So your skin is red, everywhere hurts and you’re peeling.
A burn, like a tan, is the body’s defence mechanism against UV rays.
The body attempts to produce melanin when exposed to this light to protect the skin.
But, when you are overexposed and your skin can’t protect you, the sun causes damage to the DNA in the hupper layer of skin.
This leads to radiation burn – sun burn.
Temperatures soared to 35 degrees Celcius in the UK this week – hotter than the Caribbean.
But, in typical Brit style, many of us didn’t protect ourselves with suncream during the heatwave.
Or, you didn’t reapply it enough – every two to three hours, people!
And, now, you’re in pain and look like a lobster.
How can you soothe the sting of sunburn and limit peeling?
Here are some solutions to help heal and soothe your sunburn:
1. Take a cold shower
When you feel your skin radiating heat and notice you’ve turned a little pink hop in a cold shower.
Your skin feels hot because of the amount of blood needed to heal your skin.
This means you feel warmer to touch.
Ada Ooi, founder of 001 Skincare, told the Metro : “I recommend taking cool baths or showers to alleviate the discomfort.
“You may wish to just use water and skip using any foaming body cleansing products because they can dry out skin more.”
The NHS recommends taking paracetamol or ibuprofen if you are experiencing pain due to sunburn.
They added: “Drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration.
“And, cover sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until skin has fully healed.”
You heard them – get inside!
3. Aloe Vera and Shea Butter
Dermatologist Dr Debra Jaliman recommends applying aloe vera and shea butter, reports Health.
The aloe soothe the skin and the shea butter hydrates it to limit peeling.
You should use a fragrance-free aloe vera gel to avoid irritating the sore skin.
She adds that using a hydrocortisone cream – you can buy this at most chemists – can help with itching, inflammation and swelling.
Be warned – you shouldn’t use hydrocortisone on your face.
4. Shaving Cream
Shaving foam soothes and hydrates the skin while shaving.
In the same way it can help with sunburn.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner told Healthline : “Some shaving creams also contain menthol, which has cooling and anti-inflammatory benefits. This also may explain why some people report skin benefits as a hack treatment for sunburn.”
5. Greek yoghurt or Milk
Dig this out of your fridge for a quick fix.
It may feel odd to lather yourself in yoghurt but the cold temperature will soothe burnt skin.
Dr Rita Rakus said: “Greek yoghurt is very calming and soothing for the skin, packed with lactic acid which is known to soothe the skin and probiotics which helps to soothe inflammation on the skin.”
Dermatologist Dr Samer Jaber added that milk also works.
She told Today : “Dousing a washcloth with cold milk and using it as a compress can help ease the pain of sunburn and kickstart the healing process.
“Apply every 20 minutes and repeat for several hours.”
Now, what did we learn from our painful experience?
While a tan may look good a burn certainly doesn’t.
And, both are signs of skin damage.
In the long run, skin damage can lead to skin cancer.
And, don’t think that living in a cooler country like the UK will protect you.
NHS statistics reveal that 147,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year.
And, since the 1990s, there has been a terrifying 70% increase in skin cancer rates for people aged between 25 and 49.
So wear SPF 30 minimum, buy a floppy hat and protect your skin.