How to Treat a Sunburn

(or how I treated mine)

  1. Congratulate yourself on getting some color on your legs (or body part)
  2. Notice burning
  3. Notice how you are feeling slightly nauseous and that it is difficult to stand. Aloe at this stage temporarily relieves discomfort, but does not cure the burning. And vitamin E oil traps the heat into your body and makes it worse (let me tell you!)
  4. Realize you did a disservice to yourself by not wearing sunscreen.
  5. Sit in a cool-cold tub of water for as long as you can stand. (I managed about 15 minutes) I also added a bit of bath salts to the water which may or may not have made a difference.
  6. Brew a small-medium size sauce pot of strong black tea. You want it to be nice and black to release the tannins and antioxidants. Congratulate yourself on having a caffeine addiction because going to the store at this point would be painful. Fill the pot with ice cubs and let cool.
  7. Dip a few rags that you don't mind being stained into the iced tea and apply to the burn. You'll want to keep them there for as long as possible. I started at around 6pm and were my constant companion until I went to bed. If you can configure a way to keep them there during the night, I recommend that as well, as it is likely to burn through the night
  8. Have your partner serve you some red wine and clumsily (or not) make dinner for you both.
  9. If you have any aloe vera plants (very easy to maintain and make a nice green addition to any home), please water them now and tell them you love them.
  10. The next day take it easy. Though the burn may feel worlds better, it is easily irritated. Also apply aloe gel (or use as a spray), Arnica (helps with inflammation), and keep a cool tea soaked rag nearby.