Sunburn | Adults Treatment
Although some people are more prone to sunburn, anyone can get burned. Skin type may determine your susceptibility and people with fair skin run the greatest risk, but even without burning, sun exposure raises the risk of skin cancer. Having said that, there is nothing worse than coming back after a day on the beach to find yourself looking like a lobster.
For adults and children, the ways to treat sunburn can be slightly different and therefore you should read our blog on tips for dealing with sunburn of children for any little one’s suffering.
Act fast and cool down your skin
If you notice you have burned then the first thing you should do is start to cool your skin. If you are still by the pool and it is cool, then dip yourself in quickly and then wrap up and get out of the sun. Continue to cool your skin by taking a cool shower or bath but do not spend too long in water as this can further dry your skin out. If showering or bathing, avoid harsh soap which can irritate the skin further. If you want to cool the burn further you could use a cold compress, which may be a towel soaked in cold water or ice, however, do not directly apply ice to the skin as this can cause frostbite symptoms.
Moisturise before your skin dry’s out
Being pro-active and preventing your skin drying out before applying a gentle moisturising lotion such as Aloe Vera can dramatically improve the time it takes for your skin to recover. Avoid using petroleum or oil-based ointments as these can trap heat and make the burn worse. Keep applying this lotion to burned or peeling skin to keep it moist over the next few days
Take anti-inflammatory medication (only if it is safe for you take)
Ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can all help with the discomfort and inflammation from the first sign of sunburn. This should be taken as directed on the package or information leaflet which comes with the medication.
Replenish your fluids
Heat causes the body to lose fluid through sweat, and when the skin is burned, the body draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body leaving you dehydrated. It is therefore important to rehydrate by drinking extra liquid, such as water and sports drinks to replenish important electrolytes while your skin heals.
Seek advice from your GP
In most cases, your skin will become less inflamed and swollen, starting to look tanned and you will recover from sunburn after a few days. However, if you or your child has severe blistering over large parts of the body, has a fever and chills or feels confused or dizzy then you should seek advice from a medical professional. Don’t scratch or pop blisters, which can lead to infection.