Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn doesn't just happen on holiday – you can burn in the UK, even when it's cloudy. There's no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan doesn't protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects. Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Sun Safety Tips
Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest.
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 15 sunscreen
What factor sunscreen (SPF) should I use?
Don't rely on sunscreen alone to protect yourself from the sun. Wear suitable clothing and spend time in the shade when the sun's at its hottest.
When buying sunscreen, the label should have:
A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB
At least four-star UVA protection
Swimming and sunscreen
Water washes sunscreen off, and the cooling effect of the water can make you think you're not getting burned. Water also reflects ultraviolet (UV) rays, increasing your exposure. Water-resistant sunscreen is needed if sweating or contact with water is likely. Take extra care to protect babies and children. Their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin, and damage caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer developing in later life. Children aged less than six months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight.
Clothing and sunglasses
Wear clothes and sunglasses that provide sun protection, such as:
A wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
A long-sleeved top
Trousers or long skirts in close-weave fabrics that don't allow sunlight through
Sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms with the CE Mark and European Standard EN 1836:2005
How to deal with sunburn
Sponge sore skin with cool water and then apply soothing after sun or calamine lotion. Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation caused by sunburn. Seek medical help if you feel unwell or the skin swells badly or blisters. Stay out of the sun until all signs of redness have gone.