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Sunburn can creep up on you, and the skin can be damaged even before you notice it's sore, warm to the touch and later flaky.
If your skin does burn, there are things you should do to help minimise damage.
Cool your skin down
Get out of the sun straightaway -- by going inside or finding a shaded spot -- and apply a cold compress to the burnt area to help cool the skin. A lukewarm shower may also help, but remember to pat the skin dry rather than rub it.
Keep the skin well-moisturised
Don’t use an oil-based cream as this can prevent heat from escaping through the skin. If the skin starts to peel after a few days, continue to keep it moisturised to promote healing, and try not to pick the flesh.
Wear loose clothing
This especially applies to the sunburned areas of your skin as loose clothing will be gentler on the skin and help protect it from further damage if you go outside.
The more times you experience sunburn, the higher your risk of premature aging and skin cancer -- so it’s important to apply sunscreen before you go outside, even on a cloudy day.
Our Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Dr Maureen Baker, is ready to help. Just drop your comment into our latest Facebook post. She'll pick the best question of the day and post a reply. #askMaureen
Health is the greatest possession. -- Lao Tzu