Sunburns are reddish, painful and swollen skin patches that occur as a result of overexposure to sunlight. Sunburns may take several days to fade. Repeated exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet radiation can cause other skin conditions such as dark sports, wrinkles and can even lead to skin cancers.
The cause of sunburn, as the name suggests is overexposure to sunlight or ultraviolet radiation. It can also occur from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps. When exposed to sunlight, the body takes a mechanism to protect itself by producing more melanin quicker. Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its normal color.
Symptoms of sunburn include:
- Skin patch that is warm or hot to touch
- Redness or pinkish skin
- Headache, nause, fever
- Fluid filled blisters
Diagnosis of sunburn is based on:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Physical examination
- Use sunscreens regularly
- Avoid exposure to sunlight especially the intense daylight
- Wear protective clothing while going out such as face masks, caps and gloves
- Wear sunglasses while going out in daylight
- Avoid artificial sources like sunlamps and tanning beds
- Avoid medications that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Treatment for sunburn reduces its symptoms like pain, swelling and other discomforts. It mainly includes home remedies like:
- Cool the skin using a wet towel, ice packs or take a cool bath
- Drink plenty of water
- Apply moisturiser on the affected part
- Take pain killers or pain relievers
- If blisters are present, do not break them
- Avoid scratching the affected area. Use anti-itch creams instead
- Avoid creams and other products that can cause further irritation
- Avoid further exposure to sunlight.
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