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Treat Sunburn Tips

The unexpected hot weather has done what it always does – leave some Brits red-faced. Yep, you’ve got sunburn, so how do you treat it?

We all know there is nothing worse than bad sunburn, and we don’t want to scare you but while you may not care about the ageing effect it has on your skin now (it takes a minimum of 15 years for sun damage to show), the lifetime risk of melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – can double from just ONE dose of sunburn. Yikes.

So first things first let’s chill, then fight the free radical damage.

Dr Anita Sturnham, a skin expert who has worked in a private mole clinic for over 7 years in addition to working in NHS Melanoma screening centres says “sunburn can develop over a number of hours, so it’s important to act quickly at the first signs of redness”. Here are the steps to follow:

# Remove The Heat

To remove the heat resulting from sunburn you need to cool your skin immediately. Dr Anita suggests wrapping ice in a flannel and applying this to affected areas to subside the burning feeling. Follow this with a cool shower or bath – never hot! Try adding some Aromatherapy Associates Support Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil (£40/ 55ml) which will have a lovely cooling effect on the skin while the peppermint and lavender work their anti-inflammatory magic. Alternatively try fresh mint and cucumber, packed with antioxidants. Dr Anita says “with a 95% water content cucumber is very hydrating and it has natural cooling properties to take the sting out of a burn” – particularly good for the face that you can’t ‘bathe’. Either apply slices of refrigerated cucumber to your face and closed eyes for 15-20 minutes, or fill a jug of ice cold water with slices of cucumber or mint leaves infused for 20 minutes and then soak a wash cloth in the liquid and dab it on sun burnt areas.

# Soothe the Skin

You now need to lather yourself in nourishing antioxidant skincare, which can help fight free radical damage produced by exposure to radiation from the sun. Antioxidants fight free radicals by speeding up the skin’s natural repair process so eat lots of veggies and fruit, plus pick clever moisturisers. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 is a wonder balm that protects and repairs irritated skin while it hydrates and soothes it. Oh, and remember to stock up on the best after sun before you jet off.

# Drink and Eat Fluids

Dr Anita says you need to drink plenty of fluids to keep the body hydrated and take this tip from Hollywood dermatologist Dr Howard Murad: “Water that is in raw fruits and vegetables is ‘structured water’ which is more efficient and has the ability to better penetrate water into our living cells. So eat your water, this way you’ll be able to stay hydrated significantly longer.”

# Cover Up

Don’t even think about getting back in your bikini! “Keep covered up from the sun until redness subsides” Dr Anita says. Burn-on-burn is not only painful but very dangerous.

# Seek Medical Advice

It goes without saying, but we will anyway: If your case of sunburn is severe, seek medical advice as soon as you can.