What You Should Do for a Sunburn
Jun 25, 2012
By Sam Kim, MD for Summit Medical Group
What is a sunburn?
A sunburn occurs when your skin is exposed to too much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
If you have a sunburn, medical doctors in New Jersey suggest your skin is likely to be pink or red, inflamed, hot to the touch, and tender. Because sunburns raise your temperature, they can dehydrate you and make you feel tired and dizzy.
Depending on the severity of your sunburn and the type of skin you have, your skin might begin to feel dry, feel itchy, and peel a day or 2 after getting a sunburn.
New Jersey / New York area dermatologists recommend relieving sunburn symptoms by:
- Avoiding additional exposure to the sun
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen
- Taking cool showers and baths
- Gently applying aloe vera gel, cortisone cream, or a nonalcohol-containing moisturizing lotion to soothe your skin and relieve itching
- Avoiding scratching your skin
- Wearing loose clothing to prevent further irritation
- Keeping blisters clean and dry; do not break blisters
- Keeping blisters uncovered whenever possible; if you must cover a blister, use a loose bandage that allows air to circulate around it
- Drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration
If your sunburn doesn’t begin improving within 2 to 3 days,
call your health care NJ doctor today
at Summit Medical Group Dermatology
Sunburn and Risk for Skin Cancer
According to the American Melanoma Foundation, having 5 sunburns can double your risk for skin cancer. Even though many medical doctors in New Jersey emphasize skin cancer prevention, 1 in 5 Americans get skin cancer.
The good news is that most skin cancers can be prevented if you avoid getting too much sun, avoid getting sunburns, and protect your skin from the sun year round even on cloudy days!