If you’re new to Denver, you may not be aware that sunburns are a huge issue this close to the sun. That’s especially true for gardeners and others who work outdoors. You wouldn’t think that being just a mere mile above sea level would make such a difference. Unfortunately, it does. Working in the Denver garden quite often leads to sunburn and even skin cancer for those who don’t use protection.
When the sun beats down in the Mile High City, it can feel like it’s right on top of you. In the summer, the close proximity of the sun combined with the dry heat can shrivel your skin like an old prune. Ever see those old, weathered western people in the movies? Ya, it’s really like that in the wild, wild west. Better cover up in the garden if you don’t want to become one of them.
Protect yourself from sunburn in the Denver garden by wearing sunscreen even on covered areas of skin. Denver gardeners know from experience that the sun doesn’t care what you’re wearing. It will burn right through your blue jeans. Remember, white clothing reflects the sun rays. Dark clothing attracts them.
For added protection, wear a hat with a large brim. It will keep the sun off your neck, a very painful area to burn. Right about now, I suppose you’re picturing yourself in this weird outfit. Just remember, it’s better than picturing yourself dying of skin cancer. Besides, nobody’s going to see you except the tomatoes.
What if you use all this protection and still get burned? How do you treat a sunburn? The best kinds of relief are natural and organic. Just like your garden..
The most effective sunburn relief is cold tea. The tannin in tea soothes sunburn fast. Brew up some sun tea. Chill it in the fridge for an hour or so. Fill a spray bottle with it. Spray it directly on your sunburn. The relief is instant and tea continues to heal on the skin.
Tip: Take your tea spray to the beach in the cooler with your food. You’ll be glad you did!
Vinegar is also high in tannin. Make a vinegar and water solution. Two tablespoons of vinegar in a spray bottle filled with water is plenty. Keep it in the fridge in a spray bottle too.
Aloe is healing for all types of burns. Sunburn can be effectively treated with aloe as well. Simply squeeze an aloe leaf and use the juice as a lotion. It heals and provides quick relief. Growing aloe pays off but don’t grow it outside. It doesn’t hold up when temperatures change.