How to get rid of sunburn

As temperatures soared to the almost exotic heights of 29C in some parts of the country during the Bank Holiday weekend there will no doubt be a few red faces returning to the office today.

The consequences of sunburn can be much more serious than just having red looking skin though.

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Sunburn damage can increase the risk of developing skin problems later in life though so it is imperative to keep skin protected by a high factor sun cream of at least 15 to protect against UVB and at a cream with at least a 4-star UVA protection.

If the damage has already been done though and makeup won't cover that red, flaky nose, the good news is it will usually heal within seven days.

But if you want to speed up the recovery process here are five things you can do to relieve the symptoms of sunburn:

1. Stay out the sun

Staying in the sun will make a burn even worse so make sure you give your body a rest by staying out of the sunlight when temperatures are at their highest (between 11am and 3pm). If you have to be outside keep the burn covered with loose, light fitting clothing until it has healed. The burn should also be covered in a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect against UVB and a cream that is at least four-star UVA protection.

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2. Cool the skin

Using a cool, damp sponge or flannel cool the burnt skin. The skin will be extremely sensitive at this point so expect discomfort and pain when cooling the affected area. If you can handle the pain then a cold shower or bath will also help to relieve the burn.

3. Use lotion

After sun cooling lotions will help to soothe the affected area and calm the skin. Aloe vera gel is particularly effective in reducing symptoms of burnt skin. Store in the fridge for a colder application.

4. Drink plenty of water

Spending prolonged periods of time in the sun can cause dehydration so keep your body temperature cool and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.

5. Take painkillers

If the sunburn is sore then ibuprofen or paracetamol will help to relieve the pain.