When someone is out in the sun, the melanin in their skin acts as a UV protectant. This then causes a higher production of melanin, resulting in a tan. Without the added protection of sunscreen, the body will instead burn, causing a sunburn. Mild sunburns are extremely common, but in some cases, they can become severe. If you are suffering from a severe sunburn this summer, visit AFC Urgent Care Methuen. Our providers can recommend the proper treatments to help speed up your recovery.
Mild to Moderate Sunburn
Mild sunburns are common, and you may already be familiar with the symptoms. More moderate sunburns have more severe symptoms. Some common symptoms include:
- Skin feeling hot to the touch
- Skin looks red and tender
- Blisters may appear
- Dehydration is possible
As the skin and sunburn heal, the skin may peel. If the sunburn covers a large surface area, or if there are large blisters on the body, visit a medical professional. Blisters may be very painful, and it’s important to let them pop on their own to avoid the risk of infection. Dress in loose clothing to prevent any irritation or infection.
Symptoms of Severe Sunburn
Severe sunburns can also be referred to as sun poisoning. Symptoms are often similar to those listed above, but they can be more severe. Additional symptoms may include:
- Fever, with or without chills
- Severe blisters
Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are also common with severe sunburn. If someone is suffering from confusion or has lost consciousness, visit your local emergency room.
Preventing sunburn is easy, and it can save a patient from severe discomfort. It’s important to constantly be aware of your skin’s condition and how it reacts in the sun. Some people are more prone to sunburn than others. In order to prevent sunburn, be sure to:
- Avoid sunlight when it is at its strongest, between 10 am and 3 pm.
- Wear a sunscreen of at least 30spf every day, even when it is cloudy
- Keep your body in the shade as much as possible through wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours and even more frequently if you go into the water
- Drink plenty of water to maintain hydration. The goal is to try and avoid feeling thirsty.
Sunburn can lead to complications of a patient’s health, especially later in life. It is a common cause of skin cancer. This means it is best to avoid sunburns altogether and protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.