Natural remedies for sunburn pain and itching

Sunburn is caused by exposure to radiation from the sun. It is usually a first-degree burn. In other words, it involves the epidermis, the outer (superficial) layer of the skin. Sunburned skin is hot, rod, and painful. If the skin blisters and swelling develops, a second-degree burn has occurred, and the dermis, the underlying layer of skin, has been affected. If you get a first degree sun burn you can try natural sunburn remedies, however, if you get a second-degree sunburn you should contact your healthcare provider immediately


The radiation that causes sunburn comes down to the earth in the form of ultraviolet (UV) rays.  As a result, experts recommend taking precautions against sun exposure no matter what the season. The sun’s rays are further intensified when they are reflected by water or sand, or by suntan oils and lotions that do not contain sunscreen.

The long-term hazards of sun exposure have long been well known. More recent evidence suggests that skin cancer may be even more closely related to sunburn.


Skin that is light pink when you go to bed may turn red, burning, and painful by the next morning. A severe sunburn can cause nausea, chills, and fever, as well as intense stinging. If you develop such symptoms along with a sunburn, or if the skin becomes blistered and/or swollen, you should consult your healthcare provider for advice.

Natural remedies for sunburn pain and itching

 Try these natural remedies to stop sunburn itch and pain at home if your sunburn is mild. For more severe sunburn pain and itch consult with a healthcare provider.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used for centuries to soothe and cool burns. To soothe and cool a sunburn quickly, gently rub 100 percent aloe vera gel over the burned area. Apply it as often as needed.

Topical Vitamin E

Another popular remedy is to break open capsules of vitamin E and rub it into the affected area of the skin. Does it work? Perhaps so. Applying a common vitamin E supplement to the skin immediately after exposure lessens the sun damage. Even applying the vitamin E eight hours after exposure helps, but the effect is reduced the longer you wait.


Honey is hailed as a helpful healer for a variety of ills — including sunburn pain. Honey is antibacterial and multiple studies have shown that honey can help to heal wounds. Applying honey to a sunburn could help the skin re-epithelize . Use manuka honey in particular because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


One common remedy for sunburn is yogurt. Smear yogurt on your skin as soon as it turns pink to help cool the skin. Yogurt can help reestablish pH balance and promote faster healing. Let it sit on your skin until it warms up and then rinse it off with tepid water. Apply as often as needed.

Barley, turmeric and yogurt

Use a paste made of barley, turmeric and yogurt in equal proportions. Apply it over the affected areas for sunburn relief and healing. It is best to use plain unsweetened full-fat yogurt that contains few additives.

Potato peel

An age old remedy for sunburns is potato peels . In case of minor burns, potato peel bandages work better than conventional dressing. Potato peels provide moisture and they also have anti-bacterial properties that help in healing.

Lavender Oil

Another superior sunburn remedy is lavender. Lavender essential oil not only relieves sunburn, but it also prevents peeling and may enable you to keep your tan. Apply few drops of lavender essential oil to the effected area to stop the itch and pain of sunburn.

Peppermint lavender sunburn spray

A sunburn spray can be made at home using following ingredients:

2 fluid ounces of distilled water
9 drops of lavender oil
2 drops of peppermint oil
1 drop of spearmint oil

Preparation and use:

Mix all, and spritz lightly over sunburned skin three to four times a day in the beginning and reduce the frequency as you heal.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can seemingly do it all. People use it as sunblock, and just as many use it to soothe already established burns.  Find unrefined extra virgin coconut oil for best results.

Topical black tea

Polyphenols in tea leaves can improve your skin’s resistance to UV radiation when they’re ingested, but it appears that topical tea application can soothe and perhaps speed up the healing of sunburns. You can also take  a cool bath with several tea bags. You can save used tea bags as well, soak them for ten seconds in cool water, and then just slap them on to the burn.

Baking Soda

Baking soda creates an alkalized environment that is soothing to the skin. It has antiseptic properties, can help with the itch and work as an exfoliant.

Cool bath and showers

Although blisters on a sunburn may be painful and irritating, don’t pop them for relief. Instead of popping blisters, take cool baths and wash your skin with only a very mild soap. Harsh soaps will cause additional skin irritation and make blisters even more itchy and painful. Cool showers, baths, and compresses are very soothing, and may keep the burn from getting worse, especially if used soon after sun exposure.

Oatmeal bath

If you suffer from itching as a sunburn heals, soaking in a cool bath with a handful of colloidal oatmeal added to the water will help reduce itching and cool down the sunburn, says Mayo Clinic. After showering, preparing a solution of 1 cup milk and 4 cups water, soaking a washcloth in the solution and applying the washcloth to the skin may help cool it down and soothe the burning and itchiness of the sunburn.


Immediately after bathing or soaking the skin with compresses, apply a moisturizer to prevent skin from peeling and feeling even more dry. Apply coconut oil immediately after bathing, then smooth a moisturizer on top of it.

Honey and rose water spray

Add few drops of honey to a cup of rose water and use it as a spray for mild sunburns

Apple cider vinegar spray

Fill a clean spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and spray the vinegar on your sunburned parts ONLY. Let it drip and dry. DO NOT RUB! If severely burned, spray lightly again on sunburned area after a few minutes.  After vinegar is dry, you can get dressed. Wear comfortable clothes which are not tight or covering sunburned area(s) if possible. The sunburn needs to be exposed to air and not covered. Apply the vinegar again approximately 4 hours later, or if your skin starts burning again. Apply coconut oil as a moisturizer. If you are not severely sunburned, after 2 coats of vinegar the stinging should stop.

Stop sunburn pain with peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil when applied directly to the burn will causes your skin to feel really cool.  It opens the pores of the skin and stops the pain associated with sunburn. This seems to work by opening the pores and releasing the heat held deep in the nerves.

Peppermint oil is pretty strong to apply directly to the skin but it generally only requires one thorough application all over the affected area.

Kukui Nut Oil

Kukui nut oil was used as fuel, as a laxative, as a topical joint pain and arthritis reliever, and, most famously, as a reliever of skin conditions – including sunburn.

Dietary guidelines

Dehydration often accompanies excessive exposure to the sun. Make sure you get sufficient fluids after spending time in the sun.

Nutritional supplements

Beta-carotene helps to heal the skin and protect against burns. Take 25,000 international units of beta-carotene twice a day for three days after a sunburn. On the fourth day, cut back to 10,000 international units twice daily and maintain that dosage for two weeks. Then cut back again, to 2,500 to 5,000 international units.

Selenium is an antioxidant and free-radical scavenger. Be sure to get 200 micrograms of this important mineral daily.

Vitamin C and bioflavonoids are essential for the production of collagen, a protein that is a major component of skin tissue, and aids healing. Take 500 to 1,000 milligrams of mineral ascorbate: vitamin C and an equal amount of bioflavonoids three to four times a day for two weeks following a sunburn.

Zinc boosts the immune system and aids in healing. Take 15 to 30 milligrams of zinc once or twice a day for up to two weeks after a sunburn. Take zinc with food to prevent stomach upset.