Sunburn is a type of radiation burn that results from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Like other burns, sunburn will leave the skin warm, red and painful. A severe sunburn may cause blistering, swelling and flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, chills and fatigue.
Finding Relief from Sunburn
Sunburn treatment cannot prevent damage already done to your skin, but it can reduce the pain, swelling and discomfort as your body heals. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following steps to get relief from symptoms of sunburn.
- Get out of the sun. As soon as you notice a sunburn, get out of the sun immediately and move indoors if possible. Begin treatment immediately.
- Use a pain reliever. Over-the-counter pain relievers taken quickly can help manage the discomfort and swelling of sunburn. Your clinician may recommend ibuprofen or a prescription pain medication.
- Take frequent cool baths or showers. Cool water from a bath, shower or damp towel will pull some of the heat from your skin and help relieve the pain. Do this a few times every day until the discomfort subsides.
- Soothe skin with moisturizer. After showering, generously apply moisturizer or aloe vera gel to keep the skin moist and relieve dryness. A few days later, your skin will start peeling and itching as your body tries to rid itself of damaged cells. You may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream to control itching.
- Stay hydrated. Sunburn draws water to the skin’s surface and dehydrates the body, so drink extra water and fluids as you recover.
- Do not pop blisters or pick at skin. This slows the healing process and could result in an infection. Allow blisters to heal normally.
- Protect your skin from further sun exposure. Wear tightly-woven clothing that covers your skin when outdoors.
Get Treated for Sunburn at RediClinic
For treatment of a serious sunburn or another common skin condition, RediClinic’s board-certified clinicians are ready and waiting to help you find relief. Just walk into any medical clinic in Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington or Maryland at your convenience, seven days a week.