Nice to see that it has become a little more sunny in London recently. I certainly enjoy the slow arrival of summer. However of course we all know that it is absolutely crucial to never let our skin burn in the sun. And remember that the maximum redness will only occur after 24 hours, so at the time of exposure, it’s hard to judge whether you had too much or not. For that reason, be extra careful and use an SPF30-50 on a daily basis.
However, should you find your skin has -despite all efforts- become red, many people find application of Quark (wrapped in a clean kitchen towel or cotton cloth) soothing. Quark is a type of fresh dairy product made from soured milk (very popular in Germany), available in most big supermarkets. It cools and is anti-inflammatory.
Alternatively, application of a mild steroid cream (eg 1% Hydrocortisone cream, which you can get without a prescription at the chemist) will help to ease the redness and soreness quicker.
In addition, taking an antihistamine tablet (e.g. 5mg Loratadine) and two tablets of Aspirin (i.e. 2x500mg Aspirin – but make sure to check with your GP first if you are OK taking these!) as soon as you notice any redness coming up (the sooner, the better), may help prevent some of the worst. This is not an excuse to not be careful though – it’s not an ‘antidote’! And of course, if you suffer with severe redness or even blisters, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible, don’t self-medicate and soldier on with it yourself.
Remember – none of these measures will protect your skin from the actual cellular damage that you have inflicted with the sunburn, it only reduces the redness and soreness, so that your skin feels a little less uncomfortable. So don’t forget to cover up and slap on the sun protection about 30 minutes prior to any sun exposure!