There’s no question that when we spend more time being active outdoors when the weather is nice in the summer, we risk exposing our skin to all sorts of minor hazards. Sunburns, bug bites, and small cuts or scratches are often a normal part of any outdoor adventure (to a certain extent) — but they don’t exactly look very nice or feel very good after the fun is all over.
Instead of rummaging through your medicine cabinet, consider trying some of the following natural remedies that can speed up healing and soothe pain for some of the most common skin conditions most people tend to suffer from in the summer. You might be surprised just well they might work for you.
Sunburn – Aloe Gel
The aloe vera plant is a very well known remedy for treating minor burns. It produces two substances — gel and latex — both of which are used for medicinal purposes. To treat a minor sunburn, the gel substance is what you want.
According to WebMD, aloe gel speeds up healing by improving blood circulation and preventing cell death. There are also many creams and ointments that contain aloe gel, which can also be effective in treating burns and may be the best choice if you’re not keen on keeping an aloe plant alive.
But if you do have your own aloe plant, you can snip off a portion of one of the cactus-like plant’s leaves to use the gel from the inner part of the leaf. Gently apply it to the skin to soothe your burn.
Mosquito Bites – Witch Hazel
When mosquitos bite, the itching can be severe enough to drive you nuts and cause you to scratch your skin too harshly. Witch hazel is a plant that contains a chemical called tannin, which is thought to be responsible for its effective medicinal uses.
You can purchase witch hazel from any drugstore in liquid form, which you can then use along with a cotton ball or swab to dab onto the bite. It may sting a little, similar to rubbing alcohol.
The tannis in witch hazel may help reduce inflammation around the area of the bite, repair broken skin, and even prevent infection by killing bacteria. Its stinging effect may also be a bit of a welcome feeling of relief as it takes some of the itchy sensation away.
Cuts and Scratches – Raw Honey
Whether you brushed by a rough patch of tree bark or fell down on the pavement, you can count on the super sweet medicinal properties of honey to help heal your minor cuts and scratches. Honey is full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that naturally kill bacteria and fungi.
Using honey on minor wounds also acts as a barrier to moisture and prevents the skin from sticking to dressings. And because of its rich nutrient content, it may even help speed up the healing process as it cleanses and nourishes the skin.
People have been using honey topically to treat wounds for centuries. If you’re going to use honey, make sure you go for the darkest raw honey you can find since it will be the least processed and therefore the richest in nutrients and natural chemicals.
With these natural remedies on hand, you can offer your skin the healing it needs during those busy, active days spent outdoors. If your skin condition is anything other than a very minor sunburn, mosquito bite, cut, or scratch, make sure you get it check out by a doctor before trying any of these remedies to make sure you get the appropriate treatment.