Sunburn treatment

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About Sunburn

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A sunburn is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light that is present in sunlight, tanning beds, and sunlamps. Excessive exposure to UV light can cause the skin to burn, resulting in red, painful, and dry skin that may be warm to the touch. Sunburn can occur on any exposed part of the body. You can even be burned under clothing if the garment has a loose weave that allows the UV light through. Even eyeballs can become sunburnt if you do not wear UV shielding sunglasses outside.

Common symptoms of sunburn include:

  • Painful, tender skin that becomes pink or red
  • Skin that is warm or hot to the touch
  • Swelling
  • Fluid-filled blisters that may burst and ooze liquid
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Eye pain, or a feeling of grittiness in the eye (if the eyeball has become sunburnt)

Symptoms of sunburn usually begin to appear within a few hours of sun exposure. After a few days, burnt skin may begin to heal itself by peeling the dead, burnt skin. It may take several days before your skin has fully recovered from a sunburn.

Individuals with light skin, blue eyes, and red/ blond hair are at increased risk of sunburn. Additionally, individuals who work outside, live at high altitudes, or frequently use tanning beds may be more at risk of developing a sunburn from these conditions. It doesn’t have to be sunny and hot to develop sunburn; exposed skin can burn even in cloudy or cool weather.

Even though most cases of sunburn will go away within a few days, repeated exposure to the sun dramatically increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Frequent sun damage can make skin age prematurely which leads to deep wrinkles, dry skin, dark spots on the skin, and rough skin. Sun damage to the eyes can lead to clouding in the eyes - known as cataracts.

To prevent sunburn, it is recommended that you avoid sun exposure during peak hours of the day (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Because this isn’t really feasible for most individuals, be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, 15-30 minutes before going outside. Cover up as much exposed skin as you can with dark colors and tightly woven fabrics. Wear a wide-brim hat to protect your face, skin, and eyes from direct sunlight, and wear sunglasses with UV protection.

If a sunburn has left blisters over a large area of your body, or if skin swelling has become severe, talk to a health care provider right away. If you experience a fever of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, fainting, or dehydration, seek emergency medical care.

Treatment Options

Doctors and providers on Sesame offer the following medications often used to treat {{ searchTerm }} for just $5 with free delivery. Book a visit today to discuss if the following medication can be part of a treatment for {{ searchTerm }}.

Note that all prescriptions are at your provider's discretion.

Sunburn treatment won’t heal damaged skin, but it can reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation. Below are common treatment options for sunburn. During your appointment, talk to your provider about the treatment plan that’s right for you.

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