Showering with sunburn – Five top tips
Excessively warm weather has become surprisingly common in the UK in recent years with heatwaves often hitting our shores in the summer months. As such, sunburn is something our notoriously pasty populous has become a little more familiar with. Because we might remember to lather up with suncream when we’re abroad, but rarely give it a second thought when heading out for a day in the English sunshine.
If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to suffer from sunburn, you’ll know how difficult it can be to wash properly with a bright red back. Caring for sun-ravaged skin can be difficult and if we misjudge it, we can end up making things even worse and more painful for ourselves.
But how can we enjoy a shower with a sunburn that will not only not damage our skin further but will leave us with more refreshed and healthy skin?
1. Keep it cool
It should go without saying that hot water on sunburn is never going to be a good idea. You’ll feel your mistake instantly as the hot water will appear to “wake up” the burn and you’ll feel it all over again like it’s brand new. If somebody tells you hot water can ease sunburn, then they are repeating a complete myth. Cool water works to decrease excess blood flow to your skin, which reduces inflammation and redness. So, keep the temperature lukewarm or even cold, if possible.
2. Use low pressure
Keep the pressure low. High-pressure showers will not only irritate your red skin but could also burst open blisters, leaving you at greater risk of infection. Keep it running at a light trickle and don’t be tempted to up the pressure on your burnt regions.
3. Install water softeners
Hard water means tap water rife with minerals and these minerals can wear away our skin’s natural defences and disrupt our skin cells. Using hard water on your skin might not necessarily make it feel worse in the moment, but it will make your sunburn heal slower. You can install shower head water filters quite easily for a minimal cost and you’ll notice the quality of your skin improve remarkably over time.
4. Dry gently
Just showering alone is not going to help much. A cold shower might provide some temporary relief from the pain but if you don’t dry the skin properly afterwards it can make the burn come back even worse. So don’t scrub yourself with a coarse towel when you emerge from the shower; take some time to dap at the moisture or perhaps lie on your bed for a few minutes on top of a towel until you dry naturally.
4. Remember that aftercare is paramount
Once you’re dry, apply moisturiser or aftersun lotion with ingredients like aloe vera. There might be a slight sting as it’s being applied but it will help to rehydrate your skin, alleviating itching and tightness. Pain relievers like ibuprofen will also help to bring down inflamed skin and it goes without saying that you should avoid scratching your skin and drink as much water as possible.