Here in Kuwait where the sun is so bright and hot, we must always be very careful about how much of it we get. Don’t think that just because you see people walking around and even working in the middle of the day that you can do the same thing. Particularly if you are new in Kuwait and are from a normally more temperate climate, don’t try to fight with nature. Don’t think that you can just push yourself a little more. Even when the weather is beautiful, the sand is great, and the water is calm and perfect for skiing, boarding, sailing, or jetskiiing, don’t be tempted. You might end up sautéed or worse. This goes the same for golfers, volleyball players, basketball players, and anyone else who thinks that they can stand the sun. When the temperature is more than 45 degrees (or even when it’s more or less) you just don’t want to take chances with your health.
Always make sure that you have water with you, and are properly covered when going out in the sun. You are probably wondering what I’m talking about here, but, in fact, if you cover up you will feel cooler and more comfortable than if you go around with the sun beating on your bare skin. Those flowing desert clothes are not for nothing! At least wear a big floppy hat to keep the sun off of your head, or use an umbrella (like many people do). You don’t want to get sunstroke, which is very dangerous, particularly in the Kuwaiti heat. You also don’t want to get dehydrated. So, always take precautions, and make sure you are fully prepared for your outings, particularly if you are going to be any distance away from amenities. Remember, if you feel dizzy, are sweating too much, feel faint, or light headed, disoriented, nauseated, or feverish, these are danger signs. Heed them! Get out of the sun immediately, and get help.
Always wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun, and if you are in the water, you must keep on applying more sunscreen every time you get in and out of the water. Also, you must make sure that you do not choose the hottest times of day for your outings. Between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM you really do not want to be baking in the sun!
Sunburn in Kuwait is not something that you ever want to experience. It is just about as miserable as anything you will ever have to endure. I know because I have had the most horrible sunburn, acquired in 55 degree weather, on a boat and beach trip, stuck on a deserted island for more than 6 hours, on a sea trip gone wrong, with sparkling water glistening on me, my friend, and our children, reflecting the beautiful (Ha) sun. Not!
We were burned crispy. The excruciating pain was awful and almost more than I could bear. Also, because I hadn’t thought ahead, I didn’t have anything to treat myself or anyone else with, except for a small bottle of blended essential oil that I used to carry around everywhere that wasn’t even enough to cover a small area. We had to wait several hours later until after we got rescued by the coast guard (it’s a long story) so that we could put some lavender essential oil on! Needless to say, take a lesson from my horrible experience, and don’t do what we did! Remember, it doesn’t take that long for a burn to occur either. It can take as little as 15 minutes.
But, if for some reason, even after taking all the precautions in the world, you still do get sunburned do not fear, help is near. Right off, if you get any kind of burn at all, sunburn included, the first thing you should always tried to do is plunge it (yourself) into cold water, in order to stop the burn. If you don’t have any cold water, any water will do, or even ice cubes if they are available (although they aren’t ideal).
The next step is to immediately apply lavender essential oil. Lavender oil is so effective against burns that it is absolutely amazing. Not only will it deal with the burning immediately, but it will also prevent other problems that occur with burns. You will not have problems with peeling skin, nor will you have to deal with the stinging pain of serious sunburn. It will also prevent infection and inflammation, which can sometimes be a problem with sunburn, particularly bad ones. (Another side benefit is that your tan won’t even be ruined, although, I am certainly NOT recommending tanning by any stretch of the imagination, unless you want to look like an old piece of leather by the time you are 35!) Not to mention the dangers of skin cancer!
One recommended home cure for sunburn is the tea cure. You just brew some tea (it’s easier to use tea bags so you don’t have such a mess) and use old towels to apply it lukewarm (not cold) directly onto the areas that are burned. This will help with the burn, and also help to prevent infections and help stop the pain.
Aloe Vera is a great healing plant. They are widely available in Kuwait and are very inexpensive. All you have to do is to break or cut off one of the leaves, and inside you will find a succulent, slimy, gel-like substance. You can apply that substance just the way it is, in order to relieve the burning and itch of sunburn. It also helps prevent against infection with its special constituents.
Some people swear by vinegar (specifically apple cider) to take away the stinging and burning, and help the burn to heal much faster than it normally would. One of the good things about using vinegar is that you will probably always have it around in your kitchen, but the smell might put you off, so you may want to stick with the lavender. Chamomile oil is another recommendation that some have mentioned. Mouthwash has also been used for applying to sunburn, and it is supposed to have been used in the military for burns when nothing else was available. Others claim the same from Preparation H (this is actually supposed to be a hemorrhoid treatment). Try them in a pinch. Vanilla is another option when it is available. Both real and artificial are supposed to be equally as good. It is supposed to stop the stinging and prevent peeling. Oatmeal is a good option as well, since it is so soothing. It is good for any kind of inflammation, and can easily be made into a bath additive by powdering the oatmeal and adding it to very warm (but not hot) water.
I have found that calendula (marigold) infused oil also works wonders to sooth the burn and heal it, and there are plenty of people who say that olive oil (either plain or mixed with a little vinegar) has a similar effect.
But, while lavender essential oil is probably your best choice in treating sunburn, the best treatment for sunburn is prevention. So, follow all precautions, don’t ignore the signs, and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible.