With summer finally being here and holiday season in full swing, it’s likely that a lot of people will be dealing with sun burn or sun damage at some point. The sun making a rare appearance is extremely tempting for a lot of people, and they will probably want to spend as much time outside as possible.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with going outside and enjoying the sun, it’s important to be aware of the possible dangers of the sun and how it can cause some serious damage to the skin. We are a nation that is obsessed with sunbathing, despite the fact that it poses some real dangers to our health.
As a cosmetic skin clinic in the UK, we have put together some important advice on sun damage, including how to avoid it and how to deal with it.
How sun damage occurs?
You don’t have to be directly sat in the sun or sunbathing to suffer from sun damage. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be summer for it to occur. Everyday exposure to the sunlight, including walking to and from work, or hanging your washing out in the garden, can lead to skin damage.
Most people are likely to get sunburnt at one point in their life, which is one of the common causes of sun damage.
What is sunburn?
Sunburn is probably the most common type of sun damage, and happens after being overexposed to ultraviolet rays – most commonly from the sun.
It shows up quite quickly after getting burnt as a bright red colouring of your skin. It’s often very painful, warm and itchy, and will last for quite a few days.
Skin that has been burnt will often start to peel a few days later, and should be fully healed within a week or two. Whilst sunburn is usually mild, it can lead to further, more serious health problems.
To stop your skin from getting damaged, it’s best to avoid getting sunburnt in the first place. There are several steps that you can take to reduce the risk of getting burnt whilst you are out and about in the sun. These are:
- Minimise your exposure to the sun when it’s at its strongest. This is often during the day – from dinner to mid afternoon. Why do you think the Spanish take a siesta at this time?
- Don’t sit directly in the sun for long periods of time. Take shelter every so often, even if it’s just going in for a drink.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and hair. The scalp burns very easily and is often the part of the body that is forgotten about – you’ll regret that when trying to brush a burnt head.
- Sun cream – probably the most important thing to remember. Make sure that you wear a high factor that is appropriate for your skin type and cover every bit of skin with it. You should reapply this every hour or so, or more if you are in and out of water.
What to do if you have sunburn
If you get caught out and end up burnt from the sun, there are several things you can do to reduce the pain and help it heal up quicker. These include:
- Keep hydrated – it’s important that you provide fluids for your body.
- Keep the skin cool – take a cold shower or wash down with a cool sponge. This will be extremely painful but it really will help. Yogurt also helps – rub it onto sunburnt areas.
- Take painkillers as this will help take away some of the pain.
- Most importantly, avoid burning skin that is already burnt.
There are other types of sun damage, including some that are a lot more serious than sunburn. Keep checking back as we will be taking another in depth look at these different types.
If you feel like your skin is damaged and you need a little help from some skin professionals, The Aesthetic Skin Clinic would love to help you out.
Our team of experts offer a range of skincare services, both surgical and nonsurgical. For more information, you can contact us by calling 01481 736699 and a member of staff will be happy to help.