Life & Style

Tanning advice: How to turn sunburn into a tan – top tips

The UK is in the midst of a heatwave, with many places forecast to see highs above 30C. If you’re planning to go out in the sun, it’s important to wear a good sunscreen with a high SPF. Sunscreen should also protect you from UV rays, and you can find out if your sunscreen has these protections on the bottle.

How to turn sunburn into a tan

Some dermatologists would argue there is no safe way to tan, and burning your skin is certainly not an advisable way to get a tan.

Sunburn can increase your risk of falling ill with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and it is also widely known to increase your chances of getting skin cancer.

But if you do end up burning, it is important to take extra care while your skin heals.

READ MORE: Is it too hot to walk my dog? How to keep your dog cool in 30C heat

How to treat sunburn

There are a number of ways you can help your skin to heal after it has been burnt by the sun.

If you are sunburnt, you need to get out of the sun as soon as possible.

The NHS recommends you cool your skin with a cool shower, bath or damp towel.

You can also apply aftersun cream or spray, like aloe vera.

Drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration, and you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain.

It is important to cover sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until the skin has fully healed.

Despite what you may have heard, the NHS does not recommend using petroleum jelly on sunburnt skin.

You should also avoid putting ice or ice packs on sunburnt skin, nor should you pop any blisters.

The NHS adds you should try not to scratch and should not try to remove peeling skin, and do not wear tight-fitting clothes over sunburnt skin.

If your skin is blistered or swollen, you are running a high temperature or you feel hot and shivery, you should call NHS 111 or your GP urgently.

If you feel tired, dizzy, sick, have a headache or muscle cramps, or your baby or young child has sunburn, you should also seek medical advice.


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