Dr Alex George gives advice on sunburn and suncream
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Sunburn is painful and dangerous, so you’ll want to tread carefully in the time after being burnt. Your skin may start to flake and peel after a few days, but are you supposed to peel it? Express.co.uk reveals the best ways to heal sunburn quickly.
Sunburn is damaging in more ways than one, even if it normally gets better within seven days.
The short-term pain, allergic reaction to phenergan redness and discomfort are irritating but this will fade and the more serious problem is skin damage.
Sunburn accelerates skin ageing and is a leading cause of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Should I peel my sunburn?
If the damage has already been done and you’re badly burnt, don’t worry.
The redness and pain will go away in about a week and the only thing you can do is treat it yourself to avoid infection.
The one thing you should not do is peel your sunburn.
According to SkinCancer.org, you should never pull off your peeling skin and should avoid active exfoliation.
You must let the skin slough off your body on its own.
The peeling will stop when the burn has healed, which is about seven days after you’ve been burnt.
Here are 4 ways to heal sunburn
The best thing to do when you’ve been burned is to immediately cool the skin down.
Get out of the sun and into the shade as soon as you notice you’re burnt.
Start by treating the initial pain and redness with a cold compress or take a cool shower or bath.
Burnt skin is inflamed, so you should try and counteract the inflammation.
The experts at SkinCancer.org recommend taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin at the first sign of sunburn to help with discomfort and inflammation, if it’s safe to do so.
The site added: “You can continue with the NSAIDs as directed on the label until the burn feels better.”
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Lotions and potions
There are lots of things you can apply to the burn to help with the healing process.
SkinCancer.org recommends using an over-the-counter one percent cortisone cream as directed for a few days to help calm redness and swelling.
You can also try using aloe vera to soothe mild burns, and use a gentle moisturising lotion on damp skin.
Whatever you do, don’t use petroleum or oil-based ointments as these may trap the heat and make the burn worse.
When you’re burnt, the burn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body.
This is great for the healing of the burn but can leave you dehydrated.
Top up on lots of water and sports drinks containing electrolytes to ensure you have enough water to heal the burn.
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