What Should I Do If I Get Sunburned?
If you notice your skin becoming red or feeling sore or hot to the touch, you should take the following steps:
- Get out of the sun as soon as you can
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- Cool your skin with a cold shower or a damp towel
- Apply aftersun cream or spray to the affected areas
- Take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease any pain
You should stay indoors or stick to shaded spots until your sunburn has fully healed. You should also avoid hot baths or showers, and try to wear loose clothing to avoid rubbing or irritation. Try not to scratch or remove peeling skin, and don’t pop blisters if you have any.
If your skin is blistered or swollen, or your sunburn is accompanied by a high temperature, fever, headache, vomiting, dizziness, dehydration or extreme fatigue, you should contact your doctor immediately, as this may be a sign of heatstroke or heat exhaustion.
How Do I Care For My Skin After Being in the Sun?
Even taking all the necessary precautions, it’s impossible to completely avoid UV rays (particularly UVA) if you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun. And while there may be no visible signs of sunburn, that doesn’t mean your skin is free from UV damage. If your skin feels tight or warm to the touch (or skin features like freckles or sunspots become more visible) that’s a sure sign of overexposure to the sun.
It’s important to take care of your skin all year round, but particularly so if it’s been exposed to the sun for long periods. Cooling down your skin with a damp towel or a cool shower will help to avoid dehydration, while using a moisturising after sun lotion or cream will help to rehydrate the skin and reduce any redness or inflammation.