United Kingdom

Haven't they heard of sun-screen? Scorched Britons share snaps of their red skin and dodgy tan lines

With the recent spell of warm, sunny weather coming to an end, some scorched Britons will be glad of the respite.

Many will be nursing reddened skin and awkward tan lines after catching a few too many rays over the past few days - with some sharing their sun-screen fails on social media.

Lewis Reed, 27, from Brighton, didn't wear any sun cream - claiming he isn't fond of the sticky lotion - when he went out for a picnic on the beach with his mother. 

But after an hour-and-a-half, he was mortified when his legs turned bright red and began to peel and blister.

Lewis Reed, 27, from Brighton, didn't wear any sun cream, claiming he isn't fond of the sticky lotion, when he went out for a picnic on the beach with his mother - and lived to regret it

After an hour-and-a-half in the sun, Lewis was mortified when his legs turned bright red and began to peel and blister (pictured)

He shared photos of his painful-looking burns on Twitter last weekend with the caption: 'When people ask me why I want to sit in the shade I show them these photos.'

Lewis is not alone; Jack Eddie, from Barnsley, shared a photo of his patchy back on Sunday, writing: 'Top tip don't leave your eight-year-old daughter in charge of putting sun cream on ya back hahaha FFS (sic).'

Dave Hammond, from Desford, replied to Lewis' tweet with a snap of his own beetroot-red arms and face, tweeting: 'Erm yeah feel your pain.'

Mother-of-three Sarah Draper, from Ilkeston, admitted she too should have asked for assistance with applying sun-screen to her back. She tweeted a snap of painful-looking strap marks on her back, adding: 'Maybe I should of asked a neighbour for help with sun cream (sic).'

But while these images are amusing to look at, the consequences of overdoing it in the sunshine can be very serious. Emma Coleman, a dermatology registered general nurse told FEMAIL that just one sunburn incident can alter the way the skin functions. 

Dave Hammond, from Desford, replied to Lewis' tweet with a snap of his beetroot-red arms and face, tweeting: 'Erm yeah feel your pain'. Emma recommended he keep these areas completely covered with cotton clothing for seven days

Jack Eddie, from Barnsley, shared a photo of his patchy back on Sunday, writing: 'Top tip don't leave your eight-year-old daughter in charge of putting sun cream on ya back hahaha FFS (sic)

'UVB rays from sunlight are more likely to cause sunburn compared to UVA light, which is essentially inflammed, immunosuppressed skin,' she said.

'Worryingly, the immune system remains suppressed for a period of time after the exposure. This means that even one sunburn incident can alter the way the skin is functioning, in particular genetic material formation is stunted meaning that cell division and shape are altered, and mitochondria - skin cell's power houses - are debilitated. This is why we see advanced ageing associated with sun exposure.' 

She told how the back area is 'highly associated with malignant melanoma', while the chest is 'very delicate' because the skin is thin. Emma said: 'It's important to protect the décolletage whenever exposed with a broad spectrum sunscreen. I regularly see clients with pigmentation and deep lines on their chests due to sun damage.'

Emma, who has her own skincare and beauty range, told FEMAIL: 'A history of sunburns and a young age of first sunburn incidence are associated with an increased risk of basal cell carcinoma development, and squamous cell carcinoma risk is largely increased in those with light-coloured eyes and fair to auburn hair colour.  

Mother-of-three Sarah Draper, from Ilkeston, admitted she too should have asked for assistance with applying sun-screen to her back

Lisa Glendinning, from Carlisle, pictured left, tweeted to ask if CBD helps with sun burn, while Jade, from Nottinghamshire, right, captioned snaps of her burnt legs 'me vs sunburn'

Twitter user @MarkussClarkuss tweeted: 'Don't know what feels worse. The hangover or the sunburn,' along with a photo of his leg next to a superimposed Drumstick lolly

Radio presenter Chris Felton (left) shared a selfie from work showing off his sun burn, writing: 'I've come in looking like a Fruit Salad', while Ryan Jowitt, from Leeds, right, tweeted a snap of his pink face with the caption: 'Today I learned about sunburn'

Gemma Davis, from Nottingham, showed off  a painful-looking burnt shoulder from her time in the sunshine last weekend

Ciara Nic Eoghagáin, of Manchester, shared a snap of her reddened chest, writing: 'Do you ever just go outside in the sun with suncream on for two hours and this happens? Or just me?'

'This is because those with Fitzpatrick skin types of IV and above have higher melanin levels naturally, and melanin is thought to exert a protective effect on skin.

'Sunburn in childhood equates to a five-fold increased risk of developing malignant melanoma, according to one Italian study.' 

Lisa Glendinning, from Carlisle, tweeted a photo of her scorched back to ask if CBD helps with sun burn, while Jade, from Nottinghamshire, captioned snaps of her burnt thighs 'me vs sunburn'.

And Twitter user @MarkussClarkuss tweeted: 'Don't know what feels worse. The hangover or the sunburn,' along with a photo of his leg next to a superimposed Drumstick lolly.

Radio presenter Chris Felton shared a selfie from work showing off his sun burn, writing: 'I've come in looking like a Fruit Salad'. Also having overdone it in the sunshine, Ryan Jowitt, from Leeds, tweeted a snap of his pink face with the caption: 'Today I learned about sunburn.' 

Sharing a photo of awkward tan lines on her back, 22-year-old Aly Vella, from Wakefield, advised wearing sun-screen

Amelia Taylor, from Crewe, left, shared this snap of her shoulder on Twitter, writing: 'Really regret not wearing sun cream now, most painful thing ever', while Jon, from Manchester, right, blamed his wife for not bringing sun cream for their sunny excursion, writing: 'In my defence, I didn't actually know I was going to be outside for so long!'

Gemma Davis, from Nottingham, showed off a painful-looking burnt shoulder from her time in the sunshine last weekend, while Ciara Nic Eoghagáin, of Manchester, shared a snap of her reddened chest, writing: 'Do you ever just go outside in the sun with suncream on for two hours and this happens? Or just me?' 

How to ease sunburn 

DO:

Get out of the sun as soon as possible

Cool your skin with a cool shower, bath or damp towel (take care not to let a baby or young child get too cold)

Apply aftersun cream or spray, like aloe vera

Drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration

Take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain

Cover sunburnt skin from direct sunlight until skin has fully healed

DON'T 

Use petroleum jelly on sunburnt skin

Put ice or ice packs on sunburnt skin

Pop any blisters

Scratch or try to remove peeling skin

Wear tight-fitting clothes over sunburnt skin

Information supplied by NHS England

Twitter user Christoff, from Wigan, told how he managed to get sunburnt on his face while painting his garden fences, despite wearing a cap. 

And Jamie, from Manchester, tweeted a photo of his pink complexion, writing: 'Wear suncream folks!'   

Emma recommended wearing sunscreen every day throughout the year - even when it's raining.

For those suffering from sun burn, she suggested frequent cool showers or baths and applying aloe vera gel to the affected area.

'This won't cause overheating of the skin when applied and has a cooling effect for itchy and burning skin,' she explained. 

'A lidocaine-containing Lanolin product can also help with severe pain. Oral anti-inflammatories for three days will help with initial pain and blisters should be left to heal themselves. Application of fan therapy to further cool the skin will aid comfort.'

Current research suggests that while many people who are severely sunburned as children never develop skin cancer, one blistering sunburn in childhood increases the risk of melanoma later on in life by 50 per cent.

Another study claims that white women who get five or more severe sunburns in their teens have double the risk of developing melanoma. 

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and the numbers of new cases diagnosed each year are increasing.

Most non melanoma skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. 

This may be long term exposure or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning.

A Manchester-based Twitter user shared this snap of their burnt chest, writing: 'Got a tasty sunburn oop. Had a great day though'

Alice Jolley, from Lincoln, got burnt while working outside (left); Twitter user Chad, from Wales, burnt his feet (centre) and struggled to get his work boots on the next day, and Sophie Bebb, from Huddersfield, right, admitted she didn't put on enough sun protection

Karen Sharples, from Liverpool, was left wishing she'd put on more sun cream after being left with a very red back and strap marks

David Johnson, from Liverpool, sat in the sun all day and said his skin would 'sting in the morning' - sharing a snap of it resembling the colour of his rose wine

Nichòl Boys-Hope, from Sunderland, still managed to get painful sunburn despite putting on cream

Red nose day! Jamie, from Manchester, left, tweeted a photo of his pink complexion, writing: 'Wear suncream folks!' while Twitter user Christoff, from Wigan, right, told how he managed to get sunburnt on his face while painting his garden fences, despite wearing a cap

Skin cancer - the facts 

There are two main types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma. The latter is far the most common and can usually be treated successfully. 

Sun exposure causes skin cancer because of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunshine. There are three main types of UV radiation, UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVA and UVB can cause skin damage including sunburn and premature ageing of the skin. This damage can lead to skin cancer. Cumulative sun exposure is the most important risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancer.

Some evidence suggests that sunburn or intense exposure to sun in childhood particularly increase the risk of developing melanoma.

Are some people more at risk than others?

You may be more at risk depending on your skin colour. Melanin is a protective pigment that is produced within the skin and helps protect the deeper layers of the skin from the harmful effects of sun.

Fair skin contains less melanin than dark skin and so fair skinned people have an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

The tell tale signs

Around one third of all melanomas develop from normal moles so it is important to be aware of any sudden changes in moles.

How to spot a melanoma

The mole will have an irregular shape, ragged and irregular edge, be a mixture of colours including brown, black and blue, larger than 5mm across and will enlarge over a six-week period.

The symptoms of a non-melanoma skin cancer are: a new growth or sore that does not heal within four weeks, a spot or sore that continues to itch or scab and persistent skin ulcers that are not explained by other causes.

Top tips for sun safety

• Avoid the midday sun between 11am and 3pm.

• Don't be fooled by a cool breeze or light cloud: you can still get burnt.

• Cover up in the sun with loose cotton clothes, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.

• Protect yourself while swimming.

• Look out for the solar UV index on the TV weather forecasts.

• Children need extra protection.

• Avoids using artificial tanning equipment to get a tan.

For more information visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/sunsmart

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