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  • Writer's pictureSarah H

How To Treat Sunburnt Skin And Soothe Painful Side Effects

With the easing of the lockdown and the UK having its rainiest few months in years, we all wanted to venture out and enjoy the recent sunny and hot weather. While no one intends to get sunburnt, many people will have had a stark reminder of how easily they have been caught out by the warm weather and ended up a little scorched.

While we all know how important it is to use appropriate sunscreen all year round, not simply in sunny weather, it can be easy to forget to top it up before heading to the supermarket or doing a quick errand. We have a look at how to minimise long term damage to your skin this summer.

How to treat sunburn

The first step is easy enough - get out of the sun! Then take some painkillers, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce the pain and reduce the inflammation caused by sunburn.

Once you’re safely in the shade or indoors, apply a cool compress to the skin with a damp towel for 15 minutes, or take a bath or shower in water that is just below lukewarm. If blisters have formed, then a bath is preferable. Once you get out, gently pat yourself dry with a towel.

What helps sunburn?

To help reduce peeling, the key is to apply moisturiser to your sunburn regularly over the following days and weeks. Moisturisers that contain aloe vera not only have a cooling effect but also add as an anti-inflammatory. However, avoid any lotions that contain petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine, which can trap heat in the skin or cause irritation.

Stay hydrated

Sunburn can encourage fluid loss through the skin and leave you dehydrated, so drinking plenty of water will help your recovery.

Avoid popping any blisters that may appear, as this can lead to infection and scarring, and they will heal by themselves in a couple of days.

Prevention is always better than a cure, and while sunburn is often short-lived and mild, it's important to try to avoid it, because it can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.

If you’re looking for a skin clinic consultation, get in touch today.

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