Sunburns are readily noticeable by their visible signs . These signs include erythema which usually occurs within two to six hours after overexposure. The pain is often so intense that even a thin layer of clothing touching the skin can cause pain. It may also seem like the skin is stiff and can make moving painful or difficult.
A sunburn can also cause a fever, chills, general malaise, and even nausea, vomiting and syncope if the case is more severe. Severe cases may also create blisters which may become infected in rare cases.
The erythema usually resolves within a few days after exposure, but scaling and desquamation may occur.
For uncomplicated cases, laboratory studies and imagine studies are not needed as symptoms are visible to the eyes .
When diagnosis is in doubt though, skin biopsy may be useful in order to exclude other diseases in the differential diagnosis.
Sunburn treatment doesn’t heal the skin or prevent damage to the skin rather it is focused on the reduction of pain, discomfort and swelling . When the condition doesn’t resolve on its own, the following may be prescribed:
The main cause of sunburn is too much exposure to ultraviolet light which can occur when the individual stays for too long under sunlamps, tanning beds or direct sunlight .
In the United States, thousands of adults and children develop sunburns each year .
People living in close to the equator and in higher altitude regions are the people most at risk of sunburn.
When the skin is exposed to the sun long enough, the individual not only enjoys radiant warmth but also vitamin D is synthesised. However, when the skin is left open to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet rays for far too long, sunburn arises. Another common problem that sets in following excessive exposure is solar erythema.
Injury that arises as a result of excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays happen because the DNA gets damaged by ultraviolet light. When the DNA gets damaged, inflammation and apoptosis of the skin cell sets in.
The characteristic erythema that is seen with sunburn is because the inflammation that follows sunburn often leads to a vasodilation of the cutaneous blood vessels.
It only takes 2 hours for damage to the epidernal skin cells to be seen following excessive UV exposure.
Below are some measures to prevent sunburn at any point in time. However, it is very important to be careful around bodies that reflect the sun’s rays such as water, snow, ice and sand. Additionally, UV light is often more intense when around high altitudes .
Sunburn happens when your skin becomes red, painful and hot when touched as a result of staying too long under ultraviolet light from the sun, sunlamps or tan beds. Sunburn often clears off on its own but may take several days.
Consistent sunburn increases the risk of your skin getting damaged and becoming vulnerable to a lot of skin diseases such as wrinkled skin, dark spots, rough spots and some type of skin cancers like melanoma.
Sunburn can however, be prevented by adequate protection of the skin when outdoors. Sunburn treatments are often easy and straightforward, not requiring much intervention from medical personnel.