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What to do if you get sunburn

Written by , 9th June 2021

There’s no safe or healthy way to tan. Sunburn can increase your chance of skin cancer, which is why sunscreen is so important, and fake tan is always the answer.

Lecture over.

Right now, your skin is bright red, hot and sore. It’s not a good look, and it’s really uncomfortable. Sunburn can strike in the UK, no matter what our skin type, through windows, and even if the weather’s overcast. The good news is, sunburn should ease after a week, and you can treat it yourself. Here’s how…

How to treat sunburn

  • Cool your skin with a lukewarm shower, bath, or damp towel
  • Hydrate with plenty of water
  • Apply After Sun cream or spray
  • Protect and cover sunburnt areas from direct sunlight until fully healed
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Ask a pharmacist about sunburn treatments and if you need to see a GP

Do not:

  • Put ice packs on sunburnt skin
  • Scratch or remove peeling skin
  • Wear tight clothes over sunburnt areas

Severe sunburn can be serious, causing heat exhaustion and heat stroke. See a GP urgently or call NHS 111 if:

  • Skin is blistered or swollen
  • You have a high temperature or feel hot and shivery
  • You feel very tired, dizzy and sick
  • You have a headache and muscle cramps
  • Your baby or young child has sunburn

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