Pick Me Up: Expert Sunburn Advice

Woman’s Severe Sunburn Experience

After Falling Asleep Without Sunscreen

Pick Me Up Magazine featured expert advice from Dr Ross Perry on sunburn; after the story of a woman who fell asleep on the beach and had to spend 2 weeks indoors with excruciating sunburn.

The story is a timely reminder about how strong and dangerous the sun can be.

28 year old Emma Duggan was travelling in Australia. She explains:

“…three months later, after a night out with friends, we all headed down to the beach to recover from our post-night out headaches. During my time in Australia I’d learnt that the best way to recover from a hangover was to continue drinking.So I popped open a beer and started reading my book…

Unfortunately Emma fell asleep and woke 6 hours later to realise that she’d completely forgotten to use sunscreen.

The next day she noticed some swelling, but the day after it had got so bad that she couldn’t even open her eyes. Friends rushed her to hospital but all they were able to do was give antihistamine and aloe vera gel.

Emma spent 2 weeks recovering indoors, dealing with agonising pain when applying creams.

She says she’d never worried about sunburn before, but now she’s learnt the hard way just how dangerous it really can be. She now suffers with sensitive skin and redness; and uses factor 50 every couple of hours to prevent it from happening again.

Expert Advice on Sunburn

Pick Me Up asked Dr Ross Perry, founder of Cosmedics Skin Clinics’ Skin Surgery & Laser Clinics, for his expert opinion. He says:

“This is a severe case of sunburn but unfortunately once it’s happened, there is little to be done. Applying soothing gel like aloe vera or cream such as Sudocrem to keep the skin hydrated and help avoid any infection from blisters.

“Patients should also stay well hydrated – both in case of sun stroke and also to help the skin recover.

“Going forward, the advice we give to all patients is to wear high SPF every day of the year, not just for holidays or when sunbathing. This habit protects the skin against the harmful UVA/UVB rays which can cause burning, as well as premature ageing and skin cancer.

“Severe sunburn can increase your risk of skin cancer by four times, so it is imperative not to get burnt. In most cases, sunburn can be treated with moisturisers and cold compress. If more severe, then antihistamines and ibuprofen can also help.

“The main thing is to avoid getting burnt, or being exposed for too long a period in the sun. It’s important to look after your skin in the sun.”

Sunscreen Every Day?

It may sound extreme to wear sunscreen every day – even in winter or on cloudy days. However, Dr Perry says:

“Having a sunscreen every day means that you are better protected from accidental sunburn. After a nasty burn, good sun protection is especially important to avoid further damage to the skin.”

Suspicious Moles or Lesions

Particularly after experiencing sunburn, it is vital to be vigilant for any odd skin blemishes, as these could indicate cancerous cells or growths. Dr Perry says:

“Bear in mind that it can take years, decades even, for these to appear. We often see patients whose skin cancers relate to over exposure to the sun (or sunbeds) in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

“So always keep the sun cream on and check regularly for any worrying signs.

“It takes minutes to get it checked out with a GP, but early diagnosis and treatment tends increases the likelihood of a full recovery for the patient.”

Skin Surgery Laser Clinics

Dr Ross Perry is a qualified and experienced London GP, who founded Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003, an independent company specialising in skin treatments such as removal of lesions/blemishes.

Cosmedics’ Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer private mole removal at a selection of clinics based in London and Bristol. Moles are removed using the latest surgical techniques including laser mole removal; with trained doctors and surgeons.

Our team of qualified and experienced doctors and surgeons also treat other skin blemishes, including sebaceous cysts, skin tags, warts and lipoma using  freezing, laser or surgical techniques.

For ultimate peace of mind, Cosmedics Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer a thorough top to toe mole check carried out by their trained and experienced doctors.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.