Prevention of sunburn may be obvious but you will still see lobster red people on vacation. Here are some things you may not know about sunburn:
1) Sunburn is the gift that keeps on giving because unlike other types of skin burns, sunburn is not immediately apparent and redness develops between three and five hours after being out in the sun.
2) Redness peaks approximately 12 to 24 hours after sun exposure and fades over 72 hours.
3) People with fair skin and light-colored hair have less melanin and are at higher risk of sunburn compared with people with darker-colored skin.
4) Some people can develop sunburn after less than 15 minutes of sun exposure.
5) People in regions that are closest to the equator and high altitudes (mountainous areas) are at higher risk for developing sunburn.
6) Certain medications make the skin more sensitive to burning: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, motrin), quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, and tetracycline), and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) among others.
7) No treatment has been shown to help resolve the sunburn quicker, but some may help relieve skin discomfort.
8) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen may relieve the pain. These medications are especially helpful if you take them as soon as you notice pain; the benefit of NSAIDs decreases after 24 hours.
9) Steroid creams (hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, etc.) have been studied and are not effective for treating sunburn or pain from sunburn.
10) Cool compresses, aloe-based lotions, and lotions or sprays with a local anesthetic (numbing medication like Solarcaine and Dermaplast) have not been shown in studies to be helpful but aren’t harmful so may be worth a try.
Seek help from your doctor if you have severe sunburn with skin blistering.
What has helped you?