Getting to be outdoors in spring and summer cures everyone of the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as winter depression. As we get to enjoy warm sunshine, clear skies and fun, games and even working outside, we need to be cautious to not over do exposure. Too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause skin burns resulting in redness and pain. Sunburn can lead to peeling and blistering skin and also increases the risk of developing melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. 
In order to avoid sunburn, wearing proper clothing that covers your skin as well as a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are recommended. Apply a sunscreen to exposed skin, too.
If you do get sunburned, try these natural remedies for quick relief. Always be gentle to sunburned skin. If your skin blisters, keep it clean and watch for any signs of infection.
- Aloe Vera – gently wash affected area and apply the gel of an aloe vera leaf. Split an older leaf lengthwise and scoup out the amount you need to spread over the burn. Chilling the gel in the refrigerator for half an hour will provide added comfort. Aloe vera is a skin smoother and moisturizer. It also acts as an herbal antibiotic. It does form a stiff, tacky coating on your skin so apply a thin coat. Reapply several times a day. No plant at home? Aloe vera gel is available for purchase, but pay attention to the list of additives and pick one with a short list of ingredients.
- Lukewarm bath – take a soaking bath for 15-20 minutes. Add oatmeal (to reduce itching – use 1 cup in an old sock, squeezing out the milky water into your bath). Add chamomile (also bagged), brewed tea, or lavender or bermagot oil. Essential oils diluted in a carrier oil (20 drops to 4 ounces of carrier oil) can help speed healing. Baking soda can be added to a soaking bath as well. Or you can mix four tablespoons of soda with enough water to make a paste, apply it to the sunburn using a cotton ball, rinse off after 10 minutes with tepid water. 
- Apple cider vinegar – will soothe sunburn and speed healing. Add one cup to your bathtub filled with tepid water. Soaking for thirty minutes will help balance the pH level of sunburned skin.
- Honey – apply to blistered skin and cover with a gauze bandage. Honey seals in the good tissue fluid, provides nutrition to tissue and decreases inflammation.
Billie Nicholson, Editor