What is Sunburn and Minor Burns?

Back-to-Directory A health article about Sunburn & Minor Burns from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

Sunburn and minor burns respond well to topical herbal treatments with salves, creams and ointments.

If the burn is severe or covers a large part of the body you should seek medical treatment.


In Australia we have a very strong program of Slip, Slop, Slap.

Slip on a shirt (avoid direct sunshine on your skin wherever you can).
Slap on some sunscreen.
Slap on a hat (to avoid sunburn on your face and neck).

Australia has one of the highest levels of skin cancer in the world.
The media portrays the sun tanned “Ozzie” as being highly attractive and then government advertising shows medical footage of people having skin cancers cut out and removed.

The message is mixed. A golden tan looks great but if you are finding that you are regularly getting sun burnt then it is wise to think about the Slip, Slop. Slap message and do something about it.



If the skin immediately blisters, peels and starts to continually weep, you will need to seek medical assistance, as you may have a third degree burn.... even steam from a boiling kettle or pot can do more harm than the boiling water itself... or a radiator heater may seem like a small burn, but if it is deep enough you may need medical assistance.

Even a sunburn, if it is over a large part of the body, and severe, may also be coupled with heat-stroke, so can be quite a serious problem... be very vigilant especially in observing children and the elderly to make sure they get medical help if they need it, as they themselves may be unaware of their own deteriorating state of health. Fever and heat stroke, fainting etc. should be treated with great concern, even if their skin is not blistering.

If the skin is simply a bit flushed and hot to the touch, without any dramatic changes to the skin surface, and not on a very large portion of the body... eg maximum say 20% of the body skin surface, you may consider it to be minor enough to be able to treat it at home with self care strategies.

Self Care strategies for Living with sunburn or minor burns

Aloe – Aloe is the best topical herbal treatment for minor burns, including sunburn. It has properties that not only cool the skin but promote fast healing.

Many people grow an aloe vera plant and when they need it they cut off a piece and rub it directly on the burn or wound.

Alternatively it can be readily found in any drug store or bought through nutrition companies. Look for aloe gel that contains close to 100% aloe.

Tea – Green and black teas act as topical cooling agents for sunburn. It has been used as a home remedy for years. Wet the tea bag with cool water and apply to the affected areas.

For larger areas you can steep a kettle of tea, cool and pour over the skin as a rinse.

Calendula – Marigold/Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It helps cool and calm the skin, and you can use it as a tea-rinse for the skin.

It is also found as a major ingredient in many herbal sunburn or skin creams found at the health food store.

Witch Hazel – Witch hazel is an astringent and acts to decrease swelling, and it also soothes the skin.

Simply apply to the affected skin with a clean cloth or cotton ball.

Sage is also another herb that can be brewed, cooled and put into your cool bathwater if you have an all-over body sunburn. This is supposed to take the 'sting' out of your burn and helps by being a little anticeptic as well.

For a minor burn it is helpful to keep a glass object in the freezer that you can apply to small burn areas immediately when it happens. A small jar or glass lid can be kept in the freezer for any fast remedies required. Just hold it firmly to the burned spot for as long as you can tolerate. As soon as you can feel the heat flushing back to the skin, re-apply the frozen glass. Repeat as often as needed for as long as needed. This method of removing the HEAT form the area will often nip the actual burning process in the bud before it can cause deep burn harm to your skin tissue.

For larger areas of burn it is important to cover the affected area of the skin with cool wet cloths and re-apply as often as needed to try to take the heat out of the inflamed skin. Just keep dipping the cloth into a bowl of chilled water with icecubes in it or just drop in a still-sealed bag of frozen vegetables to keep it chilled.

One of the best ways to have Aloe Vera near at hand is the from of Aloe Gel.
People often refer to it as a Band-aide in a bottle.

Keep applying the gel as often as you need as you will notice that the burned skin will just keep absorbing the gel as quickly as you apply it - your skin knows what is good for it!

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

You would think that nutrition supplements taken internally would not have much effect on something like sunburn but after a number of years of talking with a lot of people who are using supplements every day it appears that when an Aloe Vera based skin care product is used in conjunction with the internal nutrition then the frequency, severity and time required to recover from sunburn is significantly reduced.

Another case showing that keeping the body well and your immune system strong had a positive impact on your health in all areas.

Below here are examples of Health Success Results other people have had with using a self care strategy for dealing with sunburn and other minor burns:

Share *YOUR* remedy & health success story!

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If you have a proven home remedy or natural treatment or have a great Health Success story, we would love to share it with our readers.

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Hand in boiling fat!

Some years ago while working in our dine in/take away shop, I was cooking and was more concerned on what was going on around me and accidentally put the back of my hand into 180degree fat.

I immediately smothered my hand with the Herbal Aloe Gel and to my amazement there were no blisters, no scarring - just a little redness for a few days.

Bob Taylor
Bendigo, Australia.

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