Summer is just around the corner! While many look forward to those long beach days under the hot sun in the smooth sand, there are others who won't be able to enjoy it as they are concerned about their skin.
Sunburn may not seem like a potentially serious health issue, but it actually is. Sunburn is described as a form of radiation burn that affects the skin as a result of too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. If a person has excessive UV radiation, it could lead to skin tumors and is potentially fatal.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, claims that cold milk is the most effective way to treat sunburn. The pain a person feels from sunburn is different from any other ache or sting as it is due to surface scorching. Zeichner states that cold is the best way to treat this burn because a cold compress pulls away the heat from the site of the burn and helps ease inflammation by shrinking the swollen cells.
Why is cold milk the treatment to use? Milk contains vitamins A and D, as well as fat, amino acid, lactic acid, and the proteins whey and casein. The vitamins in milk promote healing while lactic acid make the skin get rid of the dead cells, which help the immune system and heal inflammation.
"A milk compress can help calm inflamed skin as well, as proteins in the milk coat and soothe the skin," Zeichner stated.
In order to use this treatment, simply pour some milk into a bowl and add a washcloth in it. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and take it out once the cloth is completely soaked with the milk and both are cold. Once the cloth is ready to be used, gently press the cold compress onto the affected areas.
Other Treatments For Sunburn
Other ways to treat a bad sunburn include the use of ice water -- though it is not as gentle as cold milk, a cold bath or shower, and yogurt. Aloe vera, which many have used in the past to treat their sunburns, is another alternative, however, it doesn't trap heat.
Over-the-counter medicine such as Motrin can also help reduce the swelling and inflammation from a sunburn.
Zeichner continued that once a person's skin temperature drops and is no longer hot, immediately locking moisture into the skin is needed to prevent any peeling. The dermatologist elaborated that the best products to use for this would be petrolatum-based moisturizers as they help form a "protective seal" on the affected skin.