Lobster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We often forget that skin is one of our organs and also the largest one. It acts as a barrier between our internal organs and the outside world with all its aggressions, and we should take good care of it. Since we just entered summer, many of us are looking forward to enjoying the sun and some might get a little bit too much at once. When we get sunburned (you can read a good summary of the mechanisms that are involved here), not only we damage our skin immediately (do I have to remind you about the pain, the burning sensation, the unbearable contact of cloths and sheets, the horrible looking peeling, etc.?) but also in the long-run. The long-term consequences are even worse when sunburns occur during childhood and repeatedly. We all know we have to use sunscreens and avoid the hours of the day when sun is the strongest, and wear a hat and so on, but do we? Well, I am embarrassed to admit I failed the test not so long ago and got ONE bad sunburn. I got it all wrong. Add first sun exposure of the year, no sunscreen, worst time of the day, and you get: ”The lobster woman”.
Contrary to thermal burns that are caused by infrared radiations, sunburns are due to Ultraviolet radiations UVR that are part of the sunrays (this is why you can get even more sunburns when the sun is hazy: only the infrared radiations are stopped so you do not feel the heat as much and you do not realize you are still exposed to the UVR). UVR trigger release of mediators (such as histamine) and synthesize of prostaglandins and more. It causes vasodilation of the cutaneous blood vessel (it increases the blood flow: that is what causes the sensation of warmth) and an inflammatory reaction.
This reaction takes a few hours and that is why the pain gets worse after 6 to 48 hours.
The energy in the UVR can damage the DNA of the skin cells (that is why we often experience peeling of the skin a few days later. It also contribute to early aging of the skin). The body can usually repair those cells, but if there is repeated sunburns or long sun exposure, some cells might escape the repair and mute into cancer cells. Keep in mind that there is still controversy about this as some skin cancers are not caused by sun exposure.
Here is what I did to relieve the pain, the inflammation, the redness, and to avoid blisters and peeling. Of course, if you have large blisters or fever or are in a lot of pain, go see a doctor, even more so if the involved area is large. This combination is for immediate relief and for a quicker and better healing of the skin. It does not help with the possible long-term consequences of repeated sunburn.
As soon as possible:
Apis 30C and belladonna 6C: alternate 5 sublingual pellets of each every 15 minutes, then every hour, and finally 3 times a day. This will reduce the edema, the sensation of heat, the redness, and the pain. Also, apply Calendula ointment first then lotion, several times a day and cover with gauze. Make sure the skin is totally repaired before stopping the applications.
Calendula is one of the most popular homeopathic medicines. It is made from the Garden marigold (Calendula officinalis), a native flower to Southern Europe and also cultivated widely throughout North America. This flower has been applied locally for centuries as a natural healing and soothing substance. Likewise, homeopathic preparations of the flower have been used safely for generations to naturally speed the healing process.
Today it is known that Calendula’s wound-healing properties are due to the presence of essential oils, saponins, flavonoids and alkaloids. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and stimulate skin regeneration. It promotes the formation of granulation tissue which is an essential step in the healing of wounds.
So my advice is to always have those three medicines with you when you go on vacation or when you spend your weekend swimming, hiking, sailing, etc.
Don’t get me wrong: the best is to not get sunburn at all, but if you do, you should try those medicines.
You can thank me later!
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