- Adult Skin Problems Slideshow
- Quiz: Is Ringworm Contagious?
- 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 of Sun Spots, Wrinkles, Sunburns
What first-aid measures should be taken with sunburn?
If symptoms of severe sunburn are present, the individual should contact their doctor, urgent care facility, or emergency department. If compresses are applied, they should be dipped in cool or tepid water, not cold water.
If the symptoms of sunburn are mild or moderate, the person should drink plenty of water to replenish the fluid lost from the sunburn and to avoid dehydration. Other simple home remedies for sunburn are listed in the following sections.
What is the treatment for sunburn?
Most of the treatments available to treat sunburn are only used to treat symptoms.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in oral (ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn, Advil etc.) or topical diclofenac 0.1% gel (Solaraze) forms have shown to reduce redness if applied before or immediately after UVB exposure. This benefit may be diminished after 24 hours. These medications may also help relieve the symptoms of sunburn such as pain and discomfort.
Topical steroid creams may not help. Oral steroids such as prednisone also have not been proven beneficial and have been associated with some significant side effects.
Applying aloe Vera gel to the skin may be beneficial in treating the symptoms.
Other remedies such as topical anesthetics (benzocaine) may help relieve painful symptoms of sunburn. Also, topical OTC moisturizer creams (especially if applied right after a shower or bath) can be used to alleviate the sunburn itch.
If you get a significant sunburn during pregnancy contact your doctor to decide what treatments are safe for use.