First Aid for Sunburn

First Aid for Sunburn

By Amelie Kokorsky

Many horse owners are surprised to learn that horses can also get sunburn. Although the animal's coat protects it from strong sunlight, the horse can still get sunburn in sensitive areas. Especially on the face, where the coat is much thinner, the skin is not sufficiently protected. Sunburn is most common on skin with little pigmentation, such as white markings and a pink mouth and nostril area. In these horses, a few hours outdoors are sometimes enough to cause sunburn. Sensitive or affected horses should be protected from the sun and either kept indoors during the day or provided with sufficient shaded areas.

Tip: Beware of hogweed, St. John's wort and red clover in the pasture. These plants can cause the skin to become even more sensitive and sunburn can develop more quickly. But feeding wheat and/or alfalfa in larger quantities can also promote skin burns.

In order to protect a horse from sunburn right from the start, it is a good idea to put on a fly mask with UV protection. You should use masks that reach over the nostrils and completely cover sun-sensitive areas.

Sun cream can also protect against sunburn, as it does for humans. As a preventive measure, apply sunscreen to the sensitive areas in the morning or several times a day as needed. For example, sun cream for babies or children with the highest possible sun protection factor is suitable.

If it is too late and the horse has got sunburn despite all protective measures, you can cool the affected areas with water or cooling pads. You can also put a wet towel on the affected areas.

Buttermilk has proven to be a good remedy for quickly cooling and soothing the skin. You can simply apply the buttermilk to the burnt skin and leave it on for a while. Before and after this, you should clean the skin properly with water.

Afterwards, Stiefel Acute Lotion can be applied to the affected areas of the skin. Stiefel Acute Lotion can care for damaged skin areas and promote skin suppleness. It can also help regenerate the skin and have a soothing effect on sunburn. The lotion is absorbed quickly without leaving any residue and makes the skin soft and supple without being greasy.