Summer is the best time for fun in the sun with family and friends, but skin cancer (Melanoma) has become a grave issue in our time.  More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with it each year- that’s more than prostate, lung, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers combined, and it’s increasing each decade.

It’s so important to keep ourselves and especially our children safe.  While I love being outdoors, I know I don’t spend a fraction of the time outside that I did when I was 10.  There are plenty of products you can purchase in stores to prevent and treat sunburn, but here are some great remedies that you might be able to come up with at home.

1) Aloe Vera- Okay, okay- I know that you already knew about this one, but we’re including it because it is such a perfect relief.  It can be in a gel, a lotion, or even a fresh leaf.  You can easily grow this in your home.

2) Vinegar- I always doubted this, but it does work!  You can spray it directly on sunburned areas or apply a towel dampened in vinegar.  Or, try adding 2-3 cups into a cool bath that you soak in.  It sounds like it would hurt, doesn’t it?  Have faith; it is very soothing.

3) Dairy- You can soak thin towels in milk and apply to burned areas for relief.  Milk is also something that you can add to a cool and soothing bath.  If you’ve read our other blogs, you know how often we extol the virtues of yogurt.  Not only is it rewarding to eat- you can put it directly on sunburn too!  I’d recommend using plain yogurt, especially if you have hungry roommates…

4) Cucumbers- The inside of a cucumber, even in the most intense summer heat, is 15 degrees cooler than its surroundings… hence, “cool as a cucumber”.  You can apply slices or mashed up cucumber to sunburn, or try mashing and mixing with milk for extra relief.  Try the same with potatoes- mashing, slicing, using as much potato juice as possible.

5) Egg Whites- Try putting raw egg whites on your burned skin, or mix 2 egg whites with about a TBS of honey, then applying liberally to where it hurts.

It’s also probably my duty to inform you that if sunburn is severe, like, Lawrence of Arabia bad, see a doctor.  Also, if blisters form, don’t open them!  That’s your body doing what it does to stay alive.  They’ll heal faster if you keep them uncovered, try some of the pastes or salves listed above.  If you get excessive pain, chills, headaches, or feel faint or dizzy, call a doctor! All right- consider yourself informed.  Stay cool, amigos and amigas.