There is nothing better than feeling the warm sun on your skin on a cold day, but while this sunlight is an important source of Vitamin D, it can also cause a range of skin problems, the most common being a sunburn. It is interesting to note that there are so many myths associated with the sun and sunburn. In this article, we will look at dispelling the most common myths related to sunburns as well as methods to remove a suntan.
Myth – A sunburn is caused only because of exposure to the sun.
Fact – While the sun is the biggest cause for sunburns, any other form of UV radiation could lead to sunburns and tanning beds are also one of them. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that even certain sterilisation methods such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation could lead to sunburns.
Myth – A sunburn is superficial – it affects only the skin.
Fact –The skin is the largest organ of the skin and because it is the part of the body that is directly exposed to the UV rays, of course, it affects the skin. But not a lot of people know that even your eyes can be affected because of a sunburn. Therefore, it is imperative that when you are stepping out in the sun, you need to wear protective eyewear. When you are getting into a tanning bed, make sure that you snap on your UV reflective glasses first. When you are purchasing eyewear, such as sunglasses or even prescription glasses, you need to make sure that they offer UV protection.
Myth –People with darker skin will not get sunburnt.
Fact –Every human being can get sunburnt, irrespective of their skin colour, although people with lighter pigmented skin are more susceptible.
Myth –Higher SPF is better, because a single application will be enough.
Fact – SPF or sun protection factor is a reference to what percentage of protection the cream can provide against the UV rays of the sun; but it is not a guarantee that it will protect complete protection. Your skin safety depends on how many types of UV rays the cream will offer protection against and how many times you need to reapply it. Even with the best of sunscreens, you will need to reapply it on regular intervals. If the cream is not waterproof that no matter how the SPF, you will not be safe on the beach or at the poolside.
Myth –You need to be worried only if your skin is peeling off.
Fact – It is important to remember that there are different types of sunburns and the way it manifests might vary from person to person. The moment your skin starts to change colour, even if its just a blush, your skin is getting burnt. When your skin starts feeling itchy and hot, those are the first signs of trouble and you need to remedy it immediately.
Myth –You can’t get sunburnt if you are inside a car or are out on a cloudy or cool day.
Fact –If the sunlight can reach your body, it can lead to a sunburn, which means that even if you are sitting comfortably inside a car, you can get sunburnt. You could be sitting inside your airconditioned home or office, but if there is a window in front which allows the sunlight to filter in, you could get sunburnt. Similarly, on cloudy days, the UV rays could easily penetrate the clouds and burn your skin.
Now, let’s move onto the most popular home remedies to remove a sun tan:
Cut a lemon in half and rub the juice all over your skin, washing it away after a few minutes.
Create a paste using turmeric and milk. Apply this paste over the tanned areas and wash off once dry.
Create a pack using Bengal gramflour, a pinch of turmeric, a small spoonful of rosewater and just enough milk to form the thick paste. Apply this paste to the tanned areas and wash off after about 20 minutes.
Mix a spoonful of cucumber juice, lemon juice and rose water and dab on the skin using cotton. Wash off once dry.
Create a scrub using oatmeal and buttermilk, using the same as a body and face scrub, before a bath.
The acidity of tomatoes when combined with yoghurt works wonders for tanned skin – apply a mixture of the two to your skin and wash off after an hour.
Juice a medium sized potato and mix the same with a spoonful of lemon juice. Apply and rinse off after half an hour.
Before you get sun tanned or badly burnt, it would be wise to take all the necessary precautions and stay sun safe!