Sunburn is a reddening of the skin that may happen after exposure to the sun. The sun can damage the skin and excessive exposure is associated with increased risk of skin cancer. The sun’s rays are strongest during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reflection off water makes exposure worse. The pain from sunburn is worst between 6 and 48 hours after sun exposure. Children are especially sensitive to the burning effects of the sun.
- Red, tender skin that is warm to the touch.
- Blisters that develop hours to days later.
- Skin peeling on sunburned areas several days after the sunburn.
Sunburn is better prevented than treated. Sunscreens with at least SPF 30 are preferable. Apply every 2 hours while outdoors. Pay special attention to your face, nose, ears, and shoulders. Wearing a hat, sun glasses and light clothing is recommended, as well as minimizing exposure during the hours of greatest intensity.
If you get sunburned:
- Take cool shower or bath
- If your skin is not blistering, moisturizing cream may be applied to relieve discomfort.
- Over the counter medications, like ibuprofen, may relieve pain from sunburn.
- Calamine lotion or cortisone creams may help reduce the inflammation.