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CBD and Sunburn

By Amelia Fenner-Prowle | 14th April, 2021 in Skincare | 0 Comments

CBD and Sunburn

In the 16th century when pale skin was the order of the day, many women took to fashion, the covering of one’s body from head to toe - even the men too. Similarly from the 17th century, bonnets and parasols were adopted into society as a fashion choice. Intentionally or not, these were ways by which people protected their skin from the sun.

In recent times, a lot of awareness has been made concerning the dangers of sun exposure to the skin and many of us have experienced minor cases of sunburn sometime in our lives. You may remember the burning sting that comes from too much exposure to sunlight. Well, it is caused by ultraviolet radiation.

Treatment of sunburn usually involves pain relief and some anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling. As a result of the similarity of sunburn’s general treatment to the benefits of CBD, certain people may ask, can CBD treat sunburn?

Sunburn: How does it happen?

Sunburn is a skin reaction caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the skin. Whether through sunlight or tanning beds, sunburn is uncomfortable, sometimes even painful and itchy.

According to Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, an American dermatologist, there are 7 different types of skin with respect to how susceptible they are to sunburn. Type 0 to III are fairer skins while IV to VI are for darker skin.

Naturally, the skin cells produce a pigment known as Melanin which is responsible for the skin’s natural colour. Melanin production differs across skin types and research suggests that melanin protects against adverse UV exposure. Hence, Type 0 to III are more susceptible to sunburn.

That said, every skin type can still have sunburn depending on the extent of exposure to UVR. Sunburn is the body’s response to direct damage of DNA cells, it simply means that our skin is trying to heal itself from the damage.

Other factors that can contribute to having sunburn are:

  • Time of the day: The sun is usually at its strongest between 10 am and 4 pm
  • Proximity to the equator: The sun is more intense in places closer to the equator.
  • Taking photosensitizing drugs

Symptoms of Sunburn: How do I identify sunburn?

Depending on the type of skin, some burns may occur in less than 15 minutes. But the effects may not sure until about 2hrs after exposure. Some of the following signs may help tell if you have a sunburn.

  • Redness of the skin
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Roughness/Itchiness
  • Inflammation
  • Blisters that may begin to peel

In more severe cases;

  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration
  • Disorientation 

Dangers

Our holidays often take us to places where the sun can be more intense than we’re used to. Sunbathing or hiking under these kinds of sun rays can prove extremely dangerous, evidence suggests that too much exposure to UVR promotes cancer of the skin. Here are some of the risks of sunburn.

  • Rough skin
  • Permanent skin damage
  • Increase the risk of the deadly Melanoma
  • Premature aging with lines and wrinkles
  • Eye damage

Treatment and Prevention

Ultimately, the best way to prevent sunburn is to avoid going out in the sun, but this can prove a little unrealistic. Covering up by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, loose, tightly woven fabrics, and light clothes can help offer protection against the sun. However, sunscreen has more potential to protect against UVR.

Sunburn has no cure. Therefore, it’s more sensible to prevent sunburn than to treat it. Treatment of sunburn varies with the severity of the case.

  • Mild Sunburn - For mild sunburn, drink plenty of water and gently apply a cold compress. If redness or itchiness persists, consult a doctor.
  • Severe Sunburn - With cases like swelling, blisters, peeling and inflammation, over- the- counter non-steroidal anti-inflammation medications (NSAIDs) can be used to relieve the pain. Do not pop the blisters, dress wounds if open, and keep out of the sun until healed. 
  • Extreme Cases - This is a combination of severe sunburn and fainting, fever, disorientation. Direct these cases to a doctor.

CBD as a treatment for Sunburn

Many of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory treatments of sunburn, unfortunately, come with side effects and allergic reactions that can sometimes surpass sunburn. Due to this fact, many have searched for alternative methods of treatment.

Studies carried out on the benefits of CBD reveal that it has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties with little or no side effects. This is one of the major reasons why people look for sunburn products containing CBD and Aloe Vera.

Asides from using CBD Oil or CBD body lotion as a treatment for sunburn, this unique compound contains antioxidants, and we know that antioxidants neutralize free radicals. UV rays create free radicals on the skin thereby causing damage to the skin. This suggests that CBD not only acts as a treatment but also as protection against the sun.

Bottom Line

The dangers of UV rays are not to be taken lightly. The best treatment of sunburn is to try as much as possible to avoid the sun or apply sunscreen. CBD Oil may not only help to treat sunburn but also help protect our skin during exposure.

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