Below are some TLC tips and first-aid recommendations for when you or your loved ones have gotten too much sun and you are dealing with dehydration, sun burns, rashes or sun/heat stroke:
1. Get out of the sun!
2. Rest - excess sun exposure physically stresses your body.
3. Nourish your body.
- Hydrate even if you don't feel thirsty. Water is the best choice - avoid alcohol, caffeine & soda pop.
- Eat lots of fruits & vegetables - your body needs nutrients.
With the amount of caffeine, pop and alcohol we consume as a society dehydration is a very common problem. The symptoms can include: dry, sticky mouth; sleepiness or tiredness often with sleeplessness; decreased urine output (no urination in three hours for infants and eight hours for children & adults); dark coloured urine; few or no tears when crying; dry inelastic skin; headache; constipation; dizziness or lightheadedness; and a lack of perspiration.
1. Slowly rehydrate - gulping water at this point may lead to vomiting
- Rehydration drinks are a good option, you can make your own easily. Combine: 1 litre (4c) water, 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) salt, 30ml (6 tsp) sugar, lemon juice to taste (ideal but optional).
2. Take a cool bath or shower.
3. Eat juicy fruits & vegetables. Avoid salty snacks - i.e. chips & pretzels.
Consider seeking medical attention if blisters form on more than 20% of the body.
1. Sooth and moisturize your skin - avoid anything with alcohol, petroleum jelly, or dyes & perfumes.
- I recommend a natural first aid lotion or salve designed for treating burns. I use Butterfly Weed Herbals Green Wisdom All heal Salve - which has great things for burns like plantain, comfrey, burdock, chickweed and chamomile.
2. Leave blisters alone
- Keep the blistered areas clean and sooth with a first aid lotion.
- Lightly dress with a non-adherant gauze if it is more comfortable.
- Watch for any sign of infection while healing (e.g. red streaks extending from the blistered area, formation of yellow/green pus, etc.)
3. Compresses can help ease the discomfort
- Cool or warm compresses only - avoid anything cold
- Witch hazel has been shown to help relieve pain and inflammation
4. Homeopathic treatment
- Apis - Minor burns with swelling, desires icy applications
- Arsenicum - Serious burns with lots of pain and restlessness, chilly & intolerant of cold compresses, desires warmth
- Cantharis - Serious burns with lots of pain, significantly better from cold
- Urtica Urens - Minor burns that are very itchy
Sun & Heat Rashes
1. Remove clothing from the affected area, cool the skin & the skin breath. If it feels nice take a cool bath or shower.
2. If rashes are an ongoing problem consider:
- Looser clothing made from more breathable (natural) fabrics
- Avoiding the use of fabric softeners and body moisturizers
- Switching to natural laundry & body products
3. Homeopathic treatment
- Apis- red, hot & swollen skin that feels better for cold applications
- Belladonna - violent & sudden outbreaks that are red, hot & painful
- Chamomilla - very sensitive & painful, very irritable & peevish
- Natrum Muriaticum - burning sensations, white hives
- Urtica Urens - stinging, burning & itching
Sun & Heat Stroke
1. Cool down & rehydrate. Sun/heat stroke is a combination of overheating & dehydrating. Use cool baths & compresses to cool down - avoid anything icy cold as it may shock the body too much. Drink rehydration drinks or water.
2. Rest. Even if you feel better after homeopathic treatment avoid the sun and rest for at least 24 hours.
3. Homeopathic treatment
- Aconite - headache & photophobia, intense & sudden symptoms, often from sleeping in the sun
- Belladonna - hot flushed face with a violent throbbing headache
- Carbo Vegatablis - weakness & collapse, nausea, cold & clammy
- Natrum Carbonicum - weakness, confusion & vertigo, headache from the least amount of sun
- Gelsemium - weakness, vertigo, headache at the top of the head, flushed face with congestion