much easier than you might think when using these natural sunburn remedies. Here are some tips for treating sunburn on dark skin using natural and home remedies;
Keep Hydrated to Treat Sunburn
Drink lots of water to replace the fluid loss caused by the burn and to speed up the healing process. At the very minimum, drink the recommended eight, 8 oz. glasses of water, as a sunburn causes your skin to lose moisture.
Take Vitamins E and C to Treat Sunburn
Vitamins C and E are antioxidants. They neutralize the free radicals that are created by sun damage, protecting you from lasting skin damage, and they will also help to heal and repair your skin faster.
Vitamins won’t take the sting out of a painful sunburn, but they will help to heal it faster. Taking 2000 milligrams of vitamin C and 1,000 IU of vitamin E for 8 days could help your sunburn heal and potentially reduce your chances for developing skin cancer in the future, say experts.
How to use Aloe Vera to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
Apply aloe vera or a moisturizer to the affected area. Aloe vera is one of the best home remedies to cure sunburns. Aloe vera is readily available, and the aloe vera plant is relatively easy to grow indoors. You can break a leaf off to access its juices directly. Squeeze the broken piece of leaf to get all the juices or gently slice it down one side to gain easier access. Aloe vera will soothe the skin, relieve the pain of the burn and help speed up the healing process with less peeling. Add some vitamin E oil to the aloe vera to boost the healing properties. But remember not to apply Aloe Vera if blisters have formed.
Using Essential Oils to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
You can use an essential oil like tea tree oil diluted with olive or virgin coconut oil to treat a sunburn and prevent peeling. This treatment will not only help treat the sunburn but will help your overall skin tone and texture. To use this tea tree oil to treat sunburn on dark skin, simply mix together one part tea tree oil with 10 parts olive oil and apply the mixture over the sunburn.
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that you can use in treating sunburn on dark skin. Apply diluted peppermint oil to sunburned skin, as long as the skin isn’t blistered. Use a peppermint infusion as a milder wash to help cool a sunburn. If you like you can make an infusion of cooling peppermint or spearmint tea. Drink it and use it to bathe the affected area.
Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the sunburned area. Add two to three drops of chamomile oil to a tablespoon of any carrier oil like coconut oil. Mix it well and apply to the affected area and leave it on until it dries completely.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of lavender oil can help in relieving symptoms of pain, inflammation, and redness associated with sunburn. Add two to three drops of lavender oil to a tablespoon of any carrier oil. Mix well and apply the mixture to the affected area. Leave it on to dry.
Take a Cool Bath to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
Gently bathe in cool or lukewarm water to relieve pain and also loosen peeling skin and remove it gently. You can also add lavender or chamomile oil to the bath to help soothe the skin. Try and soak in the cool tub for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also apply a cool or cold damp towel gently on your skin for 10-15 minutes. Replace it with another cool washcloth after the other becomes warm. The cold water pulls some of the heat out of your skin by numbing the affected area and relieves the pain.
How to use Green Tea to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
Green tea contains beneficial polyphenols that can help in the treatment as well as prevention of sunburns. Grab 1 or 2 green tea bags and boil one cup of water. Put the tea bag inside the hot cup of water. Steep for 5-10 minutes and strain, then drink the tea.
You can also refrigerate the used tea bag and apply it to the affected area. Rinse it off in 20-30 minutes.
How to use Coconut Oil to Treat Sunburn on Dark Skin
The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activities of coconut oil can speed up the healing of burn wounds and may also help soothe sunburns.
Take some virgin coconut oil in your palms and apply it directly to the sunburned skin.
Leave it on until it dries completely.
Milk for Treating Sunburn on Dark Skin
Milk is a rich source of many nutritional elements that exhibit a healing effect on wounds (8). To use milk in treating sunburn all you need are milk (canned evaporated milk it cold one!) and cotton balls.
- Dip a cotton ball in a cup of milk and apply it to the affected area.
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Then rinse it off with water.
Leave Blisters Alone in Treating Sunburn on Dark Skin
If your skin blisters, don’t pop them because that makes the sunburn worse. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. Allow the blisters to heal and protect you from infection. Cover itchy blisters with a wound dressing to reduce the risk of infection. If your blisters pop or break on their own, clean the area with mild soap and water, and then cover it with a wet dressing.
For sunburn rash, apply a cool compress and aloe vera gel to soothe your skin and make the rash go away faster.
Use Plain Yoghurt to Treat Sunburn
The enzymes and probiotics in plain, unflavored yoghurt help to heal sunburn naturally. Apply yoghurt directly to burned areas and let sit for at least five minutes. When the pain subsides, gently wash off with cool water.
Things to Avoid while Treating Sunburn on Dark Skin
Avoid using heavy creams, butter and petroleum jelly products on sunburned skin. These products can trap the heat the skin is trying to release. This can actually cause the burn to go deeper into the skin and cause more damage. Avoid products that contain benzocaine, lidocaine or petroleum since this may irritate your skin