The summer months usually bring plenty of sunshine to the UK and that comes with the issue of needing to protect your skin from its strong UV rays.

Inevitably some people will end up getting sunburnt skin during this time of year and will need to help it heal.

A survey of 500 people conducted by NEXT found that 52% say they are likely to get sunburnt at least once a year whilst 70% admit to being less likely to wear SPF in the UK than they are when abroad.

To help people out NEXT has teamed up with Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hamdan Abdullah Hamed to offer advice on how to treat sunburnt skin.

Tips to treat sunburnt skin

Dr Hamad recommends a number of tips to help soothe sunburnt skin, which include:

  • Frequently take cool showers to relieve sunburn pain. 
  • To avoid discomfort when drying, gently pat the towel on the skin. 
  • Choose a moisturiser or aftersun that contains aloe vera to relieve sunburn pain. 
  • Use a hydrocortisone cream to lessen pain from sunburn. 
  • Use medication such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to relieve swelling, redness, and pain. 
  • Don't forget to drink water to stay hydrated. Sunburn can mess with the fluid in the skin's surface and drinking more fluid may be able to address dehydration.

Dr Hamad was keen to emphasise that trying to prevent sunburnt skin in the first place was better than treating it afterwards.

He recommends adults apply sunscreen on their skin which is at least SPF 30 before heading outside and then reapplying every two hours.

Meanwhile, for protecting children's skin from sunburn he said: "I would advise that all children wear lightweight sun-safe clothing and swimwear that can cover their body to protect it from sun exposure. 

“Hats and sunglasses are also essential. Something to look out for when purchasing sunglasses for your children is whether they offer 99% UV protection as this will help to  prevent eye health issues later in life.”

Recommended reading:

Children have much more sensitive skin than adults so it is crucial to be aware of preventing sunburn.

In terms of general advice throughout the year, Dr Hamad said: “Sunscreen should be worn year-round, including winter, you should apply it even when it is cloudy as UV rays can still be present.

"Rays can also reflect on snow and water, which will increase the risk of getting sunburnt.”