Doctor reveals how to treat damaged skin
Spending time in the sun is fun - that is until you arrive home with incredibly sore, tender sunburned skin. However, if you've overdone it in the sun, thankfully there's plenty you can do to treat your skin. While sunscreen can prevent this situation, Dr Sujata Jolly, dermatologist and founder of Clinogen Laboratories explained that with UV levels expected to reach level 9 (the highest UV level is 11) due to lack of pollution, burning could occur within as little as 15 minutes. So it's important to limit exposure to the sun and take extra measures to protect yourself.
How do I prevent sunburn?
Dr Jolly says: 'You should wear the appropriate clothing such as long sleeves, long trousers or dress and a wide-brimmed hat – preferably made from UV protective fabric which limits penetration of UVA and UVB rays.'
Luckily, you have plenty of options. Sun protective clothing is readily available. And while UV levels are currently at an all-time high, it's still important to remember sun damage isn't only a threat when the sun is shining. Sun protection should be applied 365 days a year, rain or shine.
Apply a liberal amount (the equivalent of a shot glass) of a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen or higher to your face and neck in the morning as the last step in your skincare routine to protect for a typical workday. However, if you're basking in direct sunlight, it's best to reapply. Top brands include Sun Bum, La Roche Posay, Heliocare and Altruist.
'A high SPF should also be worn and reapplied periodically to ensure that it remains effective,' says Dr Jolly. 'Ideally, you should use a product which contains a physical sunscreen, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which forms a physical barrier to harmful rays.'
Aloe vera gel is a marvellous ingredient. This top-rated pure aloe vera gel is said to soothe and treat painful sunburn. Gently rub over your arms and legs after showering.Remember to allow your skin to breathe by wearing loose cotton clothing, and you can also apply a cold compress, such as a flannel soaked in cool water
The best products for treating sunburn
If sunburn does unfortunately occur, aloe vera treatments will reduce inflammation. 'Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory compounds, called anthraquinones, which reduce swelling, promote healing and alleviate pain,' explains Dr Jolly.
'But it has to be pure aloe vera gel taken from the leaf of an aloe vera plant and applied directly to the affected area. Products containing aloe vera as an ingredient may not have the same beneficial effect as pure aloe vera.'
Aloe vera gel is a marvellous ingredient. This top-rated pure aloe vera gel is said to soothe and treat painful sunburn. Gently rub over your arms and legs after showering.
Remember to allow your skin to breathe by wearing loose cotton clothing, and you can also apply a cold compress, such as a flannel soaked in cool water. It's also vital to drink plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration.
Dr Jolly recommends applying a treatment like Youki Bio-Cell Spray if the burn is severe. The spray is a biopolymer dressing which calms the skin, helping to remodel and heal all types of burns. 'It's important not to cover the burn and to bring the skin back to normal temperature by cooling it,' explains Dr Jolly. 'A burn is compromised skin, akin to an open wound, and should be treated as such. Blistering can occur but must be left intact. There are various treatments available, depending on the severity of the burn.'
Severe sunburn can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be very serious. Visit a GP urgently if you feel very tired, dizzy and sick, your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery.
How to ease sunburn yourself
- Get out of the sun as soon as possible
- Cool your skin with a cool shower, bath or damp towel (take care not to let a baby or young child get too cold)
- Apply aftersun cream or spray, like aloe vera
- Drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration
- Take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain
- Cover sunburned skin from direct sunlight until skin has fully healed