Britons urged to avoid using Vaseline for sunburn – warning from experts

This Morning: Dr Ranj warns of the dangers of sunburn

Britain has seen has seen bursts of very hot weather recently, and as a result many Britons may be suffering with sunburn.

In a bid to soothe sore skin, and a lack of the appropriate aftersun to hand, some might be tempted to rub on any kind of ointment.

Vaseline, however, will make sunburned skin feel hotter and itchier, as the petroleum barrier prevents heat from escaping.

The British Skin Foundation said: “Be wary of using creams or lotions that contain petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine.

READ MORE Woman’s warning after ‘horrific’ sunburn left her face looking like an ‘alien’

“These can either trap heat in the skin or cause local skin irritation.”

Dr Nisith Sheth, from the British Skin Foundation, stated oats and oatmeal could be a far better-suited home remedy for sunburned skin.

Dr Sheth said: “Oats – and oatmeal – have been well known to reduce inflammation.

“And they’re in some commercial brands to treat things like eczema, because of its anti-inflammatory effects.”

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Adding oats to lukewarm bath water might help to ease sunburned skin.

NHS-approved sunburn relief includes:

  • Getting out of the sun as soon as possible
  • Cooling the skin with a cool shower, bath or damp cloth
  • Apply aftersun cream or spray
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
  • Take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain
  • Cover sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until skin has fully healed.

In addition to avoiding petroleum jelly on sunburned skin:

  • Do not put ice or ice packs on sunburned skin
  • Do not pop any blisters
  • Do not scratch or try to remove peeling skin
  • Do not wear tight-fitting clothes over sunburned skin.

Getting sunburned can increase your risk of skin cancer, so preventing more sunburns is highly recommended.

The Skin Cancer Foundation emphasised: “Sunburn accelerates skin ageing and is a leading cause in the majority of cases of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer.”

One of the best protections against sunburn is clothing, with the “more skin you cover, the better”.

Any exposed skin should be covered in SPF 30, which effectively protects against UVA and UVB rays.

But people should refrain from being in the sun between 10am to 4pm, when the sun’s rays are intense.

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