Festival-goers are gearing up for a weekend filled with music, friends, and fun at Glastonbury. However, amidst the revelry, it’s easy to forget the importance of sun protection.

With long hours spent under the sun, sunburn can quickly become a painful reality. To help you enjoy the festival without the sting of sunburn, the health experts at Youth Lab tell us what we need to know to treat and prevent sunburn effectively.

The Basics: Understanding Sunburn at Festivals

Sunburn occurs when your skin is overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, causing damage to skin cells. This results in redness, pain, and in severe cases, blistering and peeling. Festivals like Glastonbury often involve prolonged outdoor activities, making sunburn a common issue. Knowing how to treat sunburn can help alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage, ensuring you have a great time.

What to Do When You Get Sunburned at Glastonbury

Cool Down Immediately

If you start to feel the burn, head to a shaded area and cool your skin with a damp, cool towel or a misting fan. Avoid using ice directly as it can damage your skin further.

Moisturise Generously

After cooling down, apply a moisturising lotion or gel to the affected area. Aloe vera gel is ideal due to its soothing properties. Choose fragrance-free and sensitive-skin products to avoid irritation.

Stay Hydrated

Festivals can be dehydrating, especially when combined with sun exposure. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your skin recover. Carry a refillable water bottle and take advantage of hydration stations.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you’re experiencing significant discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Follow the package instructions and consult with a healthcare provider if needed.

Protect Your Skin from Further Damage

While your skin heals, it’s crucial to avoid further sun exposure. Wear loose, protective clothing and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after sweating or swimming.

What Not to Do When You Get Sunburned at Glastonbury

Don’t Use Petroleum-Based Products

Avoid petroleum jelly or oil-based products on sunburned skin, as they can trap heat and worsen the burn. Stick to lightweight, water-based moisturisers.

Don’t Pop Blisters

If your sunburn leads to blisters, resist the urge to pop them. Blisters protect against infection. If one does pop, clean it with mild soap and water, then cover it with antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

Don’t Apply Butter or Other Home Remedies

Applying butter or similar home remedies is a myth. These can trap heat and bacteria, increasing the risk of infection. Use treatments recommended by healthcare professionals.

Don’t Expose Burned Skin to Hot Water

Hot water can aggravate sunburned skin. Opt for cool or lukewarm showers to soothe the burn without causing further damage.

Don’t Ignore Severe Symptoms

Seek medical attention if you experience severe blistering, chills, fever, dizziness, or confusion. These could be signs of sun poisoning or heatstroke, which require prompt treatment.

Debunking Common Sunburn Myths

Myth 1: You Can Only Get Sunburned on Sunny Days

Fact: UV rays penetrate clouds, so you can get sunburned even on overcast days. Always wear sunscreen, regardless of the weather.

Myth 2: A Base Tan Prevents Sunburn

Fact: A tan is your skin’s response to UV damage and does not prevent further burns. Rely on sunscreen and protective clothing instead.

Myth 3: Sunburns Will Eventually Turn into Tans

Fact: While some sunburns may eventually tan, the damage caused can have long-lasting effects, including an increased risk of skin cancer. Protect your skin rather than aiming for a tan.

Myth 4: Only Fair-Skinned People Need to Worry About Sunburn

Fact: People of all skin tones can suffer from sun damage. Everyone should take precautions to protect their skin.

Health experts at Youth Lab say: 

Treating sunburn at Glastonbury requires a mix of cooling, moisturising, hydration, and protection. By following these expert tips from Youth Lab and avoiding common pitfalls, you can soothe your sunburn and help your skin heal properly. Remember, the best way to deal with sunburn is to prevent it in the first place by using sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing. Enjoy Glastonbury responsibly and make the most of the festival without the pain of sunburn!

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