When an individual ends up with sunburn, his/her skin turns reddened and sore. If the burn is serious, swelling and blisters can also develop. In addition, the individual might even feel that he/she has the flu – feverish along with chills, headache, nausea and weakness.
After a few days, the skin will start to peel off and become itchy as the body attempts to eliminate the sun-damaged cells.
How to provide relief to sunburn
The treatment for sunburn is aimed on managing the burn by alleviating the reddened, inflamed skin while reducing the pain. There are some home remedies available such as:
- Compresses – apply a cold compress on the skin or encourage the individual to take a cool bath to calm the burn
- Gels or creams – apply a gel or cream that contains menthol, aloe or camphor to minimize the sting from the sunburn. The cream or gel can be refrigerated first for better relief.
- NSAIDs – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen or ibuprofen can alleviate the swelling and pain.
- Keep the body properly hydrated – drink more water and other fluids to prevent dehydration
- Avoid sun exposure – until the sunburn fully heals, it is important to stay out of the sun
When to consult a doctor
Sunburn can be treated at home but there are cases in which a doctor should be consulted if any of the following are present:
- Severe pain
- Fever of 102 degrees or higher
- Blisters that cover 20% or more of the body
- Dry mouth, thirst, dizziness, diminished urination and fatigue (indications of dehydration)
- Always check the time – the rays of the sun are at its peak between 10 AM – 4 PM. If it is required to go outdoors during this time, try to stick to shaded areas.
- Wear the appropriate clothes – when spending time outdoors, always use sun-protective gear and clothing such as a hat with a wide brim, long-sleeved shirts and pants as well as sunglasses.
- Apply a sunscreen – all exposed areas of skin should be covered with at least 1 ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen. The sunscreen must have a sun-protection factor (SPF) of not less than 30.