Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October. Don’t forget to take a hat, sunglasses and sun cream to keep you safe from the sun, and spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is strongest. Apply sun cream regularly and use at least SPF 30 however SPF 50 will give you the best protection.
But don’t be tempted to leave sun essentials behind if the weather’s looking glum – you can still damage unprotected skin even when it’s cloudy!
Staying safe in the sun and drinking plenty of water will also prevent you suffering from heat exhaustion, and in severe cases heat stroke, which can put a strain on your vital organs.
Make sure you:
- spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
- make sure you never burn
- cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
- take extra care with children
- use at least factor 30 sunscreen
Sunburn is red, hot and sore skin caused by too much sun. It may flake and peel after a few days. You can treat it yourself. It usually gets better within 7 days.
- get out of the sun as soon as possible
- cool your skin with a cool shower, bath or damp towel (take care not to let a baby or young child get too cold)
- apply aftersun cream or spray, like aloe vera
- drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration
- take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain
- cover sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until skin has fully healed
Contact your pharmacist if you have any concerns about sunburn. You should contact NHS 111 if:
- your skin is blistered or swollen
- your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery
- you feel very tired, dizzy and sick
- you have a headache and muscle cramps
- your baby or young child has sunburn
Severe sunburn can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be very serious.