- Adult Skin Problems Slideshow Pictures
- Ringworm Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
- Gallery of Skin Problems Pictures
- Summer Skin Hazards FAQs
- Patient Comments: Sunburn - Experience
- Patient Comments: Sunburn - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Sunburn - Home Remedies
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Sunburn and sun poisoning facts
- What is sunburn?
- Can sunburn cause permanent damage?
- What is UV light and where are UV rays most intense?
- What are the symptoms of sunburn?
- What are the symptoms of severe sunburn (sun poisoning)?
- Sunburn pictures
- What first-aid measures should be taken with sunburn?
- What is the treatment for sunburn?
- Are there any home remedies to treat sunburn?
- Is a follow-up visit with a physician necessary?
- Who is most susceptible to sunburn?
- Can diseases cause a heightened sensitivity to UV rays?
- What kinds of skin cancer can UV rays cause?
- How can sunburn and skin cancer be prevented?
- How do sunscreens work?
- What is SPF?
- What is the best way to apply sunscreen?
- Do sunscreens expire?
- Can antioxidants protect against sunburn?
Quick GuideSun-Damaged Skin Pictures Slideshow
What are the symptoms of sunburn?
Some of the immediate symptoms of sunburn after exposure include:
- The skin becomes red, tender, and hot.
- Touching or rubbing the skin causes pain.
- Because heat triggers fluid loss, a sunburn victim can also become dehydrated.
- For several days after exposure, the skin may itch, swell, blister, and peel. Some sufferers develop welts or rashes.
- Skin peeling can occur several days later after a sun rash develops and is a sign of healing and rebuilding of skin.
More subtle exposures to the sun may not have any obvious immediate symptoms such as the ones listed above. Most sunburns are mild causing only skin redness, pain, and irritation or possibly a rash due to involvement of the outer layer of skin (first degree burn). This type of burn may be painful to touch.
People who have chronic (long standing) exposure to sun can increase their changes of developing chronic skin damage from sun exposure (wrinkles, aging, age spots, freckles, skin cancer, scarring, etc.).
The symptoms of sunburn can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending mainly on the following:
- The skin type of the person affected. (more detail to follow in this article)
- The time, duration, location, and altitude of exposure.
- Medications the person has been taking (sun-sensitizing drugs may increase a person's susceptibility to a bad sunburn).
- Skin preparations (sunscreen) the person has been using.
What are the symptoms of severe sunburn (sun poisoning)?
In addition to the usual symptoms of sunburn, in severe cases of sunburn (sun poisoning), the individual may experience:
- rapid pulse,
- rapid breathing,
- shock with loss of consciousness, and/or
- severe blisters or soreness.
Following are pictures of various degrees of sunburn.