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Home Remedies For Rashes And Sunburns

Summer is here, which means a lot of outdoor fun. Your kids are out of school, so you can take that camping trip or week at the lake you've been looking forward to. Few things are less fun, though, than sunburns and rashes. Even if you apply sunscreen, sometimes sunburns still happen. That's not even counting all the grasses and ivies your kids might come into contact with when playing in the woods! While there are some very good commercial products out there, here are some ways to treat sunburns or rashes with things you may already have around the house. They should at least tide you over until you can get to the store.

Here are some home remedies for sunburns:

Noxema. It's not just for preventing acne or oily skin. It won't protect your skin from the sun, but it does have a cooling effect on already-burned skin.

Tea bags. A college boyfriend of mine once got a bad sunburn from arguing with the hellfire-and-brimstone preacher in the brickyard (common area) for hours. While this didn't help the pain in his head from beating it up against the wall, he soaked a shirt in some brewed tea and dabbed it on the worst parts. If the burn is really bad, you can just use the teabags themselves. He used green tea, but I think black works fine.

Tomato juice. If the burn is still red and hasn't started peeling, dabbing some tomato juice on it will help the redness. Tomato juice is acidic, but no so much that it will hurt your skin.

A tip to avoid sunburn-remember that water reflects sunlight. Always wear extra sunscreen on your face, shoulders or any other areas that are above the water because they are at a higher risk of being damaged or burned by the sun than if you were 'on dry land'. I mention this because it's easily forgotten.

As for rashes, here are some treatments for the itchiness that poison ivy or poison oak can cause.

Vinegar. Just sprinkle or rub on rashes or blisters to relieve the itching. Vinegar draws the itch-causing agent out of your skin, and the smell evaporates quickly. It can also be used to treat sunburn-just make a 50-50 water-and-vinegar spray.

Banana peels. As if you needed another reason to enjoy bananas, the insides of the peels can bring instant, cooling relief to a rash. Some say it works better than commercial treatments, but I'll leave that for you to decide.

Baking soda. There's a reason your mom made you take baking soda baths when you had the chicken pox. Soaking in a bath with ½ cup of baking soda added in not only makes your skin softer and kills any 'leftover' odors, it relieves itch the associated with poison ivy and other rashes. This is also good for reducing any swelling a sunburn might cause.

As you can see, you can treat rashes and sunburns at home without having to wait until Dad gets back with the car or worrying if there are any drug stores nearby. While we should do what we can to prevent problems like this from occurring, we still need to know how to handle them if they do.

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