Most people of northern European origin are familiar with sunburn i.e. being burned in the sun. The skin, normally pale, will take on the hue of a boiled lobster. It will be extremely sensitive and may blister and peel. It is now recognized as an accumulative precursor to skin cancers.
In recent years, great progress has been made in developing creams and lotions to provide protection to even the most sensitive, baby skins, for a certain duration, given a specific intensity of sunshine.
Ultraviolet light is held responsible, although there has been some debate in tanning salons, as to whether a light can be created to provide the cosmetic tan, without the burn, or likelihood of cancer.
Warnings have also gone out that the cosmetic appeal of a tan during youth may translate into prematurely aged skin shortly thereafter, which has dampened enthusiasm in some people.
The tan is a pigmentation composed of melanin. More fair skinned people (with red hair and blue eyes) tend to produce less melanin. Black people have a permanent pigmentation.
Signs & Symptoms
Most people have some awareness that they should limit their time in the sun. However, they become caught-up in an activity, like playing on the beach, or even falling asleep by the pool, so that they don't notice any discomfort until it is too late.
En route to the beach, the weather may have been cloudy, so there appeared to be no need for a sunscreen or protective clothing (hat, shirt etc.). Then the sun came out...
In severe cases, the person might collapse from sunstroke.
Repeated over-exposure can cause wart-like growths over the skin, called solar keratoses.
Some prescription drugs also increase photosensitivity, so care must be taken to find out if any of your drugs belong to this category before undertaking a vacation by the beach.
Structure & Function:
Hair, Skin and Nail Support
Beta Carotene* Bioflavonoids* CoQ10 60 mg EPO* Vitamin A 100,000 IU Vitamin C 10,000 mg Vitamin E 100 IU Zinc 100 mg
*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Mineral water is recommended for rehydration.
A high protein, vegetable diet should promote healing e.g. sprouted and whole grains.
Aloe Vera (Topical)
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Poplar bud is uniquely recommended for sunburn by the German Commission E.
Some herbalists utilize tannins.
Some astringents with tannins (to name a few):
These contain salicylates which may have some topical analgesic effects:
White Oak Bark
Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.
Description Remedy Redness, heat, throbbing Belladonna tinct. After a day in the sun Cantharis Sunstroke, sweats, cramping Cuprum metallicum
Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).
This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.
Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.
Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.
Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.
Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.
If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.
Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.
Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.
Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
Baade PD et al., Changes in skin protection behaviors, attitudes, and sunburn: in a population with the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Cancer Detect Prev, 20(6):566-75 1996.
Bayerl C et al., Characterization of sunburn cells after exposure to ultraviolet light. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed, 11(4):149-54 1995 Aug.
Biesalski-HK et al: Effects of controlled exposure of sunlight on plasma and skin levels of beta-carotene. Free-Radic-Res. 1996 Mar; 24(3): 215-24.
Cress RD et al: Cutaneous melanoma in women: anatomic distribution in relation to sun exposure and phenotype. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev (ISSN 1055-9965) Vol. 4 no. 8 pp. 831-6
Darr D et al., Effectiveness of antioxidants (vitamin C and E) with and without sunscreens as topical photoprotectants. Acta Derm Venereol, 76(4):264-8 1996 Jul.
Donawho C & Wolf P: Sunburn, sunscreen, and melanoma. Curr Opin Oncol, 8(2):159-66 1996 Mar.
Dwyer T et al: Sunburn associated with increased number of nevi in darker as well as lighter skinned adolescents of northern European descent. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev (ISSN 1055-9965) Vol. 4 no. 8 pp. 825-30.
Garmyn-M: Effect of beta-carotene supplementation on the human sunburn reaction. Exp-Dermatol. 1995 Apr; 4(2): 104-11.
Henriksen-C et al: Diet and vitamin D status among pregnant Pakistani women in Oslo. Eur-J-Clin-Nutr. 1995 Mar; 49(3): 211-8.
Huston CJ: Preventing heatstroke. Nursing Vol. 23 no. 7 pp. 33.
Katiyar SK et al., Protective effects of silymarin against photocarcinogenesis in a mouse skin model. J Natl Cancer Inst, 89(8):556-66 1997 Apr 16.
McGee R et al., Sunburn and sun protection among young children. J Paediatr Child Health, 33(3):234-7 1997 Jun.
Montemarano AD et al., Insect repellents and the efficacy of sunscreens [letter]. Lancet, 349(9066):1670-1 1997 Jun 7
Murray, M.T. & Pizzorno, J.E.: An Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Prima Pbng, Rocklin, CA.
Pathak MA: Sunscreens: progress and perspectives on photoprotection of human skin against UVB and UVA radiation. J Dermatol, 23(11):783-800 1996 Nov.
Randle HW: Suntanning: differences in perceptions throughout history. Mayo Clin Proc, 72(5):461-6 1997 May.
Record IR et al., Protection by zinc against UVA- and UVB-induced cellular and genomic damage in vivo and in vitro. Biol Trace Elem Res, 53(1-3):19-25 1996 Summer.
Ribaya-Mercado-JD et al: Skin lycopene is destroyed preferentially over beta-carotene during ultraviolet irradiation in humans. J. Nutr. 1995 Jul; 125(7): 1854-9.
Robinson JK et al., Summer sun exposure: knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of Midwest adolescents. Prev Med, 26(3):364-72 1997 May-Jun.
Werbach, M. R.: Nutritional Influences on Illness: A sourcebook of clinical research. Keats Pbng. New Canaan, CT.
Werbach, M. R.: Nutritional Influences on Illness: A sourcebook of clinical research. Third Line Press, Tarzana, CA. Second Edition.
Werninghaus-K et al: Evaluation of the photoprotective effect of oral vitamin E supplementation. Arch-Dermatol. 1994 Oct; 130(10): 1257-61.
Whittaker S: Sun and skin cancer. Br J Hosp Med, 56(10):515-8 1996 Nov 20-Dec 10.
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