Skin ailments can develop as a result of a persons body reacting to an excess in its system in some cases or to an allergic reaction and other times the key role is played by the environment. It is important to remember that you should seek medical attention whenever you have a unexplained rash, growth or blemish on your skin.

An overexposure to ultraviolet light or UV that can be found naturally in the sun’s rays causes sunburn. An overexposure to other sources of UV can also cause sunburn such as sun lamps and tanning beds. Some individuals may not even know they have sunburn until hours later when the skin turns red and becomes warm to the touch.

Who Can Get Them?

Sunburn can happen to anyone and it is common in young adults. Since younger children and the elderly have especially sensitive skin they are also at risk for getting sunburn from the sun’s rays. Light-skinned individuals are also more likely to get sunburn than people with darker skin tones.

What Can Cause Them?

When exposure to ultraviolet light is greater than the level of melanin in a persons skin sunburn happens. Melanin is a substance that helps give the skin its color and it also acts as a sunscreen to protect the skin against ultraviolet light.

How Does It Happen?

After a long period of exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays, the body’s melanin can’t handle the exposure resulting in sunburn. There is more melanin in individuals with darker skin tones so it takes longer for them to experience sunburn.

Where Do They Appear?

Any part of the body that has been exposed to ultraviolet rays can have sunburn.

What Are the Symptoms?

For individuals the symptoms of sunburn may not be immediately obvious. An individuals skin will become red and inflamed as well as warm to the touch about two to six hours after being exposed. There may also be a great deal of pain and moving around may become difficult. About seventy-two hours after exposure the skin condition will reach its peak. The skin beings to peel after a couple of days. Fever, chills and tenderness of the skin may be experienced by some individuals. Blistering and first and second degree burns can occur in severe instances.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

The redness of the individual’s skin and a brief look at their recent activities can make diagnosis very easy. Most of the time individuals don’t need medical attention unless there is a high fever or blisters that start appearing on the skin. Young children should be taken to the doctor as a precaution if they get sunburned. A skin biopsy can be done to confirm a diagnosis of sunburn if a doctor is uncertain.

What Treatments Are Available for Sunburn?

For an individual with sunburn there are many treatments available. You should wear long sleeves and a hat or umbrella if you are going to be outside for a long period of time. Remember that even on an overcast day the sun’s rays still reach earth and you can get sunburned. Always apply sunscreen that has an SPF of at least fifteen before you head outside and reapply it every two hours for extra skin protection.

Using a topical moisturizers with aloe to soothe the area and provide some relief is the main treatment for sunburn. To help with the pain you can also take cool baths. To reduce the pain you can take ibuprofen. A person should drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. An antibiotic cream may be prescribed to help prevent secondary infection if the sunburn has developed into blisters. Keeping the individual as comfortable as possible is the main thing.

Sunburn isn’t serious most of the time even though it is painful and uncomfortable. The increase chance of getting skin cancer in the future is the major problem linked to continuous exposure of ultraviolet rays. Getting a tan may be nice, but the prolonged effects may be more damaging.

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