As the summer promises to give sun worshippers plenty of chances to get out and enjoy some rays it’s important people remember to take proper precautions to prevent adverse effects.

Local health officials are urging residents to make sure they stock up on sun cream from their pharmacist or supermarket to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

GPs will not prescribe sun cream unless there is a clear clinical need for it.such as medically diagnosed photosensitivity.

In a joint statement, Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer of NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG said: “We do all we can to reduce wasted medication and spending on prescriptions unless there is a real clinical need. Yet some people do still ask their GP to prescribe sunscreen. It is important to take the right precautions but simple self-care techniques like ensuring you buy sun creams from the supermarket or pharmacy or cover up in the sun can save you time, effort and the NHS money.”

The best option is to pick up a bottle of sun cream from the pharmacist who will be able to advise you on the best SPF factor to get for your skin and the amount of time you will be in the sun.

The pharmacy is also the best place to go if you do get sun burnt. They will be able to recommend remedies for treating sunburn and advise if it is serious enough to see a GP.

If you do get badly burnt and the skin swells badly or blisters or if you feel unwell you should contact your GP.

Here are some tips to keep you safe in the sun:

  • Stay in shade when the sun is at its strongest (usually between 11am and 3pm)
  • Cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
  • Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 with a four-star UVA protection
  • Use about two teaspoons of sunscreen  if you’re just covering your head, arms and neck
  • Use roughly two tablespoons if you’re covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume
  • Keep sunscreen topped up with regular applications and straight after you’ve been in water
  • Sponge sunburnt skin with cool water and apply soothing after sun lotion.
  • Seek advice from your pharmacist if you’re not sure.

More tips and advice can be found on the NHS choices web site www.nhs.uk