All of us have those hot, long summer days when we go to the beach and stay in sun rays for too long. It looks all fun and pleasing until we go back home and notice that we can’t even rest because of our skin ‘burning’ in hotness. The exposed parts of the body become red and itch sometimes. Although each and everybody of us experienced some of the sunburn symptoms at some point in our lives, in this article we are exploring this topic more.
So contrary to the old belief, sunburn doesn’t only appear from exposure to the ultraviolet light (UV) from sunlight. It is also possible to get our skin burned from artificial sources. Some of these artificial sources might be sunlamps and tanning beds.
According to the CDC, more than 37.5% of adults got sunburned in the last year. Mild sunburn can be easily treated. But intense and repetitive sunburn might cause health problems. Premature aging or skin cancer, such as melanoma are some of these problems. This is why is recommended to protect your skin by applying sunscreen anytime you go outdoors.
The pigment that protects the skin from UV radiation is melanin. Melanin tans the skin that is exposed to sunlight. Melanin is produced in our cells and it occurs in the hair, skin, and eyes. People who have darker skin produce more melanin and therefore it is harder for their skin to burn.
Moreover, some types of drugs can also make us more susceptible to sunburn. In this case, we should consult with the healthcare provider for the medications’ possible side effects. Also, people who live in a high altitude area are risked from the sunburn more. And so are those who have a light skin color.
Symptoms of sunburn can appear within minutes or hours after sun exposure. WEB MD writes that the length of time that we’re exposed to the sun, our skin type, and the sun’s intensity are the main factors that contribute to how soon the sunburn begins.
According to Mayo Clinic, these are some of the most common sunburn symptoms:
- red skin
- sunburn blisters
If the sunburn is severe you might also experience:
Each exposed area of your body can burn, including your earlobes. After a few days, the skin starts to peel and therefore the damaged skin heals or regenerates. And we know that we need some days for the skin completely to get back in its former color and pattern.
- Use proper protection by making sure that you invest in a natural sunscreen
- Make sure that your clothes don’t have loose waves that allow ultraviolet (UV) light through
- Your eyes can also burn, that is why we wear sunglasses when we go out on sunny days
- Cover your head with broad-brimmed hats
According to what a board-certified dermatologist suggested for Well and Good, you should:
- If you’re already sunburned avoid getting additional exposure. Instead, stay in shady places
- Keep your skin cool. You can use a cold milk compress to eliminate the burning redness
- Let your skin breath by wearing loose-fitting clothes
- Let your body dry itself after shower
- Drink plenty of water so you don’t stay dehydrated after the sunburn
- Rub the skin with aloe vera creams
- Take ibuprofen to help you will the swelling
We should consider that each of us is responsible for our skin and protect it every time we go out in high temperatures. Meanwhile if blistering occurs from severe burning, it is recommended to cover the area with gauze in order to prevent any possible infection. So don’t break the blisters until they dry. However, if you have swelling and pain that persists longer than two days, it might be an indication that your skin is damaged from sunlight too much and you need medical attention.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.