Sun Damage – Protecting your skin this Summer


This weekend saw temperatures in the UK sore to up to 34C due to the “Sahara Bubble”, sun lovers flocked to beer gardens and Glastonbury was one of the most enjoyable yet with no muddy puddles in sight! Yes, this weekend Summer was definitely in full-swing, however, Sunburn in this weather is inevitable. With the rain now sweeping across the nation and temperatures lowering to a “normal”, dull British Summer level; alldayDr look into Sunburn and how you can effectively treat painful, red lobster skin!

Protect before you bask

SPF factors can be very daunting and somewhat confusing when it comes to protecting your skin. The general rule with SPF is the higher the factor, the greater the protection.
It is recommended that adults with medium to dark skin use a factor 30 suncream. Ultimately getting a tan simply means you have damaged your skin basking under the Summer sun, with SPF protection the sun damage is decreased and you are less likely to burn.

When applying suncream, ensure you leave at least 30 minutes for the lotion to soak into your skin before enjoying the sun. Suncream must be applied at least every two hours. If you are in the sea or in the pool, you will require a suncream top-up every hour to ensure your skin is completely protected.

Children require more protection than adults, ensure children are covered with loose cotton clothing and use a higher SPF suncream. Factor 50 suncream is highly recommended for children, apply suncream to children every hour to ensure they are fully protected against harmful rays.

If you burn

Sunburn can be extremely painful and often uncomfortable, if you manage to burn regardless of protection measures you must take care of the Sunburn efficiently. UVB rays are responsible for Sunburn, these rays are also the cause of Skin Cancers and pose the greatest risk of skin damage. UVB effects the skins top layer and causes you to go an awful Lobster colour should you not protect yourself correctly. What can you do when UVB rays harm your skin?

• Cool Down
Just like when you burn yourself on the oven, Sunburn needs to be cooled down to reduce the potential damage. A cold compress, cool shower or an ice pack can all soothe the affected area. Remember to not apply ice directly to your skin as this will cause further pain, wrap a protective layer around the ice to reduce swelling and pain instantly.

• Aftersun
Although Aftersun cannot repair the damage caused to cells after time in the sun, it can repair superficial damage caused to the skin and reduce discomfort. The lotion is used to soothe sore sunburn and must not be used to protect skin from sun damage.

• Hydrate
Sunburn often causes dehydration. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and most of your body’s water content is lost through your skin. When you are healing your body will use a lot more fluid than usual, make sure you replace the fluid lost to ensure your skin heals effectively.

• Ibuprofen
To reduce pain and swelling always use Ibuprofen. This anti-inflammatory reduces swelling within 20 to 30 minutes. Ensure you take Ibuprofen immediately when you spot sunburn. You can also give Ibuprofen to children at lower doses to reduce sunburn symptoms.

• Do not play with Blisters
If Blisters form do not touch or burst them, this will leave the skin under the affected area exposed and can lead to infection. Ensure you leave the top of the skin intact until it naturally drains and peels away. Cover blisters with clothing to be sure they are protected from sunlight and potential rupture.

Children need more

Children require more protection than adults, as previously advised we recommend Factor 50 suncream, however, there are other precautions we recommend following.

• Shade
Always seek shade when possible. Children are at risk of heatstroke, making them faint, dehydrated and generally very unwell. Sun is at its strongest during midday, we recommend keeping children out of the sun during the afternoon to reduce chances of sunburn and heatstroke.

• Cover up
Keep children covered with long sleeves and pants if possible. Cotton and dark colours are best for full protection. It is recommended children wear clothes when swimming to ensure their skin is not directly exposed.

• Hats
Baseball caps may be popular but it is best to wear a hat that completely covers your child’s neck, face and ears! Ears are the most common on a child to burn as they are frequently left uncovered, wearing a sunhat will provide your child with the most effective protection.

Know when to stop

Too much sun hurts! It’s important to know when you need to get out of the sun and seek cool shade. Although a Tan gives you and healthy glow and freckles may look cute, these are signs your skin is being damaged and you must seek shade immediately.

Unprotected skin burns in less than 15 minutes in the sun; however, it can take 12 hours for your skin to show the true effects of being unprotected in hot weather. Looking “a little pink” is likely to turn into a nasty burn within 24 hours and will be extremely painful. As soon as your skin starts to turn pink, apply high factor sun cream, cover up and find some shade to avoid ruining your summer.

Even if the weather is cool and cloudy your skin is at risk of skin damage. Clouds don’t block harmful UV rays and unfortunately no matter the temperature your skin will be suffering. During the summer months it is recommended that you always use SPF to be sure that your skin stays healthy!

The sun gives you your daily dose of Vitamin D and makes you feel incredible, we advise that you get as much sunlight as possible to feel happier, be healthier and top up your Vitamin. However, too much sun is possible! You can now find a Sunbathing Calculator online which calculates how long you can stay in the sun based on altitude, sunlight intensity, skin type and the level of SPF. To be sure you are safe and cautious, use the Sunbathing Calculator online and stick to the recommended bathing times given. Keep an eye on the UV index which tells you just how intense the sun is at every point of the day.

If you find yourself struggling with sunburn and you feel you need the advice or assistance of a qualified, high quality GP; contact alldayDr immediately and protect your skin today!

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