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Sunburn Aftercare: Tips for Soothing Your Skin

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As summer gets closer and sunny days become more tempting, it's easy to get excited about spending time outdoors. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can sometimes result in painful sunburn. Whether it's a day at the beach or simply spending time outdoors, it's essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. But if you do find yourself with a sunburn, proper aftercare is crucial for soothing your skin and promoting healing.

What is Sunburn?

Sunburn happens when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun for an extended period. This exposure can lead to redness, pain, and inflammation as the skin attempts to repair itself. In severe cases, sunburn can cause blistering, peeling, and long-term damage such as premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.

How to treat Sunburn:

Immediate Steps for sunburn treatment:

If you've spent too much time in the sun and find yourself with a sunburn, it's crucial to take immediate action. This is to help reduce discomfort and prevent further damage. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Cold Compress: Apply a cool, damp cloth to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain. Or have a cool bath - do not use ice or ice packs on sunburnt skin.
  2. Hydration: Drink extra water to prevent dehydration, as sunburn can dehydrate the body.
  3. Avoid Further Sun Exposure: Protect your sunburned skin from additional sun exposure to prevent worsening the burn.
  4. Over-the-Counter Relief: Apply aloe vera gel or after-sun moisturising creams. After-sun usually contains ingredients like vitamin E or shea butter to soothe the skin.
  5. Medication: take painkillers or anti-inflammatories, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain.

Long-Term Aftercare:

While the immediate steps can provide relief, proper aftercare is essential for promoting healing and preventing complications. Here are some tips for long-term sunburn aftercare:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Continue to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and aid in the healing process.
  2. Moisturise: Apply moisturiser regularly to help replenish lost moisture and prevent peeling skin.
  3. Avoid Scratching: Do not scratch or try to remove peeling skin.
  4. Avoid Harsh Products: Steer clear of harsh soaps, exfoliants, or fragrances that can irritate the skin.
  5. Protective Clothing: Wear loose, lightweight clothing that covers sunburned areas to protect them from further irritation.
  6. Sun Protection: Once your sunburn has healed, be sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent future sunburns and protect your skin from UV damage.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

For most sunburns that are mild to moderate, you can take care of them at home. But if you have severe symptoms like fever, chills, strong pain, or blistering covering a large area of your body, it's important to see a doctor. If your sunburn doesn't start to get better after a few days or if it seems infected, you should seek medical assistance.

Sunburn is an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience. Proper aftercare can help soothe your skin and promote healing. By taking immediate action and following these essential tips for sunburn aftercare, you can protect your skin and enjoy the sunny days ahead safely. Remember, preventing sunburn is the best strategy. Be sure to take proactive measures to protect your skin from harmful UV rays whenever you're outdoors.

Visit your local LloydsPharmacy where our experienced team can help you choose the right sunburn aftercare for your family.