During recreational or professional sports, the exposure to ultra-violet radiation from the sun may cause damage to an athlete’s skin. The engagement in outdoor sports, or where sports events take place in higher altitudes pose an elevated potential for sunburn.
Within the skins epidermis, the melanocyte cells release melanin when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Melanin is the pigment causing tanning of the skin. Over-exposure of the skin to the sun, may however lastingly damage the melanocytes which may, as a consequence, lead to skin cancer, the so called melanoma.
The best way to avoid skin damage from the sun is the employment of preventative measures such as wearing clothing to cover the skin and a sunshield or hat. Sunscreen should be used on uncovered areas.
Acute symptoms of sunburn are redness and heat of the affected area, pain and blistering of the skin. Long term consequences, besides the above mentioned melanoma, are the loss of skin elasticity and premature aging of the skin.
1st aid measure: Getting out of the sun. Cooling and moisturizing the affected parts.
The homeopathic approach sees the following remedies as effective for the treatment of sunburn:
Arsenicum album: Burning, relieved by heat & hot applications.
Belladonna: Intense redness, throbbing, burning. Heat of skin radiates, can be felt on touching. Patient is worse for heat.
Calendula: Burns that are superficial, promotes healing & cicatrization.
Cantharis: Vesication, blisters, raw, painful, burning & itching. Worse for touch. 3rd degree burns.
Causticum: Painful, burning, blisters. Cicatrices break repeatedly. 2nd degree burns.
Hypericum: Painful blistering, small blisters. Itching.
Rhus tox.: Blistering, vesicula are large. Burning with itching.
Urtica uhrens: Violent itching, stinging, burning. Blisters. 1St degree burns.
- Clark, J. (2014). Materia Medica [online] last accessed 16 May 2014, available at: http://www.materiamedica.info/en/materia-medica/john-henry-clarke/index
- Boerike, W. (2000). Homoeopathic Materia Medica [online] last accessed 16 May 2014, available at:http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/index.htm
- Morgan, Lyle (1988) Homeopathic treatment of Sports Injuries, Rochester: Healing Arts Press.
- Subotnick, S. (1991) Sports & Exercise Injuries, Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.
- Walker, Brad (2007) The Anatomy of Sports Injuries, Chichester: Lotus publishing.