The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that the risk of developing melanoma doubles for a person who has had more than five sunburns. However, just one blistering burn in childhood has the same lifetime risk. Most people are aware of the health threat associated with sun exposure and take steps to protect their skin. Yet a sunburn can still happen. What can you do for sunburn relief, and when should you see a dermatologist for treatment? The skincare specialists at Associates in Dermatology in Westlake, OH explain.
What helps sunburn?
There is no true sunburn cure – it just takes time for the body to replace damaged skin cells. Meanwhile, if you are left wondering what to use for sunburn, try:
- Frequent cool baths or showers to lower skin temperature.
- Pat dry gently, leaving skin damp.
- Apply a sunburn ointment or moisturizer containing soy or aloe vera. Non-prescription hydrocortisone may help to relieve pain but avoid products with “caine” in the formulation., as they may cause an allergic reaction to already sensitive skin.
- Take ibuprofen or aspirin (if you have no pre-existing counterindications) to reduce redness, swelling, and discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water.
As your sunburn heals, do not pop blisters or peel dead skin. Please stay out of the sun or wear protective clothing to shield delicate new skin.
When to seek sunburn treatment from a dermatologist in Westlake, OH
If you have systemic symptoms such as dehydration, vomiting, fever, or severe pain, during or immediately after sun exposure, do not wait. Get to the nearest urgent care center or emergency department right away for medical treatment.
If you have blisters (a sign of second-degree burn) or pain and redness persist after 48 hours, make an appointment at Associates in Dermatology to have your sunburn checked. Sun poisoning presents as hives or an itchy rash on sun-exposed areas. It can appear within hours or several days after exposure and may be accompanied by headache, nausea, or vomiting.
Our dermatologists can provide medications that prevent secondary infection as blisters heal, topical steroids and antihistamines to modulate immune system reaction to the burn, and medical-grade skincare products to moisturize and soothe.
If you have a sunburn, call Associates in Dermatology at (440) 482-8323. You won’t get a lecture; you will get treatment for severe sunburn administered with compassion. We have offices in Lorain and Middleburg Heights, too!