What Are the Stages of a Sunburn?

May 15, 2023

What Are the Stages of a Sunburn?

Summer, here we come! As we are well into the spring season, we are grateful for the sunnier days and warmer weather, and it will only continue to get better. However, that means that our exposure to sunlight will probably increase as we are spending more time outside in the sunshine.

We want you to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful weather, but we want you to do it safely. Experiencing a sunburn is painful and it is damaging to your skin over time.

Our AFC Urgent Care Statesville team explains what to do if you do experience a sunburn and how to prevent future burns below, so read on to stay safe.

Why Does Skin Burn in the Sun?

Whenever your skin is exposed to the sun, UV (ultraviolet) rays are shining down and damaging your skin cell DNA. When this damage occurs, a reaction is the result and your skin will become red and irritated. The redness and pain will appear quickly, and your skin will be sensitive for three to five days as your body heals.

If your burn was mild, the redness and pain will slowly fade away and that will be it. However, more severe burns may have damaged your skin enough that it will blister and peel as newer skin replaces the damage. This may last for a few days, so do not expose this fresh skin to the sun during this process! Stay in the shade and treat your healing skin gently.

Tips for Soothing a Sunburn

  • Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
  • Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay out of the sun.

How Can I Make Sure to Avoid a Sunburn?

Even just one single severe burn in your lifetime can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. This is why sun protection is so important! You need to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before going outside every day, and you should be reapplying it every two hours while outdoors.

You should also wear a hat and sunglasses to protect the most sensitive parts of your skin, and consider investing in protective clothing that is created to block out those harmful UV rays. Protecting your skin is the cool thing to do, otherwise you may be experiencing premature wrinkles, sun spots or even skin cancer in your future.

Changes to Your Skin That Need to Be Evaluated

  • A new growth or sore anywhere on your body
  • A changing mole
  • Skin itchiness or a brown patch of skin
  • The appearance of a lump under the skin

Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you are worried about a potential sign of skin cancer, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Statesville.

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