WE all know 'prevention is better than cure' but sometimes the hot weather catches us by surprise up North.

Weather reports can sometimes be unreliable as we are waiting for sunny spells and get drizzle.

It means we don't always believe what we are told so get caught out without suncream or spray.

And that leads to the skin becoming warm, red and irritable when it is burnt by the sun, before sometimes flaking and peeling.

So we checked out the latest advice from the NHS.

What to do if you are sunburnt?

If you or your child has sunburn, you should get out of the sun as soon as possible – head indoors or into a shady area.

You can usually treat mild sunburn at home, although there are some circumstances where you should get medical advice.

The following advice may help relieve your symptoms until your skin heals:

Cool the skin by having a cold bath or shower, sponging it with cold water, or holding a cold flannel to it.

Use lotions containing aloe vera to soothe and moisturise your skin.

Applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for a few days may help reduce the inflammation.

Drink plenty of fluids to cool you down and prevent dehydration.

Take painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, to relieve any pain (but don't give aspirin to children under 16).

Try to avoid all sunlight, including through windows, by covering up the affected areas of skin.

Who's at risk of sunburn?

Everyone who's exposed to UV light is at risk of getting sunburn, but some people are more vulnerable than others.

You should take extra care when out in the sun if you:

  • have pale or white skin
  • have freckles or red or fair hair
  • tend to burn rather than tan
  • have many moles
  • have skin problems relating to a medical condition
  • are only exposed to intense sun occasionally – for example, while on holiday
  • are in a hot country where the sun is particularly intense
  • have a family history of skin cancer  
  • Snow, sand, concrete and water can reflect the sun's rays on to your skin, and the sun is more intense at high altitudes.

Check out the latest advice on the hot weather and how to stay cool in the heat here..