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Even the most devout sunscreen user can miss a spot or forget to reapply after having too much “fun in the sun.” If the sun has scorched your skin, homeopathy offers several remedies that can ease pain and prevent complications such as blisters and infection.
- Arnica: Because there is often an element of shock present with sunburn over a large area, many homeopaths suggest taking one dose of this remedy before giving one of the following.
- Cantharis: Painful burning, possibly with itching, raw sensation. The burn feels better from cold applications and the person cannot remove the cold pack for even an instant. If taken immediately, it can prevent blistering.
- Causticum: Burns that blister and ooze (like “chemical” burns). This remedy can be used for old burns that do not get well, and for ill effects from burns.
- Urtica urens: Intense burning or stinging pain, often with violent itching. The burn feels worse from cold water, heat, exercise, and after sleeping.
Immediately after getting burned, apply a cool compress, which is preferable to ice packs that can damage skin and nerve endings. You can soak the compress in an herbal tincture for added benefit. Refresh compresses frequently, as soon as they “warm up” against the sunburned skin. Dilute one part tincture in ten parts sterile water. A spray bottle is another helpful way to apply diluted tinctures.
- Aloe vera gel: A tried and true burn reliever; it should be applied to unbroken skin.
- Hypericum tincture: Relieves pain on sunburn and unbroken blisters.
- Calendula tincture: Helps prevent infection and blisters.
- Urtica urens tincture: Soothes the sting of the burn.
Take a dose by mouth every 2-4 hours, as needed, but for no longer than 2 days. Sunburn can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, so seek medical attention when in doubt.