Sunburn First Aid
Sunburn should be avoided because it is damaging to the skin. Although the
discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more
severe sunburn may require medical attention.
Symptoms of sunburn are well known: skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally
warm after sun exposure.
What to Do
Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant under 1 year of age or if
these symptoms are present:
- fluid-filled blisters
- severe pain
Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:
- Avoid repeated sun exposure.
- Apply cold cloth compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.
- Apply moisturizing lotion or cream to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.
- If blistering occurs, lightly apply a bandage to prevent infection.
- Do not break blisters.
- If the discomfort warrants, use a painkiller such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
For more, please read the Sunburn and Sun-Sensitizing Drugs
Last Editorial Review: 6/5/2007