Greg Binnie, from Edinburgh, spent seven hours working in the intense heat in Dumfries continuously and then again spent the day cutting grass and watering plants. At first he didn’t notice how strong the sun was and so didn’t apply any sun cream, but realized the extent of the damage the next day, later in the night when his shoulders started blistering.
The 22-year-old, fair-skinned gardener was working overtime to pay for a holiday in Ibiza this summer, but has been bed bound ever since and signed off work until he gets better.
He said: ‘I did notice that I was feeling incredibly hot on the Saturday but I just put this down to me cutting the grass.
‘I first realised the severity of it on the Sunday night when I got home from work, as it had blistered up massively.
‘The areas worst affected are my neck and shoulders and as I am incredibly fair skinned I do find myself quite sensitive to the sun.
‘My mum and dad were shocked as they couldn’t believe how it had turned out, they have been brand new in helping me out as I have been stuck in bed since.
‘I have been to the local pharmacy who advised me to keep using Sudocrem and Aloe Vera spray, although I have started to use natural yogurt to treat it as a lot of people online recommended this and I’m already seeing a difference.
‘It is incredibly painful, especially for basic things such as moving my arms and lying down. I’ve been trying to sleep on my front but not having much luck.
‘My warning to others would be don’t be naive. I only just got back from a month in Australia and used sun cream every day.
‘Because I am now back in Scotland I just assumed I’d be fine without as the weather in Scotland isn’t usually to great.
‘This just goes to show you can burn anywhere at any time, so taking precautions will be worth it.
‘I am going to Ibiza at the end of August with my pals, which is why I was doing overtime working Saturday and Sunday at the weekend.
‘I will absolutely be more cautious from now on. Yes I have been sunburnt in the past, but never to this extent. I’ve definitely learnt my lesson.’
How to avoid sunburn?
SPFs measure how much time in the sun your skin can tolerate before burning: if your skin normally burns after fifteen minutes, an SPF 10 lotion will increase the time you can safely stay in the sun by ten times – i.e. 2½ hours.
Choose your SPF first, and then make sure that your chosen product also has 4 stars, giving you maximum UVA protection.
How much should you use?
Most of us put just enough sun cream but the average adult needs about 85mls to properly cover their whole body once – and should normally apply it twice daily.
This means one person should use about six average (200 ml) bottles for seven days in the sun, and a family of four (with 2 adults and 2 small children) should take a staggering 20 bottles.