Summer is always a great time to enjoy the great outdoors and soak up some vitamin D. However, it is all too easy to get too much sun exposure which leads to the painful effects of sunburn. Sunburn is not only painful but it can lead to skin damage and, in the long run, increase your risk of skin cancer.
if you’re one of the many who’ve been lounging outside without sunscreen, or maybe you were negligent with reapplication, you’re probably feeling the burn! Luckily, there are natural ways to moisturize and nourish the skin after sunburn. But before we get to those natural remedies it is important to know what the first steps should be after a sunburn.
So let’s review sunburn first aid:
Move Out of the Sun: As soon as you notice signs of sunburn, such as redness or pain, move to a shaded area or indoors immediately to prevent further skin damage.
Cool Down Your Skin: Apply cold compresses to the sunburned area or take a cool (not cold) bath or shower to help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can occur after excessive sun exposure and can worsen your sunburn symptoms.
Moisturize: Apply a moisturizing lotion or aloe vera gel to the affected area. This can help soothe the skin and prevent it from drying out and peeling.
Avoid Further Sun Exposure: Stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals to prevent further damage. If you have to be outdoors, wear protective clothing and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Now let’s review some natural moisturizers and topical treatments to help protect and repair the skin after sunburn:
1. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is one of the most effective natural treatments for sunburn. Aloe vera has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant because it contains powerful compounds that work to reduce inflammation, stimulate skin growth, and has a cooling effect on the skin. Slice open an aloe vera leaf and apply the gel directly to your sunburned skin. Do this several times per day, and you should see a reduction in redness and pain in no time.
2. Oatmeal Bath: An oatmeal bath is another effective way to soothe sunburn. The anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal combined with cool water can help to reduce redness and inflammation, which will make you feel better fast. Simply grind up some oats in a blender or food processor to create a fine powder. Add the oatmeal powder to a cool bath and soak in it for at least 20 minutes.
3. Green Tea: Green tea is packed with antioxidants that can help to repair sun-damaged skin. When you apply chilled green tea bags to your sunburned skin, the catechins found in the tea work to reduce skin inflammation and soothe the pain. Soak several green tea bags in cool water, and then apply them directly to the affected areas of your skin.
4. Shea Butter: The moisturizing qualities of shea butter can replenish the hydration lost in your skin due to sun exposure and help prevent peeling that often accompanies sunburn healing. Furthermore, shea butter contains fatty acids and plant sterols, such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, and linolenic acids. These oils are absorbed by the skin and used to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. Shea butter is also rich in Vitamins A and E, which are known for their ability to repair damaged skin and improve skin conditions. In particular, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help neutralize free radical damage caused by sun exposure. Additionally, shea butter has reported healing properties that can be beneficial for repairing skin damage caused by sunburn
5. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a natural remedy for sunburn that can be used to moisturize the skin after it has been exposed to the sun. Coconut oil is full of natural antioxidants that help to protect the skin and prevent damage from UV rays. Apply it liberally after a shower to moisturize and soothe sunburnt skin.
Sunburn is painful but luckily, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate the pain. Aloe vera, oatmeal, green tea, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil are all great natural ways to ease the symptoms of sunburn. But remember, prevention is better than cure. Avoid sunburn by using sunscreen, seeking shade during peak hours of sun, and covering up with hats and clothing. Keep safe this summer and enjoy the outdoors!
Almost every outdoor enthusiast has faced a tick bite once in their lifetime. These tiny creatures might seem insignificant, but they can cause provoking health issues. Lyme disease is one among them that are caused by tick bites. Therefore, it’s essential to know what to do if you find a tick on your skin.
Here’s your ultimate guide on tick removal and prevention of Lyme disease.
Step 1: Remove The Tick
Tick removal is the first step towards your prevention of Lyme disease. To remove the tick safely, you need to have essential tools, such as fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool.
Now, use these tools to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull the tick upward with steady, even, and controlled pressure. Try not to twist the tick or jerk it, as this can cause mouth parts to remain in the skin. If the mouth part remains, use tweezers to remove it.
After removing the tick, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Step 2: Save The Tick
It might sound strange, but saving the tick can help you to test for diseases and know better about the treatment. So, always save the tick in a clean plastic bag or a small container with a lid. Write the date when you were bitten and where the tick most likely bit you on the container so you don’t forget later.
Step 3: Monitor Your Symptoms
After tick removal, it’s important to monitor symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary. Lyme disease can present with nonspecific symptoms like fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and a circular, reddish skin rash. Symptoms of some other tick-borne diseases may not show up for weeks or months.
If symptoms appear, seek medical attention immediately. Remember to tell your healthcare provider that you have been bitten by a tick and when and where the bite occurred. The more details you can provide, the easier it is for your doctor to determine if you need further testing or treatment.
Step 4: Prevention Of Lyme Disease
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by ticks. Wear light-colored clothing, so it’s easier to spot a tick on you. Tuck your pants into socks and your shirt into your pants, so ticks can’t easily access your skin. Use insect repellent when outdoors in areas where ticks are more likely to reside (wooded areas and tall grass).
DEET is an effective insect repellent however there are some potential hazards with excessive use such as: Skin irritation, allergic reaction, eye irritation, and neurological effects. Here is a list of DEET free insect repellents that work against ticks:
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: A natural repellent derived from the lemon eucalyptus tree, it is effective against mosquitoes and ticks.
Picaridin: A synthetic repellent that resembles the natural compound piperine found in black pepper plants, it is effective against various insects and ticks.
Geraniol: A natural alcohol found in many essential oils like geranium, citronella, and lemongrass, it repels mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects.
Neem Oil: Extracted from the neem tree, it provides protection against various insects, including mosquitoes, but may be less effective against ticks.
Cedarwood Oil: An essential oil derived from cedar trees, it is effective against mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects.
After coming inside from areas where ticks may be present (like grassy fields or wooded areas), take a shower to wash off any unattached ticks or use a lint roller on your clothing.
Step 5: Check Yourself And Your Pets For Ticks
Always check yourself, your kids, and your pets after being outside, especially in grassy and wooded areas. Pay special attention to hard-to-see spots like scalp, armpits, groin, and behind knees. Use a mirror for those hard-to-see areas, or ask a loved one to help.
Tick bites can seem like a minor concern, but they can cause major health issues, such as Lyme disease. Knowing the right steps to take when bitten is essential to prevent long-term consequences. Remember to remove the tick correctly with tweezers, seek medical attention if necessary, and prevent tick bites by using insect repellent, checking for ticks, and practicing caution in tick-infested areas. Stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors!
Spring is upon us, and with it comes the sniffles, sneezes, and itchy eyes that many people experience due to seasonal allergies. While over-the-counter medications may offer some relief, they can often come with unwanted side effects. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that can be effective in treating seasonal allergies. Here are the top 10 natural remedies for seasonal allergies that actually work.
Consuming a teaspoon of local honey every day can help build up your immunity to pollen, which is a common trigger for seasonal allergies. This technique is also known as allergen-specific immunotherapy. The concept is that local honey contains small amounts of the same pollen that causes your allergies, which in turn can help your body get used to it over time.
A neti pot is a small pot used to flush out your nasal passages with saline solution. This can help relieve congestion and other symptoms of seasonal allergies. Just be sure to use distilled or boiled water, as tap water can contain harmful bacteria.
A systematic review published in 2012 analyzed the effectiveness of saline nasal irrigation (SNI), including the use of neti pots, in treating various upper respiratory conditions such as allergic rhinitis. The review concluded that SNI could be effective in alleviating symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
Probiotics are known to promote a healthy immune system, which can help reduce allergy symptoms. You can consume probiotics in supplement form or by eating foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi.
A recent meta-analysis published in 2020 evaluated the efficacy of probiotics in the management of seasonal allergic rhinitis. The study analyzed data from 23 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1916 participants. The results suggested that probiotic supplementation could improve overall quality of life and reduce nasal symptoms in individuals with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
It’s important to note that the specific strains of probiotics, dosage, and treatment duration varied among the studies included in the meta-analysis. Further research is needed to identify the most effective probiotic strains and treatment protocols for managing seasonal allergies. As always, it’s recommended to consult with your naturopathic doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, such as apples, onions, and broccoli. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce allergy symptoms. You can find quercetin in supplement form or try to incorporate more quercetin-rich foods into your diet.
A study published in 2016 investigated the effects of quercetin combined with vitamin C and bromelain on upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), which can share some symptoms with seasonal allergies.
The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involved 45 participants who were given the quercetin-vitamin C-bromelain combination or a placebo. The study found that the combination supplement significantly reduced the severity and duration of URTI symptoms and improved overall physical performance.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can also reduce inflammation in the body, making it a great natural remedy for seasonal allergies. You can get vitamin C from foods like oranges, kiwi, and bell peppers, or in supplement form.
Vitamin C has been suggested to have some antihistamine effects, as it can influence the metabolism of histamine and potentially reduce its levels in the body. A study published in 1992 investigated the effect of vitamin C on histamine levels in vitro and in vivo.
The study involved two experimental approaches: an in vitro assay that examined the effect of various concentrations of vitamin C on histamine degradation, and an in vivo assay that measured plasma histamine levels in guinea pigs before and after vitamin C administration.
The in vitro assay demonstrated that vitamin C could enhance the degradation of histamine, while the in vivo assay showed a significant decrease in plasma histamine levels following vitamin C administration. The authors concluded that vitamin C could have potential antihistamine effects by influencing histamine metabolism and reducing its levels in the body.
Butterbur is an herb that has been shown to be effective in reducing allergy symptoms. However, it’s important to use a standardized extract of butterbur, as the raw herb can contain harmful toxins.
There is research suggesting that Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) can help reduce allergy symptoms, particularly in individuals with allergic rhinitis. One notable study published in 2002 compared the efficacy of Butterbur extract (ZE 339) to the antihistamine cetirizine in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
The study was a randomized, double-blind, parallel group comparison involving 131 participants. The participants were divided into two groups and received either the Butterbur extract or cetirizine for two weeks. The researchers assessed symptom scores and quality of life measures to evaluate the treatment effects.
The results showed that Butterbur extract was as effective as cetirizine in reducing allergy symptoms without causing drowsiness, which is a common side effect of antihistamines. The authors concluded that Butterbur extract could be an effective treatment option for patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Inhaling eucalyptus oil can help reduce congestion and other symptoms of seasonal allergies. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a warm bath or to a diffuser to inhale the vapor.
A study published in 2019 investigated the effects of essential oils, including eucalyptus oil, on symptoms related to upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). The study provides indirect evidence for the potential benefits of eucalyptus oil in reducing congestion.
The study is a review of the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of various essential oils and their potential use in managing URTI symptoms. Eucalyptus oil, in particular, has been noted for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and expectorant properties, which can help alleviate congestion and other respiratory symptoms.
Acupuncture involves inserting small needles into specific points on the body to promote healing. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for allergies, as it can help reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system.
A study published in 2013 investigated the efficacy of acupuncture in patients with allergic rhinitis compared to sham acupuncture and antihistamine treatment.
The study was a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial involving 422 participants with allergic rhinitis. The participants were divided into three groups: real acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and antihistamine treatment (cetirizine). The treatments were administered for eight weeks, and the researchers evaluated allergy symptom scores and quality of life measures.
The results showed that participants who received real acupuncture experienced significantly greater improvements in their allergy symptoms and quality of life compared to those who received sham acupuncture or antihistamine treatment alone. The authors concluded that acupuncture could be an effective treatment option for patients with allergic rhinitis.