What should I do if I have sunburn?

Sunburn can cause more than just unwanted tan lines. It can be hazardous to both your skin and health. For this reason, it is important to take the right steps to prevent and treat sunburn.

What is Sunburn?

Sunburn causes damage to your skin from overexposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. It can cause your skin to turn reddish or purplish, hot, and be painful to touch. In more severe cases, you can even develop 2nd degree burns. 2nd degrees burns are sunburns that also have fluid-filled blisters.

What are the dangers of sunburn?

Overexposure to sun can leave you at risk for other conditions, such as skin cancer.  It can also put you at risk for dehydration. Signs of dehydration include fatigue and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms you may need to go to the emergency department for intravenous fluids. If you have 2nd degree burns, you should also seek medical attention and do not attempt to drain the blisters on your own. This will cause open wounds that can lead to infection. You should let a medical professional drain the blisters and prescribe an anti-microbial cream, such as Silvadene cream, to apply to the burns until they heal.

To prevent sunburn, it is important to wear proper clothing and use sunscreen. If you do develop sunburn, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, use NSAID’s such as Ibuprofen for pain, and use Aloe Vera with a topical anesthetic.

If you experience sunburn on your feet this summer, call Bergen Medical Associates at (201) 967-8221. We are serving Bergen and Rockland counties and are here for all your foot needs!

By Samantha Rosenzweig, DPM

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