Tips to tackle sunburn

UV radiation in sunlight can cause skin to wrinkle permanently. (AGENCIES)

It's difficult to avoid the sun and while most of us slip, slop and slap our way through summer, the chance of getting sunburnt is never far away.

"Getting sunburnt is not just about painful short-term redness," says Mark Strickland, the Cancer Council WA's acting manager of SunSmart.

"The damage is potentially much more significant than a few days of discomfort."

He says repeated overexposure to the UV radiation in sunlight can cause skin to wrinkle permanently, become blotchy and thicken, while also putting many of us at dramatically increased risk of skin cancer, which claims more than 1800 Australian lives each year.

If you end up sunburnt or windburnt, there are soothing lotions and gels available that aim to minimise the discomfort, with aloe vera a commonly used ingredient.

"The use of aloe vera gel in after-sun treatments is highly beneficial due to aloe's soothing and healing benefits," says Melissa Elvin-Jensen, national education manager for Clinique.

She also stresses that with any post-sun repair, it's important to ensure you're repairing the skin's moisture barrier, so that it's able to retain moisture and prevent any further damage to the skin.

Mr Strickland urges medical attention for severe sunburn with blistering or when the symptoms are too much for the person to tolerate without strong medication.

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