Summertime is all about enjoying the sunshine, but spending too much time in the sun can result in sunburn (SB), a painful side effect. Always shield your skin from the sun’s direct rays, whether you’re relaxing at the beach, engaging in outdoor activities, or just having a picnic in the park. But if you do get an SB, you shouldn’t worry! You may quickly calm your skin with a few straightforward first-aid techniques and resume enjoying the summer.
To learn about sunburn first aid, continue reading.
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What is sunburn?
Sunburn is the term for this form of skin damage. It happens when people’s skin is exposed to a lot of ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. UV radiation can harm the DNA in your skin cells, which can make your skin swollen and red. SB can cause irritation, itching, blisters, and peeling skin in mild to severe cases.
Repeated SB can increase the risk of getting skin cancer and speed up the aging process.
What signs indicate sunburn?
Here is a more thorough explanation of each sunburn symptom.
- Skin redness and inflammation are brought on by sunburn and are caused by the immune system’s reaction to the harmed skin cells. Within a few hours of sun exposure, this redness may develop and last for several days.
- Having an itchy or tingling sensation in the burnt area is something that some people may experience. Histamines, which are molecules that trigger an inflammatory response in the body, are released, which is the reason of this.
- Skin blistering or skin peeling: Severe SB may result in skin blistering or skin peeling.
- Edema in the affected area: Due to inflammation and fluid retention in the skin, sunburn can result in edema in the affected area.
- Headaches, migraine attacks, fever, and exhaustion are among the symptoms that some people may encounter. These signs and symptoms can point to a more serious problem that needs to be treated by a doctor.
- Dizziness and dehydration: Sunburn can result in dehydration, which can induce symptoms including weariness, nausea, and dizziness. Drinking sufficient water is crucial to preventing dehydration and promoting SB recovery in your body.
Expert advice: Depending on the severity of the SB and the person’s skin type, symptoms may differ. In other circumstances, it may take several hours for symptoms to show up following sun exposure. It’s critical to act quickly if you encounter any of these symptoms to protect your skin from additional harm.
Can skin cancer be caused by sunburn?
Sunburn and skin cancer are strongly related, and if you have sunburn a lot, your risk of getting skin cancer goes up. The DNA in skin cells is damaged by UV radiation. Long-term, excessive exposure to the sun might result in skin cancer. Additionally, it’s essential to have regular skin examinations and inform your doctor of any changes to your skin.
How long does it take a sunburn to heal?
Only the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer, is affected by mild sunburns, and they typically go away in a few days. But serious SB that penetrate further into the skin layers, like the dermis, might take a while to recover.
Quick response: Apply sunburn first aid
To alleviate the symptoms and stop further skin damage, SB needs to receive quick first aid. Here are some suggestions for treating sunburns quickly.
- Keep out of the sun. Delay going outside in the sun until your SB has fully healed. During the most intense sun exposure, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., stay in the shade.
- Protect yourself. Put on sunblock. Don full-sleeved attire. Summertime clothing should be made of soft, breathable materials like cotton or linen. To protect oneself from the harsh sun, wear caps and clothing with brims.
- Skin cooling down. Cool the affected region as soon as possible. Take a cold shower or, if you want, apply cold water to the sunburned region. This lessens pain and inflammation. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin as this could result in further harm. On sunburned skin, stay away from using abrasive soaps or scrubs as they can irritate and dry out the skin even more.
- To stay hydrated, consume plenty of water. Dehydration brought on the sunburn can result in various health issues.
- Rehydrate the skin that is damaged. To the affected area, apply aloe vera gel or a moisturizing lotion. This lessens skin irritation and helps keep it from drying out and flaking. The use of petroleum jelly or anything containing oil should be avoided since they may retain heat and exacerbate SB.
- Take care when dressing. To prevent further irritability of the burnt skin, dress comfortably.
- Be careful near reflecting surfaces because they can intensify sunlight and produce SB. Curved reflective surfaces are particularly dangerous because they do this.
- Examine your prescriptions. Your skin may become sensitized by a number of drugs, including some acne treatments, birth control pills, and antibiotics. If you’re unsure, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Look for medical help. If you have severe SB, blistering, or fever, get medical help. These signs could point to a more serious problem.
When should I have sunburns treated by a doctor?
While mild SB is typically treatable at home, severe SB may necessitate medical care. Here are a few indications that a sunburn requires medical attention.
- It might be vital to get medical assistance if you have extreme pain from your SB and over-the-counter pain relievers do not help.
- Large blisters or extensive blistering can result in severe SB, which may need medical attention to stop the infection and encourage healing.
- If you have both a fever and chills, it can mean that your SB is serious and needs medical intervention.
- Vomiting, nausea, or lightheadedness may indicate that your SB is severe and needs medical intervention.
- Make an appointment with a doctor right away if your sunburned skin exhibits infection symptoms including redness, swelling, warmth, or pus in order to avoid developing more problems. You should get medical help if your SB affects a sizable portion of your body to ensure that you receive the best possible therapy.
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For sunburn to cure and to reduce pain and discomfort, first aid is crucial. Simple home remedies like cool compresses, aloe vera gel, and over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to treat mild SB. It’s vital to get medical help if you have severe symptoms like fever, blisters, or indications of an infection.
Remember that preventing SB by shielding your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays is the best course of action.
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