We’re now well into the summer months, and even if this summer isn’t quite what we’re used to we can all still enjoy the sun whether that’s in the garden or your local park.
However, if we’re not careful too much sun can cause sun burn.
Here’s our top tips on after sun care and what to do if you do get sun burnt.
Take care in the sun
Preventing sunburn is always better than trying to treat it, so if you’re planning to be outdoors long enough to burn then it’s best to be prepared. Remember you can burn even on overcast days.
Make sure you apply sun cream 30 minutes before you go out, and then again just before you do go out. If you’re out in the sun all day make sure you remember to reapply every 2 hours and after any exercising, sweating, swimming or towelling.
According to the NHS(1), you should take extra care in the sun if you:
- have pale, white or light brown skin
- have freckles or red or fair hair
- tend to burn rather than tan
- have many moles
- have skin problems
For more advice on looking after your skin in the summer, read our blog on staying safe in the sun.
How to ease sunburn at home
If you’ve been sun burnt your skin might be red, hot or sore. It may also flake and peel after a few days. It usually gets better within 7 days (2), but there are things you can do at home to treat it.
- Get out of the sun as soon as you can if you notice your skin going pink, red or stinging
- When you get home, try to cool off your skin with a cool shower, bath, or damp towel. Take care not to let a baby or young child get too cold
- Apply after sun cream or spray, like aloe vera to help soothe your skin
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration
- If you have any pain, take pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Make sure you cover any sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until your skin has completely healed
You should be able to treat most sun burnt skin at home, but you should speak to your GP or call NHS 111 as soon as you can if:
- Your skin is blistered or swollen
- Your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery
- You feel very tired, dizzy and sick
- You’re experiencing headaches and muscle cramps
- Your baby or young child has sunburn