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Sunburn - Symptoms & Treatment


A sunburn occurs when skin is burned by exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light. A sunburn is a burn to the skin produced by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly from the sun 's rays.Sunburn accelerates the aging process, manifested by wrinkles and a pebble stone appearance of skin, which develops over time. It is also a culprit in the increased risk of cataracts and skin cancer. Almost everyone has been sunburned or will become sunburned at some time. Anyone who visits a beach, goes fishing, works in the yard, or simply is out in the sun can get sunburn. UV-A is very harmful and penetrates not only the skin, but also the eyes. UV-A rays penetrate the skin the deepest. Skin cancer usually appears in adulthood, but is caused by sun exposure and sunburns that began as early as childhood. You can help prevent skin cancer by protecting your skin and your children's skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

Symptoms of Sunburn

The common symptoms of sunburn is burn from the sun.Some severely sunburned people develop a fiver chills, weakness and on rare occasions go into shock. The first signs of a sunburn may not appear for a few hours. Sunburn can be life-threatening and is a leading cause of cancer. Sunburn can easily be prevented through the use of sunscreen, clothing (and hats), and by limiting solar exposure, especially during the middle of the day. Sunburn results in painful, reddened skin. The full effect to your skin may not appear for 24 hours or longer. Possible symptoms include:

  • Red, tender skin that is warm to touch.
  • Blisters that develop hours to days later.
  • Severe reactions (sometimes called "sun poisoning"), including fever , chills, nausea, or rash.
  • Mild and uncomplicated cases of sunburn usually result in minor skin redness and irritation
  • Skin peeling on sunburned areas several days after the sunburn.

Causes of Sunburn

Sunburn is caused by excessive exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light source. The consequence of this burn is inflammation of the skin. Injury can start within 30 minutes of exposure.The main causes of Sunburn are

  • UVA and UVB refer to different wavelengths in the light spectrum. UVB is more damaging to the skin especially for skin cancer . Both UVA and UVB are responsible for photoaging (premature aging of the skin and wrinkles ) and sunburn. Tanning beds produce both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Travel to the southern United States, regions close to the equator, and places at high altitudes all offer the unwary visitor an opportunity to be injured by sunburn.
  • Certain light-skinned and fair-haired people are at greater risk of sunburn injury.
  • Prior recent sun exposure.
  • Skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell cancer) is directly related to the amount of sun exposure (determined by skin pigmentation and hours in the sun). Finally, sun exposure and ultraviolet damage have been implicated in the development of cataracts .
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight will cause irreversible skin damage.
  • People who get sunburn have an increased risk of developing melanoma skin cancer. Each new sun burn increases the risk a little more.
  • Melanoma skin cancer is very dangerous because it can spread quickly, affecting the internal organs and result in death.

Treatment of Sunburn

The treatment tips of Sunburn are following

  • One of the best sun burn treatments is Dr. Michelle Copeland Revitalizing Protect & Repair Regimen , which can protect and repair damaging effects of the sun.
  • The best treatment for most sunburns is time. More severe burns may be treated with burn ointments such as silvadene .
  • A medicine called Indocin if taken soon after a sunburn will help reduce the pain, redness and swelling. Indocin is available from your doctor with a prescription.
  • Cold creams and moisturizers will help reduce the pain associated with sunburn.
  • Sun damage is permanent and irreversible. You should put on sun-screen or moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher everyday before leaving the house. Don't go overboard and try to avoid the sun completely.
  • Sun exposure and sunbathing produce gradual skin damage even if sunburn is avoided. Ten to forty years can pass between the time of sun exposure and the time the skin shows signs of sun damage.

Prevention tips

  • Avoid sun exposure during hours of peak sun ray intensity.
  • Apply generous amounts of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Pay special attention to your face, nose, ears, and shoulders. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow penetration. Re-apply after swimming and every 2 hours while you are outdoors.
  • Wear sun hats. There is also SPF clothing and swimwear available.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Use a lip balm with sunscreen.
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