Home :: Sunburn
Sunburn Relief - Sunburn Treatment
Sunburn is simply a burn or erythema (reddening) and oedema (swelling) on your skin from excessive exposure to the sun's rays, more specifically the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that is emitted from the sun. Sunburn may also occur from exposure to other UV light sources such as solaria or tanning salons.
At a cellular level, sunburn is associated with microscopic changes in the skin. There is the formation of UV induced sunburn cells and a reduction in Langerhan cells and mast cells, which play an essential part of the body's immune defence system.
Excess exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The following factors make a person more susceptible to sunburn:
- Genetic factors, especially fair skin, blue eyes, and red or blonde hair.
- Use of drugs, including sulfa, tetracyclines, amoxicillin or oral contraceptives.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of sunburn include:
- Change in skin color, ranging from pink to red and even purple
- Skin feels hot to the touch
- Chills and fever.
- Fluid-filled blisters that may itch and eventually pop or break
- Broken blisters peel to reveal even more tender skin beneath.
- Delirium (severe, extensive burns) accompanied by fever and dehydration.
- Your own observation of symptoms.
- Medical history and exam by a doctor.
Medical Treatment - A doctor's Care will be necessary for severe burns and for complications of sunburn.
- Use non-prescription drugs, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, to relieve pain and reduce fever. Non-prescription burn remedies that contain benzocaine or lidocaine may be useful, but they produce allergic reactions in some.
- Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers or cortisone drugs to use briefly.
To reduce heat and pain, dip gauze or towels in cool water and lay these on the burn.
- After skin swelling subsides, apply cold cream or baby lotion.
- For badly blistered skin, apply a light coating of petroleum jelly. This prevents anything from sticking to the blisters.
- Avoid sun exposure from 12 noon to 3 p.m.
- Use a sun-block preparation for outdoor activity. Products with a sun-protective value of 10 or more protect almost totally. Reapply after swimming or after prolonged exposure. Baby oil, mineral oil or cocoa butter offer no protection from the sun.
- For maximum protection, use a physicalbarrier agent such as zinc-oxide ointment. Reapply after swimming and at frequent intervals during exposure. Barrier agents are especially helpful on skin areas that are most susceptible to burns, such as the nose, ears, backs of the legs and back of the neck.
- If you rarely burn, you may use a sunscreen product that permits tanning and provides minimal protection.
- Wear clothes that have muted colors such as tan to protect skin from sun. Avoid brilliant colors and whites, which reflect the sun into your face.
- If you insist on tanning, limit your sun exposure on the 1st day to 5 or 10 minutes on each side. Add 5 minutes per side each day.
- Some reports suggest that aspirin taken before sun exposure ,will prevent or reduce the harmful effects of sunlight-including burns.