The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-13-2012, 04:27 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
What's the best thing for a sunburn? (Particularly the redness?)

Argh! I volunteered as a storyteller at a library thing this morning outside, and I didn't even think about the sun because it was so cold when I got up this morning! Halfway through my session I snuck off and got a hat out of my car, but I suppose the damage was done - there's some redness on my face, and (worse) some on my chest in the pattern of my shirt's neckline.

Now, it doesn't hurt but a tiny little bit - it isn't a major sunburn. But I have a party to go to tomorrow where I'll be the guest of honor, and I bought the cutest little white strapless dress! And nothing looks worse than tan lines (which I don't have - I am the whitest of all white people) or a sunburn in a weird pattern and a strapless dress.

What can I do? I'll be wearing makeup tomorrow, but I don't wear much makeup when I do wear it (tinted moisturizer instead of foundation if I even wear that) and I'm afraid makeup on my chest and neck will look weird. I've got some Burt's Bees sunburn remedy stuff around the house somewhere, but god knows how old it is.

Is there a home remedy or a readily available product that will take the red out of a mild sunburn within 24 hours?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:31 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 9,524
I don't know about taking the red out, but I've found aloe vera gel to be great for relieving the pain. I'm thinking it couldn't hurt to try it, but you won't know until tomorrow if it helped with the redness.

Of course you could always try a heavy application of fake tanning lotion. Do orange and white look good together?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:44 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
And Finn The Human
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 18,934
Hmm I'm not sure about the red. But I keep Desitin Creamy (I guess now called "Rapid Relief") around for sunburn and it's amazing. I don't think I've peeled one bit since I started using it for burns and it also makes the burn feel so much better immediately.

You'll see on that page that they have a clear product now too.

ETA: The Desitin has aloe in it.

Last edited by ZipperJJ; 04-13-2012 at 05:46 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-13-2012, 06:20 PM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Agree with my bud, Zip. I've always had great relief with aloe.

Q
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-13-2012, 06:25 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 30,411
The very best thing I've found for pulling the red out is plantain leaf, but I've always put it on right away when I realize I've burned.

It's a weed that grows just about everywhere. There are two forms of it, but both grow in people's lawns and are hated by people who like uninterrupted grass. Both are good for bites and burns and other skin owies.

If you pick a bunch of the leaves and whir them up in the blender with just a skosh of water, you can then smear the leaf goo on your burn and - again, if used right away - it will relieve the burn and pull out the red. Leave the leaf mash on as long as you can stand it. As it dries, it will fall off. I'm not sure if it will be as effective pulling the red out hours after the burn or not. It will soothe any pain if used later, just not sure about the redness, which I know is your real goal.

If I'm outdoors or camping, sometimes I just chew the leaf and slap it on, especially if it's a sting or insect bite. Plantain works for pretty much all red skin irritations.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-13-2012, 07:25 PM
koeeoaddi koeeoaddi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
I had a really horrible sunburn as a kid. My grandmother, a nurse, wrapped me in sheets soaked with cooled brewed black tea. Worked better than anything I've tried before or since.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:05 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Aloe vera gel - put it in the fridge so it's cool and it should de-red nicely.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:33 PM
Becky2844 Becky2844 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
The very best thing I've found for pulling the red out is plantain leaf, but I've always put it on right away when I realize I've burned.

It's a weed that grows just about everywhere. There are two forms of it, but both grow in people's lawns and are hated by people who like uninterrupted grass. Both are good for bites and burns and other skin owies.

If you pick a bunch of the leaves and whir them up in the blender with just a skosh of water, you can then smear the leaf goo on your burn and - again, if used right away - it will relieve the burn and pull out the red. Leave the leaf mash on as long as you can stand it. As it dries, it will fall off. I'm not sure if it will be as effective pulling the red out hours after the burn or not. It will soothe any pain if used later, just not sure about the redness, which I know is your real goal.

If I'm outdoors or camping, sometimes I just chew the leaf and slap it on, especially if it's a sting or insect bite. Plantain works for pretty much all red skin irritations.
Huh, so that's plantain. We called it broad leaf. It was all around the barnyard. Good to know of its many uses; going to try them.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:49 PM
ExcitedIdiot ExcitedIdiot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
If I'm outdoors or camping, sometimes I just chew the leaf and slap it on, especially if it's a sting or insect bite. Plantain works for pretty much all red skin irritations.
I would avoid putting it in your mouth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
There is a contraindication that seems to be missing from most of the current literature, however. It is a potent coagulant.[citation needed] This can be tested easily by taking some water-based paint, making some plantain tea and mixing the two together. The paint particles will immediately permanently separate from the water. Because of this unique quality, plantain was used as a wound dressing on the battlefield (it was also called "Soldier's Herb" [12] which referred to this use). Due to these properties, people who take blood thinners or those prone to blood clots should never use plantain internally. [13]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_major
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:54 PM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
Rich as a Lannister
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Near Eskippakithiki
Posts: 11,264
Aloe works but you've got to keep slathering it on. As soon as an application dries, put on some more.

I had a really terrible burn once and did this just because I was in so much pain and it was near miraculous.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:31 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 30,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExcitedIdiot View Post
I would avoid putting it in your mouth.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_major
What bizarre claims. Is blood clotting at all chemically like paint curdling? I thought it was all clotting factors and platelets and inflammatory response stuff.

Y'know...soap will make floating ground pepper scatter. Better avoid soap, it might make your skin fly apart like fireworks.

And trust me, it's not a taste to savor and swallow. Chewing it is generally followed by spitting and a few "blech"s. If it was potent enough a coagulant to cause physical danger at that oral dose, it'd be extracted and standardized and sold for $80/mL as a pharmaceutical agent.


On Preview: Holy smokes! Plantain is psyllium! Like, the fiber supplement. I had no freaking idea!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:38 PM
ExcitedIdiot ExcitedIdiot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
What bizarre claims. Is blood clotting at all chemically like paint curdling? I thought it was all clotting factors and platelets and inflammatory response stuff.
I looked at the cites, and yeah, it sounds like BS. But so do all the other claims of medicinal uses of the stuff. You're just going to pick and choose which to believe?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:39 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
I've found that Noxema also feels good on a sunburn.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:52 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2008
Noxema for mild sunburns. Keep applying.

There used to be something called Folie that was a burn ointment. It worked very nicely on sun blisters. But I haven't been such a fool for over 30 years and don't know if you can still get the stuff.

Be very careful for a severe burn regarding infection. See a doctor if you have blisters.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-13-2012, 10:10 PM
kjbrasda kjbrasda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Black tea works too to take the heat out, which in turn will keep the red from getting redder. It seems to shorten the healing time, but I don't know anything that would take all the red out in 24 hrs. Soak a couple tea bags in about 1/2 cup cool water for a few minutes, dab on burn. The tea will stain clothes so take care with drips.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:51 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Go out and get burned all over so there's no weird pattern.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:08 AM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Go out and get burned all over so there's no weird pattern.
Joking aside, do not compound a burning problem. There is no such thing as a good sunburn.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:17 AM
dngnb8 dngnb8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Best thing I use is Aloe Vera. It not only adds moisture, but it cools the skin allowing for the trapped heat to dissipate
__________________
The Sarchasm -
The gorge between my witty comment and you, who doesn't get it.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:13 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,685
Actual ice is pretty nice.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-14-2012, 07:00 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 30,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExcitedIdiot View Post
I looked at the cites, and yeah, it sounds like BS. But so do all the other claims of medicinal uses of the stuff. You're just going to pick and choose which to believe?
No, I'm going to pick and choose (and share, since the OP asked) the ones that have worked for me personally. I'm not recommending it because I found it in a dusty old herbal, I'm recommending it as something I've used or seen used repeatedly successfully, on myself, my children and my friends and the occasional patient at first aid during camping season.

Last edited by WhyNot; 04-14-2012 at 07:01 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-14-2012, 09:45 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Well, I'm sitting here in the living room covered in mashed up yard weeds. We'll see how it goes.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:12 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 30,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Well, I'm sitting here in the living room covered in mashed up yard weeds.


Bet that's a sentence you never thought you'd type!

Last edited by WhyNot; 04-14-2012 at 12:13 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:32 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Actual ice is pretty nice.
But not capsaicin, a burning spice,
Self infliction is a vice
Although it is low in price
I've tried it once or thrice.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.