An Urgent Care Explains How to Care for a Sunburn

Urgent Care New Caney, TX

You might need urgent care services if you find yourself dealing with severe sunburn. There is lots of fun to be had outdoors during the summertime, but some of these activities leave you exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. Sunburn is sometimes the result of being exposed to sunlight for too long.

Our urgent care expert discusses how to treat sunburn and when to get professional help

Most people have had a sunburn at some point in their lives. Many have had horrible cases of sunburn after forgetting to use sunblock or prolonged sunlight exposure due to activities like spending an entire day at the beach. Most cases of sunburn are mild and not a significant cause for concern. They mostly lead to discomfort that goes away in a few days.

However, severe sunburn can have serious consequences on a person's health. Urgent care is sometimes needed to help manage and prevent the issue from morphing into something worse.

The difference between mild and severe sunburn

Sunburn is one of the most common types of skin damage. It is caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun irritating skin tissues. People with sunburn typically have painful patches of skin that may feel warm when touched. These areas often turn red due to the irritation going on.

Severe cases of sunburn can also cause blistering and inflammation. Having blisters form on a person's skin due to sunburn does not automatically mean they have severe sunburn. These blisters can often be managed by applying aloe vera to the area, taking showers with cold water, and drinking plenty of water.

People with severe sunburn often have other symptoms like a high fever, extreme pain, vision problems, confusion, headache, nausea, chills, and widespread blistering. These are signs that urgent care is needed right away. Also, any case of sunburn that does not respond to treatment by their primary care doctor within a couple of days is usually classified as severe.

Severe sunburn increases a person's risk of developing heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia. Heatstroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency treatment. Skin that has been damaged by sunburn is not as effective at cooling the body via sweating, increasing the risk of heat-related problems. Heatstrokes also have many of the same symptoms as severe sunburns, like a high body temperature. Some of the symptoms that are unique to heatstrokes include rapid breathing, racing heart rate, a lack of sweat, and muscle cramps. Anyone experiencing symptoms of heatstroke needs emergency care.

Treating sunburn

Various home remedies can be used to treat mild to moderate sunburn, starting with avoiding sunlight while you heal. Simple things patients can do to speed up their recovery when dealing with sunburn include:

  • Get lots of rest: Quality sleep is essential when recovering from any type of injury like sunburn. The body does most of its repairs during sleep, so the more rest a person with sunburn gets, the faster their skin heals
  • Keep affected areas cool: Keeping sunburnt skin cool helps reduce the pain and inflammation caused by it. A person can cool down by taking a cold shower or applying a cold compress to the area. Do not apply ice directly to sunburnt skin since that often causes further damage
  • Keep affected areas moisturized: Keep sunburnt skin moisturized by taking cold showers often and applying petroleum jelly or moisturizer to the areas before your skin dries off. This traps the water from your shower in your skin, helping to keep it hydrated. It also creates a barrier that protects your skin from potential irritants that could worsen things and prevents peeling
  • Keep your body hydrated: Sunburn tends to pull moisture away from your skin and diminishes the body's ability to cool down via sweating. This can lead to dehydration, so drink lots of water and electrolytes. People with severe sunburn may need fluids pumped into their bodies via IV in a hospital
  • Cover affected areas with aloe vera: The juice of the aloe vera plant is an effective home remedy for sunburn. It helps to reduce swelling and diminishes the pain caused by the damaged skin. It also provides an extra layer of hydration
  • Use over-the-counter painkillers as needed: The pain caused by sunburn can usually be managed with OTC painkillers or applying hydrocortisone cream to affected areas. Hydrocortisone cream reduces the inflammation, pain, and itching caused by sunburn

We are here to help

Sunburn is a common skin injury that most of us deal with at some point in our lives. However, severe sunburn can be a life-threatening issue, so urgent care is needed if your sunburn comes with symptoms like a high fever, extreme pain, or headaches. Give us a call or stop by our New Caney clinic to set up an appointment with our urgent care physician.

Request an appointment here: https://tx-urgentcare.com or call Texas Urgent Care & Imaging Center at (832) 941-1894 for an appointment in our New Caney office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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