Since we’ve been in the grip of a mini heat-wave over the past couple of days in London, and while I’ve been out and about I’ve seen a lot of too-pink skin, I thought I’d quickly give you the advice that I’ve been sent by the British Skin Foundation on what to do if you’ve accidentally got sunburn. It’s almost unbelievable that I’m writing this in the middle of April – in the UK! But, sunburn is absolutely horrible and if you have got caught, here’s what to do:
1. Take over the counter pain relief. I don’t know about you, but on the odd occasion that I have been burnt, it’s never occured to me to take painkillers, such as ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is recommended because it will have an anti-inflammatory effect – Paracetomol will hep to deal with the pain, so it’s handy to have, but won’t do anything for inflammation. When you’re in less pain, it will be easier to treat the sunburn with the next pointers.
2. Cool your skin down. This could be by using a flannel or towel damped in cool water, or if you can, take a cool (not cold), gentle shower or bath. The water temperature should be just a bit below luke warm. Don’t rub your skin – pat it dry when you’re out.
3. Hydrate your skin using a fragrance free cream or lotion; you’ll need to do this several times if you want to reduce appearance of peeling and you may well need to keep on doing it for some days. Choose anything with aloe or soy and if you can find a gel formula, then it will feel lighter and more soothing. Aloe Vera has its own anti-inflammatory effect, so opt for that, and avoid any creams containing petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine as they can trap heat. (keep some Jason Aloe Vera Gel in the bathroom cupboard just in case – it’s easily one of the best; find it HERE for £5.99).
4. You can use a mild, over the counter steroid cream (0.5 – 1% hydrocortisone) for up to 48 hours to help decrease swelling and speed up the healing (don’t use on small children).
5. Tempting as it might be, leave those blisters alone – unless you want to run the risk of infection or scarring.
Obviously, drink as much water as you can – sunburn can encourage fluid loss through the skin, so it really is important to stay topped up. So, if you’ve been caught out early, follow the British Skin Foundation’s tips and don’t get caught next time! When you think about what sunburn actually is, according to dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto – an acute reaction in the skin from the sun that causes direct damange to DNA resulting in the death of cells, then it makes it sound like the serious thing it is. *Sunburn* doesn’t cover it really.
There’s a great website to give you plenty of facts and information if you’re worried or concerned HERE.