How to soothe painful sunburn

It’s very easy to see a bit of sun and run outside all guns blazing, unencumbered by the prospect of sunburn.

But whether you can see the sun or not, whether you’re already melanated or even if you’re wearing makeup, you can still get burned.

And the red, hot, sore skin can be very painful as it flakes away.

So what are some remedies to soothe the pain of sunburn?

Firstly, there are steps you should take to avoiding sunburn, which happens as a result of the body’s natural defence mechanism kicking in against damaging ultraviolet rays.

When the defences are overwhelmed, a toxic reaction occurs, resulting in the condition.

If you are particularly prone to burns, stay away from the sun during peak hours, between 10 am and 2 pm.

If you do go out, always apply sunscreen (SPF of 30 or higher) at least 15 minutes before going outdoors, even on a cloudy day. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you.

Reapply every two hours, especially after going in water.

Wear clothing that protects against UV rays such as those with UPF protection (ultraviolet protection factor) – anything above 50 helps block 98% of UVA/UVB rays.

If you have managed to get a painful burn, there are some things you should do, as recommended by the NHS. These include:

There are also some things you should avoid doing such as using petroleum jelly on sunburnt skin, putting ice on it, popping or scratching blisters, or wearing tight-fitting clothes.

In some cases you might need to see a GP or call NHS 111. This includes having a very high temperature, feeling hot and shivery, or very tired, dizzy and sick.

Any severe headaches or muscle cramps should also be reported.

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