Did you know you can treat sunburn with black tea? This simple home remedy can quickly remove the heat and pain of a stinging burn. Rich in polyphenols, tea treats irritated skin.
Apply cool black tea bags directly to your skin to obtain fast relief from a first-degree sunburn. Tea bags can be especially useful in sensitive areas like eyelids.
I experienced this first hand while on a college spring break trip to Florida. Back then, we did not use sunscreens. I don't even think they were available. Instead, it was de rigueur to use tanning oils on our fair skin for a lobster-red burn we hoped would eventually turn into a beautiful golden tan.
My eyelids were so burned and puffy that I could barely open them. Thankfully, my roommate quickly put together a home remedy of cooled water-soaked black tea bags and placed them on my swollen eyelids for a soothing sunburn remedy.
And it worked!
Why Use Tea on Sunburns
The tannins released from the black tea will reduce inflammation and remove the heat and pain quite quickly. The tannins found in black tea soothe sunburned skin—the catechins in tea help repair skin damage.
How to Treat a Sunburn Fast
Immediately soak in a tea bath or apply tea compresses following a sunburn. Inexpensive black tea bags work perfectly fine for sunburn treatment. There's no reason to use your premium quality tea.
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All grades of black tea contain tannins, which are very effective in using on burns for a speedy recovery.
Step by step to repair and soothe sunburns
There are several methods you can follow using black tea to treat sunburns, depending on the size of the burn.
Tea Bags for Eyelid Sunburn:
- Soak several black tea bags for 10 minutes in tepid water and allow the tannins to release. Cool the tea bags down in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before using them.
- Apply the cooled damp tea bags directly to your eyelids for 10-15 minutes. Cooled tea bags are incredibly relieving for sensitive areas like eyelids.
- Reapply as needed.
Tea Compresses for Localized Sunburn:
- Fill a large bowl with tepid water, add 8-10 black tea bags and infuse for 10 minutes.
- Soak towels or washcloths in the tea mixture. Ring them out until damp.
- Cool down compress in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Place the treated compress on the sunburned areas for 15 minutes. (Tea will stain your towels, so use old ones).
- When the towels become warm, soak them again and reapply to the affected area.
Tea Bath for Full Body Sunburn:
- For large areas of sunburn, soak in a cool bath filled with tea brewed and cooled.
- Draw a tepid bath and fill the tub with 8-10 tea black tea bags. Allow the tannins to release, making the water a dark amber to a reddish-brown hue.
- Soak in the bath for 15 minutes or longer.
- Repeat this sunburn treatment as often as needed over several days.
Why Tea is a Sunburn Remedy
Treating sunburn with a black tea infusion is effective because, during the infusion, tannins are released and help neutralize sunburns. Tea promotes healing and relief. When skin burns, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays cause inflammation and pain, sometimes leading to blistering and peeling of the skin.
The polyphenols in a tea infusion promote proper healing and a soothing effect on a painful sunburn. Tea also acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce swelling, blistering, and peeling skin.
You will notice smoother skin and less inflamed skin after using this sunburn remedy.
Continue to Treat Sunburn
Repeat the tea compresses or bath treatments for several days following the sunburn to promote further healing. Applying a tea infusion for sunburn relief works best immediately after sun exposure or shortly after.
In addition, apply aloe vera to moisturize the skin and relieve the pain. Burns can be very dehydrating, so drink lots of water to keep the skin hydrated and supple.
Sunburn Based on Degree
You can treat most first and second-degree sunburns with over-the-counter treatments or natural home remedies. There are three stages of sunburn.
1. First-degree sunburn
First-degree sunburns affect the superficial layer of skin. Symptoms include red skin, pain, no blisters, and slight swelling.
For first-degree sunburn treatment, take cool tea baths or cool showers with low-pressure water. Apply cool tea compresses and aloe vera for relief.
2. Second-degree sunburn
Second-degree sunburns extending into some underlying skin layers are known as partial-thickness skin burns. Symptoms are more painful with red skin and water blisters. These sunburns are a little more serious, but you can still treat them at home in the same manner.
The main concern is to avoid popping the water blisters to prevent infections. Blisters help your skin heal and protect you from infection. Use antibiotic creams if blisters burst or show signs of infection.
3. Third-degree sunburn
Third-degree sunburns are the most serious and always require professional medical attention. A full-thickness skin injury extends to all layers of the skin. Symptoms may include substantial pain but not always, redness, swelling, and tightness of the skin.
Large blisters that are more than 2 inches in diameter or skin blanching and white patches in the area of the sunburned skin.
Sometimes a severe sunburn is accompanied by fever, chills, and nausea. These symptoms require immediate medical attention, regardless of the degree of burn. Go to an urgent care facility or emergency room.
Enjoy the sunny days and stay safe out there! If you see me around town, I usually wear a big hat and sunglasses.
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