The recent heatwave has brought some of the hottest weather of the year in Malta and Gozo with plenty of us soaking up the sun.
But it’s all too easy to get carried away and forget to top up your SPF.
A short stint in the sun without proper protection can easily cause damage and pain.
Even 15 minutes of exposure can be enough to burn paler skin in Malta, so it’s vital to always lather up the SPF before heading out and to reapply throughout the day.
However, if the damage has already been done and you’re looking hot and bothered, here are some ways you can soothe skin and make the redness fade a little quicker.
1. Get out of the sun
It might seem obvious, but as soon as you start seeing a patch of red, get into the shade. You don’t want to burn the area further – and if the redness hasn’t faded overnight, then don’t go sunbathing again the next day, as you’ll only be damaging your skin further.
2. Take painkillers
Some common painkillers can help relieve the discomfort and inflammation caused by a sunburn. If you can, take Ibuprofen for the next 48 hours – but check the leaflet and make sure you don’t go over their recommended dose.
3. Cool the area
Putting a cool compress on the skin can help to take down the initial redness. Catch it quickly and jump in a cool bath, or soak the area with cold towels, and you can stop it from burning further. Just like you’d put your finger under cool water after burning it, you can use the same principal for sunburn.
4. Keep hydrated
Sunburns often encourage fluid loss through the skin so make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your hydration levels up.
5. Wear loose clothing
Anything rubbing on your sunburn is likely to make it more painful and swollen. Keep to baggy shirts and no tight waistbands or necklines.
Skin experts say we should all learn to properly apply sunscreen and be more careful to check we’re protected .
Sun safety tips to follow:
- Protect your skin with clothing, and don’t forget to wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears
- Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny in Malta
- When choosing a sunscreen look for a high protection SPF (SPF 30 or more) to protect against UVB, and the UVA circle logo and/or 4 or 5 UVA stars to protect against UVA
- Apply plenty of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapply every two hours and straight after swimming and towel-drying
- Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight