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Ayurvedic Sunburn Remedies: Natural Treatments for Photodermatitis Relief

Sunburn or Photodermatitis is a kind of allergy caused by an abnormal skin reaction to sunlight, particularly UV rays. This can cause hyper-pigmentation, rashes, blisters, scaly patches, and thickening and scarring of the skin. It can also cause inflammation, chills, headache, and fever, and even increase the risk of skin cancer. 

People who have fair to light skin or have red and blonde hair are more likely to develop photodermatitis. Also, people exposed to sunlight for excessive hours persistently over a long period of time may have photodermatitis. In addition, people with a family history of skin cancer or having oral contraceptives are at a higher risk.

Symptoms of Sunburn

Long exposure to harsh sun rays is not good for the skin. That’s why it’s important to wear protection and avoid going out at peak sun times. Severe sunburn can cause the following symptoms:

  • Skin redness and blistering
  • Pain 
  • Swelling
  • Headache
  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Peeling of skin 
  • Thickening and scarring of the skin

Ayurvedic Treatment for Sunburn

 Ayurveda believes in the two-fold management of sunburn. While the first phase is aimed at improving the skincare routine, the second part is using natural remedies for managing sunburn. In Ayurveda, the treatment of sunburn or photodermatitis aims at prevention as well as treatment. 

Here are a few home remedies for photodermatitis that can help in the early stages and reduce the appearance of scars and marks.

Tea Tree oil

Tea tree oil has great anti-inflammatory properties. It provides instant relief from the pain and itchiness of photodermatitis. Also, the anti-microbial properties of tea tree oil help prevent infection. 

Tea tree oil is a popular component in many sunscreen formulations.  Tea tree helps to relieve sunburn by increasing blood flow in capillaries. Take 10 drops of tea tree oil and mix it with 30 ml of coconut or olive oil. Apply the mix to your skin and allow it to dry. 

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can help in soothing inflamed and itchy skin. Applying apple cider vinegar can help in the faster healing of sunburn.

Take 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and add it to a glass of water. Mix it well and soak a cotton pad in this mixture. Apply it directly to the sunburnt area and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off with plain water and do it 1 to 2 times daily.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil exhibits impressive anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This help to relieve the pain and blistering that occur due to sun poisoning. Apply coconut oil directly to the affected area. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes and wash it off. 

Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt is a rich source of magnesium. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing your skin from sun damage. It also soothes the symptoms of sunburn.

Add a cup of Epsom salt to a tub of water. Wait for the salt to dissolve and soak in the water for 25 to 30 minutes. Do this once daily until you recover completely. 

Aloe vera

Aloe vera possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is an excellent medicine for your skin that helps in healing. The cooling properties of Aloe vera soothe the itch and irritation. It also helps in healing blisters and lightens the skin. 

Scrape out some Aloe vera gel from the aloe leaf. Apply the gel evenly to the affected area and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Do it 3 to 4 times a day.

Green Tea Bags

Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants and polyphenols. This helps reverse the damage done by the free radicals. Green tea is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties and has photoprotective functions. It helps revive damaged skin and treat blisters and peeling skin.

Put your used green tea bags in the freezer for an hour. Apply this cold tea bag to the affected area. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Do this multiple times daily.


Honey is one of the best and safest alternatives for treating sun damage. It has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Honey can soothe irritated and itchy skin. Its wound-healing potential helps in treating blisters and rashes. Honey also has bleaching properties that help in lightening your skin. 

Take some honey and apply it evenly on the affected areas. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.  Do it at least thrice daily until the damage disappears.


Another age-old remedy for sun damage is a paste of yogurt, turmeric, and besan. Yogurt is an excellent cleanser and it can help in treating sunburns. Apply cool yogurt to your skin to cool it off. This helps decrease inflammation and reduce the discomfort caused by the symptoms. This paste also helps to lighten skin scars.


Cucumber has a cooling effect. It is also rich in natural antioxidant and analgesic properties. Apply a paste of refrigerated cucumber paste or pieces on your skin. This helps to heal rashes and skin burns. Cucumber is an excellent remedy for dark under eyes too. 

Potato Paste

Potato paste is an underestimated but excellent pain reliever. It works like magic on minor skin irritations, scratches, bites, and burns. Potato peels also help in reducing inflammation.

Prevention Tips

  • Minimize your exposure to the sun, especially when the sun is at its peak.
  • Always wear protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and scarves.
  • Never step out without applying sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 40.
  • Use a mild soap with zero chemicals and use a soft towel. 
  • If you have dry skin, massage your body with a natural oil before taking bath.
  • Add olive oil or neem oil to your bathwater and avoid frequent, long, and hot baths.
  • Take good care to manage your mental stress. 
  • Could you make sure to keep up your fluid intake? 

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