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    Sunburn is skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much exposure to UV light can make your skin red and painful, which can later lead to peeling or blistering.

    The severity of sunburn can vary depending on your skin type and how long you are exposed to UV rays. However the main symptoms of sunburn are red, sore and blistering skin. The symptoms may not occur immediately and can take up to five hours to appear.

    Sunburn often occurs when the sun’s rays are most intense (usually between 11am and 3pm). However, there is also a risk of getting burned by the sun on other weather conditions. For example, light reflecting off snow can also cause sunburn. A cloudy sky or breeze may make you feel cooler, but sunlight can still get through and damage your skin.

    Preventing Sunburn

    You can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by protecting your skin with sunscreen. Follow the advice listed below.

    • Avoid strong sunlight whenever possible, particularly when the sun is strongest, and cover up with loose clothing ans a hat.
    • When buying sunscreen, choose one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least factor 15 – the higher the better – that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
    • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply regularly at least every two to three hours. Even water-resistant sunscreens should be reapplied after you come out of the water.
    • A stick application with a high SPF is useful for exposed areas, such as your nose, ears and lips. These areas tend to burn more easily.
    • Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.

    Read more about sun safety and protecting your skin.

    Treating Sunburn

    Treatment for sunburn aims to cool the skin and relieve any pain or symptoms. Applying a cold flannel over the area will help cool the skin, while moisturising lotions and creams will help keep it moist.

    Moisturisers that contain aloe vera will help to soothe your skin and calamine lotion can relieve any itching or soreness.

    In severe cases of sunburn, you should ask your pharmacist for advice as you may need special treatment from Riverside.

    Read more about treating sunburn.

    Vitamin D
    While spending long periods of time in the sun can cause sunburn and skin damage, a small amount of time spent in the sun can be beneficial because it provides your body with Vitamin D.
    Vitamin D helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, which are needed to keep your bones and teeth healthy.
    Read more information about vitamin D and sunlight.