Sunburn Treatment Questions and Answers
If you have been affected by a sunburn, walk-in to AFC Urgent Care Santee today to get checked out, so we can help you on the way to healing. We are located at 10538 Mission Gorge Road Suite 100 Santee, CA 92071.
The sun conjures warm feelings of comforting rays and nice weather. Its presence is always welcome after a few overcast days, but it can also become too much for our bodies to handle at once. When exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, it can be felt as heat on our skin. However, when we are exposed to too much UV radiation, our skin can become sunburnt, which feels hot to the touch, is sensitive to heat and can cause pain and discomfort. In most cases, a sunburn is only mildly uncomfortable for a few days, but in more severe cases, the skin can peel, blister and penetrate past the epidermis.
What is a sunburn exactly?
A sunburn occurs when bare skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation for an extended period of time. Depending on the altitude, climate, current temperature and weather conditions, a sunburn can happen in a matter of minutes, whereas other times it may take closer to an hour of direct sunlight. Sunburn can even occur on a cloudy day, as the clouds do not block out all of the sun’s UV rays. A little known fact is that people in higher elevations (altitudes) can get sunburned more easily because there is less of the earth’s atmosphere to block the sunlight. This works out to be about a 4% increase in UV exposure for every 1000 feet (300 meters) increase in elevation.
What are the degrees of sunburn?
The degrees of sunburn follow the same system as heat burns (first, second and third degree). However, third-degree sunburns are very rare, and first and second-degree burns make up over 99% of cases. Symptoms of a first-degree sunburn include:
- redness, which is more apparent on lighter skin tones
- a warm or tight feeling
- swelling or blistering
After sun exposure, a person may also experience peeling skin around the three-to-eight day mark.
Second-degree sunburn comes with the same types at first-degree sunburns, plus:
- skin that is deep red, especially on lighter skin tones
- swelling and blistering over a large area
- wet-looking, shiny skin
- white discoloration within burned area of skin
How do you know if sunburn is serious?
A sunburn may be serious if:
- Blisters cover the body
- Covers a large portion of the body
- Blisters are on face, hands or genitals
- Severe swelling
- Does not improve within a few days
- Shows signs of infection, such as:
- red streaks leading away from a blister
Should I go to urgent care for sunburns?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of sunburn, professional medical care should be sought immediately:
- Fever and chills
- Infected blisters
- Swelling or inflammation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe pain
- Vision problems
How can I prevent sunburn?
The best way to avoid the pains of sunburn is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Some preventative tips include:
- Stay out of the sun when the sun rays are the strongest, typically between 10 AM – 4 PM
- Wear a large-brimmed hat and long sleeves
- Use sunscreen daily even on cloudy days
- Sunscreen should be at least SPF 30, broad spectrum, and water resistant. Reapply sunscreen every few hours and after swimming.
If you have been sunburned, come to AFC Urgent Care in Santee, CA for professional care and treatment you can trust. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating sunburns and can help you make a quick recovery. Call us today to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 10538 Mission Gorge Road Suite 100, Santee, CA 92071. Our office is open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Santee CA, Carlton Hills CA, Sky Ranch CA, Riverwalk CA, and Mission View Estates CA.