All I wanted was a day out in the sun. My three-day weekend was the perfect opportunity for me and my friends to get some beach time. The minute I saw the blazing white sand and the crystal water, I knew the day was going to be perfect. And it was. I stripped down to my bathing suit and sprinted to the water. It wasn’t until I woke up the next morning that my mistake caught up with me. I had to break out the Aloe.
I was so red, so sun burnt, that I could hardly sit up. I winced as I limped to my bathroom. My mother had always taught me to keep pure Aloe Vera gel just for this occasion. I applied consistently throughout the day. My skin was soothed. Aloe works.
Often I had wondered why my grandmother insisted that we have an Aloe Vera plant in my back yard. It was not necessarily the prettiest plant in the world, in fact I remember being scared of it at first, thinking it was alien fingers or something. But with my love for the beach being so strong, I quickly learned about the intense healing powers of the plant. People have been using the Aloe Vera plant for healing and restoration for ages, and I began to use it for my own skin problems.
Sunburn is caused when skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun for a prolonged period of time. Ultraviolet rays literally burn living skin tissues. Extreme cases of sunburn can be fatal. Smarter people than I take precautions such as wearing hats, shirts, applying sunscreen, and avoiding the sun during peek hours, but sunburn can still find you. For hundreds of years, the gel of the Aloe Vera plant has been used in the treatment of sunburns. The chemical composition of Aloe gel reduces inflammation and the alleviates the stinging and pain that caused by the burning of skin tissue. Aloe gel aids the skin in self repair and acemannan, one of the compounds found in it, is well known for its ability to stimulate the immune system. Acemannan also is able to reduce inflammation and to fight against bacteria and viruses that can further aggravate sunburn symptoms.
If you have sustained a serious wound or the sunburn is extreme, consult a doctor- especially before applying the gel to that open wound or the blistered or pus-filled skin that accompanies a serious burn. Aloe is generally a gentle, safe safe product when used externally. It is even accepted by the United States Food and Drug Administration as safe cosmetic product. Very few Aloe users have reported allergic reactions to Aloe, and those reactions are often mild. Some may also develop skin irritation if Aloe is applied before prolonged and intense sun exposure.
For those of you who desire to grow your own Aloe Vera plant, I strongly advise it. It’s easy to maintain and the convenience of having your own plant makes for quick and easy healing and the alleviation of sunburn pain sooner rather than later. Remember, it is important to protect yourself from the dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet rays with sunscreen. But if, by chance, you still come home red and in pain, make sure to lather on the aloe and rehydrate with lots of water!
Want more? Check out guest author Yulia Berry’s article on treating sunburn here.