After the mercury soared over the Bank Holiday weekend there might a few of us regretting our time in the sun. Here's how to treat the burn…
How can you treat sunburn?
When temperatures rise many of us Brits tend to overdo it, sporting a bright red glow the morning after a day in the sun.
Sunburn is damage to the skin caused by UV rays and greatly increases your risk of skin cancer.
Your skin will become red, inflamed, sore and hot to touch.
In extreme cases it might blister and peel, which can be extremely painful.
You should be taking all possible precautions not to get burnt, but if you do there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.
1. Aftersun lotion
There are plenty of aftersun lotions you can buy in your local pharmacy or supermarket.
They are all specifically designed to ease the burning and also help repair the damaged skin.
Pick one with aloe vera in it as the plant extract is known to help soothe burns.
Though these lotions or gels can help repair the skin after sun damage, they cannot repair the damage caused to your cells.
It is the damage to your cells that puts you at risk of skin cancer so make sure you are always using sunscreen.
2. Cool it down
Use something cool on your skin to help relieve the heat caused by the sun.
A cold compress, ice pack, cold shower or cold bath can all help soothe your skin.
Never hold ice directly to your skin though as that can cause pain and damage, wrap it in a towel or flannel first.
You may need to repeat the processes several times, depending on how bad the burn is.
Here's a bizarre one for you.
You could use yoghurt to ease sunburn, but not through eating it.
Apparently slapping some yoghurt on your burnt skin can provide some much needed relief.
It's not entirely clear why that is, but it is likely down to the fact that it has a higher pH level, so it can be used to soothe heat.
Another slightly left of field treatment for sunburn is tea.
Again, you don't need to drink it but rather use a cold teabag or freshly brewed tea – allowed to cool obviously – on your skin.
The tannic acid in black tea is thought to help draw heat out of the burn and restore the pH level to help it heal.
5. Drink up
When you are sunburnt you also tend to be dehydrated.
So it's really important to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to replace what you sweat out and also what you lose through evaporation from your skin.
Just think, if your skin is sore and dry from the sun then your body is too.
Plus, drinking cool water can help bring your body temperature down.
A cold milk compress will also help ease your sunburn.
Milk contains vitamins A and D, amino acids, lactic acid, fats and whey and casein proteins.
It's these ingredients that help the skin recover.
Vitamins help the skin to heal while the lactic acid encourages the skin to get rid of the dead cells, so your immune system doesn't have to work so hard to repair it.
There will also be less inflammation if your immune system isn't working as hard.
All you need to do is pour some milk in a bowl, pop in a flannel and leave it in the fridge to cool.
Once the milk has soaked into the cloth and they are both cold, take it out and press the flannel into your sunburnt skin.
If your sunburn is really bad you may need a little help dealing with the pain.
You can take ibuprofen and paracetamol to ease the pain of sunburn.
But be sure to follow the direction on the packet – generally speaking an adult should take no more than two tablets every four to six hours.
And if your symptoms are severe – think blistering, swelling and a fever – you should see a GP.
There are plenty of over the counter creams that will help repair the damage to your skin.
Things like hydrocortisone cream can help ease the burning, itching and swelling.
But, as with aftersun lotions, they cannot repair the underlying damage caused to your cells.
Speak to your pharmacist about which cream is best to use.
You've seen it used to keep eyes cool during facials, so why not use it on your sunburn.
It is believed cucumbers have natural antioxidant properties to cool burns down.
You can either slice it and apply it directly to your skin or mash it up and use it like a cream.
While there is no scientific evidence to suggest it works, a cucumber will certainly feel nice and cool.
10. Vitamin E
Vitamin E creams are not just fantastic moisturisers, they can ease sunburn too.
The antioxidant is known to help decrease inflammation, something you will be thankful for when you've caught the sun.
You can either buy a vitamin E cream or oil and apply it directly to the skin or regularly take a supplement to keep your skin supple.
Source: Read Full Article