Sunburn Overview
Sunburn Overview
  • Sunburn is red, painful skin that feels hot to the touch and appears after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunshine or artificial sources, such as sunlamps
  • Sunburn signs and symptoms usually appear within a few hours after sun exposure. But it may take a day or more to know how severe the sunburn is
  • Intense repeated UV light exposure that results in sunburn increases the risk of other skin damage, such as dark spots, rough spots, and dry or wrinkled skin. It also raises the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma
  • You can prevent sunburn and related conditions by protecting your skin. This is especially important when you're outdoors, even on cool or cloudy days
  •  Home remedies can usually provide sunburn relief, but sunburn may take days to fade
Sunburn symptoms
Sunburn Symptoms
  • Sunburn signs and symptoms can include:

    • Changes in skin tone, such as pinkness or redness
    • Skin that feels warm or hot to the touch
    • Pain and tenderness
    • Swelling
    • Small fluid-filled blisters, which may break
    • Headache, fever, nausea and fatigue, if the sunburn is severe
    • Eyes that feel painful or gritty
    • Within a few days, your body may start to heal itself by peeling the damaged skin's top layer. After peeling, your skin may temporarily have an irregular color and pattern. A bad sunburn may take several days to heal
  • Any exposed part of your body — including your earlobes, scalp and lips — can burn. Even covered areas can burn if your clothing has a loose weave that allows ultraviolet (UV) light through
  • Your eyes, which are extremely sensitive to the sun's UV light, also can burn
  • Within a few days, your body may start to heal itself by peeling the damaged skin's top layer. After peeling, your skin may temporarily have an irregular color and pattern
  • A bad sunburn may take several days to heal
Cause Of Sunburn
Causes Of Sunburn
  • Sunburn is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light may be from sunlight or artificial sources, such as sunlamps and tanning beds
  • Melanin is the dark pigment in the skin's outer layer that gives skin its normal color. When you're exposed to UV light, your body protects itself by producing melanin faster. The extra melanin creates tan
  • A suntan is the body's way of blocking UV rays to prevent sunburn. But the protection only goes so far. Too much UV light causes skin to burn
  • You can get sunburn on cool or cloudy days. Snow, sand, water and other surfaces can reflect UV rays that cause the skin to burn too
Sunburn Risk Factors
Sunburn Risk Factors
  • Risk factors for sunburn include:

    • Having light skin, blue eyes, and red or blond hair
    • Living or vacationing somewhere sunny, warm or at high altitude
    • Working outdoors
    • Swimming or spraying your skin with water, as wet skin tends to burn more than does dry skin
    • Mixing outdoor recreation and drinking alcohol
    • Regularly exposing unprotected skin to UV light from sunlight or artificial sources, such as tanning beds
    • Taking a drug that makes you more likely to burn (photosensitizing medications
Sunburn Complications
Sunburn Complications
  • Intense, repeated sun exposure that results in sunburn increases your risk of other skin damage and certain diseases. These include premature aging of skin (photoaging), precancerous skin lesions and skin cancer
  • Sun exposure and repeated sunburns accelerate the skin's aging process, making you look older than you are. Skin changes caused by UV light are called photoaging. The results of photoaging include:

    • Weakening of connective tissues, which reduces the skin's strength and elasticity
    • Deep wrinkles
    • Dry, rough skin
    • Fine red veins on your cheeks, nose and ears
    • Freckles, mostly on your face and shoulders
    • Dark or discolored spots (macules) on your face, back of hands, arms, chest and upper back — also called solar lentigines
  • Precancerous skin lesions appear as rough, scaly patches in areas that have been damaged by the sun. They're usually found on the sun-exposed areas of the head, face, neck and hands of light-skinned people. These patches can evolve into skin cancer. They're also called actinic keratoses and solar keratoses
  • Skin cancer

    Excessive sun exposure, even without sunburn, increases your risk of skin cancer, such as melanoma. It can damage the DNA of skin cells. Sunburns in childhood and adolescence may increase your risk of developing melanoma later in life.

    Skin cancer develops mainly on areas of the body most exposed to sunlight, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands, legs and back.

    Some types of skin cancer appear as a small growth or a sore that bleeds easily, crusts over, heals and then reopens. With melanoma, an existing mole may change, or a new, suspicious-looking mole may develop. A type of melanoma called lentigo maligna develops in areas of long-term sun exposure. It starts as a tan flat spot that slowly darkens and enlarges.

    See your doctor if you notice a new skin growth, a bothersome change in your skin, a change in the appearance or texture of a mole, or a sore that doesn't heal.

    Eye damage

    The sun can also burn your eyes. Too much UV light damages the retina, lens or cornea. Sun damage to the lens can lead to clouding of the lens (cataracts). Sunburned eyes may feel painful or gritty. Sunburn of the cornea is also called snow blindness.

    When To See A Doctor
    When To See A Doctor
    • See your doctor if the sunburn:

      • Is blistering and covers a large portion of your body
      • Develops blisters on the face, hands or genitals
      • Is causing severe swelling
      • Shows signs of infection, such as pain, pus or red streaks leading away from an open blister
      • Doesn't improve within a few days

      Seek emergency medical care if you are sunburned and experience

      • A fever over 103 degrees
      • Confusion
      • Fainting
      • Dehydration


     How To Treat Sunburn

    How To Treat Sunburn By Yourself To Relieve The Pain And Discomfort


    Your skin can burn if it gets too much sun without proper protection from sunscreen and clothes. To help heal and soothe stinging skin, it is important to begin treating sunburn as soon as you notice it. The first thing you should do is get out of the sun—and preferably indoors.

    Once indoors, these dermatologists’ tips can help relieve the discomfort:

    1. Avoid additional sun exposure. Exposing a sunburn to more UV rays can further damage your skin. If you have to go out, try to cover your sunburn with clothing and wear sunscreen
    2. Get lots of sleep. Sleep restriction disrupts your body’s production of certain cytokines that help your body manage inflammation. This disruption can negatively affect your body’s ability to heal itself.
    3. Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness.

    4. Some natural bath therapies to soothe sunburn pain and other symptoms include:
      • Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath to help balance the pH (acid or alkalinity) of sunburned skin, and promote healing.
      • Soak in an oatmeal bath. This is especially helpful for itchy, sunburned skin.
      • Add some lavender or chamomile essential oil to the bath to help relieve some of the stinging and pain.
      • Add 2 cups of baking soda to the bath to help ease irritation and redness from sunburn.
      • Avoid soap or perfumes in the bath water as these can be drying on already dry and sunburned skin.
    5. Use a moisturizer or After Sun, Pain Reliving Gel that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. 

    6. Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.

    7. Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.

    8. Try a cold compress. Applying a cold compress to your skin shortly after your burn may help draw away excess heat from your skin and reduce inflammation
    9. If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection

    10. Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

    Although it may seem like a temporary condition, sunburn—a result of skin receiving too much exposure from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays—can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. This damage increases a person’s risk for getting skin cancer, making it critical to protect the skin from the sun.