Remedies for Sunburns and other Beach Mishaps

So we spent the weekend using our umbrella beach blanket and now those of us who didn’t stay on the blanket in the shade are sunburned. While we all know aloe and ibuprofen work well to stem the sunburn issues, I got to thinking about remedies for sunburns and two of the other most commons beach problems that we can easily try at home:

#1. Sunburn

  • Aloe – you can use aloe from a house plant. Just slit open a leaf and spread the gel on your sunburn.
  • Baking soda – add 2-4 heaping tablespoons of baking soda to a cool water bath and soak for a bit to sooth a sunburn. Limit soaking time to 15-20 minutes to keep skin from drying out. Don’t towel dry (air-dry instead) to get the full benefit.
  • Oatmeal – adding oatmeal to a cool bath (or using something like the Aveeno Soothing Oatmeal Bath)  will nourish and sooth sun-scorched skin. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of oatmeal and mix into cool bath water until dissolved. As with baking soda, don’t towel dry if possible.
  • Hydrate – drinking plenty of water will help your skin recover more quickly
  • Cool soak or compress – a cool cloth or soak in a cool tub will help relieve the pain of a sunburn
  • Milk – Yep, it really does a body good. To ease sunburn pain drink plenty of milk. Also, you can make milk compresses to apply directly to sunburned skin

#2. Jellyfish Stings

  • Vinegar – Applying vinegar to a jellyfish sting will reduce pain and deactivate nematocysts that dispense the venom. If you have been stung by a Portuguese Man-o-war or a sea nettle (often confused with jellyfish) use a baking soda paste.
  • After applying vinegar (or baking soda as appropriate) soak the affected area in as hot of water as you can stand to continue to neutralize venom and reduce pain.

#3. Sandfly Bites

  • Garlic – rub a cut edge of a clove of garlic over the bite for instant relief
  • Salt or Citrus – soak in water with salt (or ocean water if at the beach) or any citrus juice to relieve pain and itching

Do you have a favorite home remedy for beach ailments? Share it in the comments or Submit Your Tip!

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