Sunburn is damage caused to the skin by UV rays (sunshine).
The skin becomes red, warm, sore and tender. It may start to flake and peel after a few days, and will usually fully heal within 7 days.
Sunburn is usually mild and short-lived, but it’s important to try to avoid it because it can increase your risk of developing skin problems in later life, such as ageing (wrinkling) and skin cancer.
It can be easy to underestimate the strength of the sun when you’re outside. The wind and getting wet, such as going in and out of the sea, may cool your skin, so you don’t realise you’re getting burnt.
You should always be aware of the risk of sunburn if you’re outside in strong sunshine, and look out for your skin getting hot.
- Apply sunscreen
Apply a good amount of sunscreen of at least factor 15 and four-star UVA rating. You should follow the guidance on the bottle of how often you should reapply.
After swimming or being in water, you should always reapply sunscreen after you’ve got out and dried off, even if you use water-resistant sunscreen.
- Spend time in the shade
Stay in the shade between the hottest hours of the day 11am & 3pm.
- Cover up
Wear suitable clothing and sunglasses
- Drink plenty
Drink plenty of water or juice throughout the day to keep hydrated.
- Take extra care
You should take extra care in the sun if you:
– have pale, white or light brown skin
– have freckles or red/fair har
– tend to burn rather than tan
– have many moles
– have a family history of skin cancer