How to Treat Sunburns and Identify Symptoms

Whether you prefer to spend sunny days basking on the beach, playing a summer sport, or firing up the barbecue, for most of us, the summer months mean spending more time outdoors. Unfortunately, when it comes to the sun, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and too much sunshine can result in painful sunburns and sun poisoning.

Sunburn Causes and Symptoms

Sunburn is a type of skin damage caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The most common sunburn symptom is skin that is red and slightly painful to the touch. Most sunburns are either first-degree burns, which affect only the outer layer of skin, or second-degree burns, where skin may blister or become swollen. Depending on the degree of sunburn, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to heal.

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Sunburn Treatment

Sunburns are usually mild enough that they can be treated at home. Common treatments include placing a cool compress over the exposed area, taking aspirin or acetaminophen, and applying a cooling gel containing aloe vera to the affected skin.

Severe sunburn may be associated with fever, chills, weakness, and heatstroke or other heat-related illnesses. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your nearest NextCare® Urgent Care location for immediate medical care. Most importantly, always apply sunscreen before sun exposure, and stay out of the sun if you begin to notice any sunburn symptoms.

If you or your family member is experiencing severe swelling, dizziness, mental confusion, or trouble breathing, PLEASE CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.