How To Treat Sunburn And Lose The Lobster Look For Good

For when you've neglected the SPF, here's how to treat sunburn and stop that red nose in its tracks.

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When Summer finally appears for all of two days, for some of us of a more wan complexion, it's tempting to bare all and let the sun work its magic on our English rose (ok, ridiculously pale) skin.

But when skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, it seems kind of crazy to take the risk (seriously, get your hands on a decent sun cream ASAP).

And while, obviously, the end goal is to avoid getting burnt completely, sometimes, even when we're totally on it with the SPF50 situation, sunburn still seems to find us.

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We caught up with consultant dermatologist at Sloane Street's Cadogan Clinic, Dr Anjali Mahto to get her advice on how to treat sunburn and lose that lobster look for good...

How To Treat Sunburn Quickly

1. Cover Up

'If you've accidentally burned your skin in the sun, cover up the affected areas and stay in the shade until your sunburn has healed.'

2. Let Skin Breathe

'Wear loose cotton clothing that allows your skin to 'breathe' over the sunburnt areas.'

3. Pain Relief

'If you're in pain, analgesia or painkillers can help relieve this and reduce inflammation caused by sunburn. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are ideal and should be continued for a period of at least 48 hours if there are no contraindications. Paracetamol will help with pain but has little effect on inflammation.'

4. See A Dermatologist


'If you're at all concerned about the possible damage the sun has done to your skin, make an appointment to see your dermatologist who can assess and advise you appropriately.'

How To Get Rid Of Pain And Redness

1. Apply A Cool Compress

'...e.g. a towel dampened with cool water for 15 minutes, or take a cool bath or shower. Aim to keep the temperature just below luke-warm and make sure the shower has a gentle flow of water rather than being on full power. If blisters are starting to develop, then a bath is preferable.'

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2. Shower After-Care

'Do not rub your skin with a towel, but gently pat it dry when you get out. After a bath or shower, use an unperfumed cream or lotionto soothe the skin. Applications of this are necessary to reduce the appearance of peeling and this may need to be continued for several weeks.

'Aloe vera or soy containing gels or lotions can be beneficial in soothing the skin. Aloe vera not only has a cooling effect on the skin but also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Be wary of using creams or lotions that contain petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine, as these can trap heat in the skin or cause local skin irritation.'

3. Steroid Cream

'Using a weak steroid cream such as 0.5-1% hydrocortisone for 48 hours may decrease pain and swelling caused by sunburn and speed up the healing process, however this is best avoided in small children.'

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How To Cover Up Sunburn

When you look more like Rudolph than Ratajkowski, here's how to cover up your sunburn courtesy of Digital Beauty Editor George Driver.

If you've got a burnt nose...

The key to covering an awkward red nose is colour correction. Apply a green colour corrector on any redness before applying concealer. It'll neutralise any warm tones and create a better base for your concealer.

Finish with a sweep of bronzer across your nose and cheekbones to make the whole thing look totally intentional.

If you've got sunglasses marks...

The dreaded panda eyes - we've all been there. Add liquid bronzer or tinting drops to your usual foundation to take it a few shades darker.

Blend into the white areas around your eyes and onto your cheeks.

Finish with a bronze eyeshadow to make the faux glow really hit home.

If you've got strap marks...

A mesh of mis-matched bikini strap lines doesn't exactly scream chic.

Apply instant tan to a BeautyBlender or make-up sponge and bounce onto the areas that are looking a little pale to fill in the lines.

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