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Sunburn - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Skin is the largest organ is the body and it is exposed to the rays of the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun penetrate through the skin and helps in the formation of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives the dark tan to the skin. The higher the melanin in the body, the darker the skin.

Exposure to the sun’s radiation also helps in the formation of vitamin D and warmth to the body.

When the body is exposed to too much ultraviolet rays, it causes a condition called sunburn. Burn due to ultraviolet rays is also caused when the body is exposed to other sources of ultraviolet rays like phototherapy lamps, arc lamps and tanning beds.

Almost all people of all ages, race and sex can get sunburns. The condition is prevalent during all seasons even in winters when the radiation of the sun is low. Number of people suffering from sunburn is more towards the equator and at higher altitudes. Lighter skinned people are more at risk than dark skinned counterparts.

Mild first degree burns are caused due to sunburns. When the condition is serious there may be dehydration, second degree burns and infection. Sunburn can result from exposure to sun due to excessive outdoor activity. The ultraviolet rays pass through the clothes and reach the skin. They can even reach the skin when the clothes are wet.

Sunburn will increase symptoms of diseases like herpes, eczema, dermatitis, and erythematosus. Severe sunburn can also cause melanoma, skin cancer, premature ageing, wrinkling of skin, dehydration, exhaustion and heatstroke.

The condition is not life threatening, however, it can cause a lot of pain. First aid is given to patients who suffer from mild sunburn. When the sunburn is severe, doctors will prescribe steroidal drugs that can relieve pain and inflammation. Hospitalization of patients with sunburn is necessary when the symptoms are severe. In mild cases, they are treated as outpatients and provided with cool baths, showers, anti-inflammatory medications and avoid further sun exposure.

Prevention of sunburn is possible by not exposing oneself from the harmful sun radiations, use of sunscreens while venturing outside and wearing caps and sunglasses. All these preventive measures can help a person to avoid sunburns and also prevent further episodes of sunburns if one has suffered from one.

Sunburn is a condition that is not fatal and can be treated easily. Precautions enable to prevent sunburns and offer protection.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Redness in skin Itchiness Inflammed skin Swelling

Popular Health Tips

Common Sunscreen Myths: What Should You Know?

Dr. Pushpa K R 86% (297 ratings)
MD - (Dermatology & STD)
Dermatologist, Bangalore
Common Sunscreen Myths: What Should You Know?
Exposing your skin to harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun can have devastating effects on your skin,including wrinkles, sunburn and even skin cancer. So, using a sunscreen every time you step outdoors and using it correctly is of vital importance to have healthy skin. However, most people have different misconceptions about sunscreen usage. Read on to find the real facts behind these widespread sunscreen myths 1. You don t need to apply sunscreen if your makeup contains SPF If any of your makeup products like foundation or powder contains SPF, do not assume that it can replace your sunscreen. Makeup containing SPF cannot protect your skin entirely as cosmetics are generally applied lightly,and mostly doesn t cover places like T-zones, earlobes or hairline. To fully shield your skin from the sunrays, it s necessary to apply sunscreen or moisturizer with at least SPF 30 before putting makeup on. It is advisable to apply the sunscreen half an hour before stepping out for maximum benefit. 2. Putting sunscreen on your skin once is enough to protect you throughout the day Most people apply sunscreen only once before heading out of the house, and don t reapply it again throughout the entire day.Contrary to popular belief, this does not provide protection for the entire day as most sunscreens lose their effect with time. To ensure that your skin remains protected you need to reapply sunscreen once every 2 hours, and once every 40-80 minutes if you are engaging in activities like swimming and exercising. 3. Waterproof sunscreens won t wash off Even if your sunscreen is waterproof, you need to reapply it at regular intervals if you are pursuing water sports like swimming or are the kind who washes their face frequently. When a sunscreen is typified as waterproof, it actually means that the composition of the sunscreen makes it suitable for functioning for a maximum of 1 hour and 20 minutes under water. Moreover, sunscreens containing a water-resistant label can bear water immersion up to at most 40 minutes. So, irrespective of whatever the label of the sunscreen mentions, you need to reapply sunscreen every hour to protect your skin effectively. 4. You do not need to apply sunscreen in winters or you are when indoors. Winter skin is relatively more sensitive than summer skin which is tanned. If one is in hilly areas or snow covered regions there is reflection of UV light from the snow that causes more skin damage. Also glass can allow UV rays to pass through and indoor lighting can also be a source of UV exposure, therefore you should apply sunscreen even when you are indoors.
3954 people found this helpful

4 Ayurvedic Remedies For Vitiligo!

Dr. Priyanka Suneet Shende 90% (90 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), T.T.C.M Yoga
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
4 Ayurvedic Remedies For Vitiligo!
Vitiligo is a medical condition, which causes the loss of skin color due to loss of pigmentation. This usually occurs in blotches and looks very unsightly. Vitiligo is very unpredictable and can affect any part of your body. In some cases it also affects the inside of the mouth, eyes, and hair. Vitiligo is more noticeable on people with darker skin tone. Symptoms of Vitiligo: Premature graying or whitening of the hair in your eyebrows, eyelashes, scalp, and beard. This usually occurs before the age of 35. Skin discoloration can also occur from other parts of the body such as hands, feet, abdomen, neck and other areas. Change or loss of the color of the retina (inner layer on the eyeball). Discolored patches on and around the navel, rectum and genitals. What causes vitiligo? A medical disorder where your immune system destroys and attacks the melanin forming pigments in your skin. This is known as an autoimmune disorder and by far is the most common cause behind vitiligo. An event such as sudden or prolonged stress, sunburn, or being exposed to industrial chemicals. A history of family members or relatives having vitiligo in the past. Ayurvedic Treatments for Vitiligo: Mustard and Turmeric Oil: A paste made with mustard and turmeric oil can be applied on the affected area. This is also good for the skin and reduces vitiligo. Do this at least 2 times a day to reduce the patches considerably. Duckweed: This is a type of water plant and is very rich in a mineral called lignin. It is considered a natural treatment for skin disorders and vitiligo. It will also help to restore your natural skin color. Sun screen: If you already have vitiligo, exposure in the sun can make it worse, so applying a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above (or an appropriate level of sunscreen protection) can protect your skin from further damage. Papaya: This fruit is great for restoring and reviving melanin (responsible for skin pigmentation). Drinking papaya juice or rubbing papaya on the affected area can reduce vitiligo to some extent.
1 person found this helpful

UV Rays - Know How They Harm Your Skin!

Dr. Sruthi Gondi 92% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
UV Rays - Know How They Harm Your Skin!
In limited quantities, ultraviolet rays are not only beneficial but also necessary for maintaining proper health. The Vitamin D from the sun s rays can help cure several diseases such as eczema, jaundice and psoriasis. If adequate amounts of sun rays are not received by the body, bone growth gets hampered that can result in osteoporosis and other bone weakness issues. However, if it is received in abundance, its effects can be profusely detrimental to the immune system, eyes and the skin. Since skin tanning and sun-bathing have become increasingly popular among the mass, it is necessary for people to be more aware of the potential risks of sun exposure. "Erythema" or sunburn is a very common condition among fair skinned people, which occurs when the skin absorbs energy from the sun s rays. The system detects it as a harmful, intrusive force and thereby signals for extra blood to reach the affected area and restore the skin. It results in pain, swelling, blistering, itching and peeling of the skin. Not only is it a painful condition, it can also be a precursor to even more harmful diseases. Skin cancer cases are steadily on the rise in the world, with 5 new such cases being reported every week. Due to prolonged exposure to harsh UV rays, the number of damaged cells in the body increases to such an extent that the system cannot mend it anymore. When not controlled, these damaged cells multiply, grow or divide uncontrollably. These cells can also accumulate and form a tumor. Repeated and prolonged exposure to sun rays can also cause premature aging and wrinkling due to the degenerative damages it does to the skin s epidermis. If one is vulnerable to sunburn, it is recommended for them to carry sunscreen at all times. The UV rays are blocked by the deflecting properties of sunscreens, thereby protecting the skin to a large degree. It is recommended for patients to carry umbrellas, or protective clothing to cover themselves up if they are vulnerable to harsh sun s rays in the morning. Although sun exposure can cause several problems to our skin, with proper precautions, one can be assured of safety. Sun exposure can be properly managed if one remembers to make use of these simple tips daily.
2574 people found this helpful

How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin Type?

Dr. Meenakshi Jagwani 91% (70 ratings)
Dermatologist, Bangalore
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin Type?
Sunscreens help shield you from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays in two ways. Some work by scattering the light, reflecting it away from your body. Others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin. A few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen meant you just looked for a high sun protection factor (SPF) -- which rates how well the sunscreen protects against one type of cancer-causing UV ray, ultraviolet B (UVB). SPF refers to blockage of UVB rays only. Research soon showed that ultraviolet A rays (UVA) also increase skin cancer risk. While UVA rays don't cause sunburn, they penetrate deeply into skin and cause wrinkles. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime's exposure to UVA rays. Whether you are heading out to the beach for relaxing day of swimming, or traveling out on the nature trail for a fun day of hiking, sunscreen should be an important part of your day. Follow the instructions contained in this guide to learn how to choose a sunscreen that is right for you. Clearly, you will want a sunscreen with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA. Tips for choosing the right sunscreen: Broad Spectrum: It means the sunscreen protects against UVB and UVA rays and helps prevent skin cancer and sunburn. High UVA protection: Sun's UV rays can be easily prevented, and thus severe kinds of skin troubles can be eliminated. In this case, the product label needs to be checked so that you can get 100% assurance that your skin will be protected against UV rays for sure. Water resistance: Pick a sunscreen which is Water Resistant (effective for up to 40 minutes in water) or Very Water Resistant (effective for up to 80 minutes in water). This means the sunscreen provides protection while swimming or sweating up to the time listed on the label. Even when using a water-resistant sunscreen, you should reapply after getting out of the water or after sweating. Medicated Products: Do not go by the local brands rather you must choose only medicated products. Daily usage: Using sunscreen on a daily basis is a great necessity. In fact, this is one of the most important steps for getting most productive effects. You can apply the cream, especially before going under direct sun. Skin-friendliness: The sunscreen should not contain any toxic elements or chemicals, otherwise your skin will get adversely affected. Different kinds of skin damages can occur such as spots, patches skin allergies or infections if you do not choose the right sunscreen apt for your skin. Correct application of sunscreen: Apply on exposed areas: You should apply sunscreen, especially on those body parts that usually remain exposed towards sun all the time. If you frequently wear bikinis, then you should include legs, thighs, arms, back, face and other areas. Enriched with moisturizers: If the sunscreen is equipped with moisturizers, then your skin will become smoother and soothing effects will be found. Some of the moisturizers consist of organic ingredients that can improve skin quality and texture to a great extent. These moisturizers also provide sufficient nutrients to your skin. Frequent application: If you are willing to get best results and utmost protection from UV rays, then nothing can be the right way-out other the applying the sunscreen on a frequent basis. After every two-hours, you are advised to apply the sunscreen. Wearing sun-protection accessories: Apart from applying the sunscreen lotion, you are advised wearing different kinds of useful sun-protection accessories for getting greater protection. Some of the most prominent accessories are sunglasses, long sleeves, umbrella and others.
4131 people found this helpful

5 Things to Watch Out for Great Skin

Dermatologist, Ghaziabad
5 Things to Watch Out for Great Skin
Healthy skin is a sign of overall good health and vitality. Skin problem is one of the most persistent problems encountered by people. Blessed are the people who enjoy a flawless, radiant and healthy skin throughout their lives. Pollution, stress and unhealthy lifestyle have been affecting mankind like never before. Let us check out what all you need to be careful about for a great skin: 1. Elasticity: One must keep the skin clean and use anti aging products in a timely manner along with a good moisturiser and sunscreen, so that the supple quality and glow is kept intact with a regular cleanse of the collagen, which can be prevented from slipping away due to neglect. This collagen keeps the elasticity of the skin which makes the skin look firm and young. 2. Free Radicals: The particles or molecules that escape from dust, pollution and other such factors in everyday urban living, settle on the skin and clog the pores. It is important to clean the skin every single day and exfoliate at least once a week with a trip to the salon or with a facial scrub at home, so that these can be removed. 3. Prevention: One must clean the skin and use skin care products that prevent premature aging and accumulation of free radicals. Prevention is better than cure and this stands true in the case of skin care as well. 4. UV Rays: The powerful UV rays can hit your skin persistently and cause long term damage and sun spots. In order to lessen the damaging effect, it is important to use protective skin care products that will help in keeping freckles, age spots, brown spots, skin peeling and excessive sunburn and tanning at bay. 5. Skin Problems and Allergies: Bug bites, injuries and other allergies must be taken care of instantly with a visit to the doctor or medicated creams and medication. This will ensure that the delicate texture of the skin does not get marred by possible infection. It is important to look after your skin with a proper routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising.
2787 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Please suggest me a medicated sunscreen as my skin is combination skin tat tans within few minutes. And my skin is sensitive to chemicals. It becomes black. Nivea is the moisturizer is am using.

DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Dear lybrate-user, as every person have different skin texture, it cannot be say that one cream useful to you, may harmful to other. For proper Sunscreen, better you visit your doctor, secondly you have not mentioned, whether your skin is oily or dry or balanced. Better you keep skin hydrated by drinking water and juicy fruits,& I will suggest you to use Homoeopathic Sunscreen, as it ,does not harm skin. I

I am a girl my age is 28 years I have sun burn on my hand neck and feet please suggest some medicine for sun burn.

Dr. Subodh Bhalke 95% (1015 ratings)
BHMS ,PGDPC , MS (psych.)
Homeopath, Nashik
Take Homeopathic medicine for best results 1) Apply Saundarya Homeopathic cream twice daily 2) Use Patanjali alovera facewash.

How to get rid on uneven tanned skin and foot crack? I tried lots of creams and home remedies for it. But no results.

Dr. Subodh Bhalke 95% (1015 ratings)
BHMS ,PGDPC , MS (psych.)
Homeopath, Nashik
Take Homeopathic Medicine 1) Berberis aquifolium 30.8 pills at morning 2) Variolinum 30 .8 .pills at night for 15 days 3) apply Calendula alovera Homeopathic cream Twice daily after washing with warm water.

Health Quizzes

Skin Burn - Can Ice Help You?

Dr. Himanshu Singhal 90% (25 ratings)
MD - Skin,VD & Lepxsy, MBBS
Dermatologist, Rewari
Aloe vera can help you treat burns at home. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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Why Prevent Your Skin Against Sun Exposure?

Dr. Patil Malini 90% (611 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Thane
Sun damage happens only during hot, sunny days. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
Start Quiz

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