Sunburn Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
The state of Florida experiences, on average, 230 days of sunshine during the year. With all of this sunshine, it is not uncommon for those who live here to feel the discomforting and sometimes painful symptoms of sunburn. Understanding the causes and symptoms, as well as the treatment and prevention of this common malady can help people avoid many of the short-term and long-term effects associated with sunburn.
Sunburn is generally defined as the reddening or burning of the skin as a result of overexposure to the sun, particularly the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light. The first symptoms of sunburn typically take only a few hours to appear after UV overexposure, but sometimes it takes up to 24 hours to know the full extent of the damage to the skin. Symptoms commonly include red, tender skin that is warm to the touch and swelling or blistering of the skin.
If symptoms appear, there are several simple home remedies that can be used to treat the temporary pain and discomfort of sunburn, including:
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil
- Applying cold, damp compresses directly to the affected skin
- Administering ointments or creams containing menthol, aloe, or vitamins C or E
- Staying inside or out of the sun’s rays to prevent further sun damage to the skin
- Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
While these remedies are helpful, doctors suggest several ways to avoid sunburn in the first place. Some of these preventative methods include applying sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater every two hours when you’re outside in the sunlight. Another way to help prevent sunburn is by wearing protective long-sleeved clothing, pants, and broad-brimmed hats during the sun’s peak hours from 10am-4pm.
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