Sunburn Expert in Perumbakkam

Your Trusted Partner in Sunburn

Sunburns occur from exposure to the sun’s UV rays or UV light from artificial sources. You can usually treat first- and second-degree sunburns at home. We are here to provide you with top-notch care and guidance to tackle your problems.

Sunburn Hospital in Perumbakkam, Chennai

Understanding Sunburn

What is Sunburn?

Sunburn is red, painful, damaged skin from being out in the sun for too long. When you get a sunburn, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun (or a tanning bed!) burn your skin. You don’t have to spend the day at the beach or pool to get a sunburn. Some people get sunburns doing everyday things without using sunscreen, like taking a lunch break outside, gardening or walking the dog.

Multiple sunburns can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer. You can minimize your risk of sunburn by taking steps to protect your skin every day. It’s important to pay attention to your sun exposure when you spend any amount of time outdoors.

First-degree sunburn symptoms

  • Redness on lighter skin. People with dark skin can get sunburns, but they can be harder to see unless they peel or blister.
  • Skin feels hot or tight.
  • Pain or tenderness.
  • Swelling.
  • Peeling skin (after several days).

You may also experience:

  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.

Second-degree sunburn symptoms

  • Extremely red skin.
  • Blisters
  • Swelling over a larger area.
  • Wet-looking skin.
  • Pain.
  • White discoloration within the burn.

You may also experience symptoms of heat illness, including:

  • Confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Nausea.
  • Shivers.

What are the types of Sunburn?

Healthcare providers group sunburns by the severity of skin damage. The two most common types of sunburn are:

  • First-degree sunburn: Damage to your skin’s outer layer. This usually heals on its own in a few days to a week.
  • Second degree sunburn: Damage to the middle section of your skin (dermis). You’ll develop blisters on the sunburned skin. Your skin may take weeks to heal and you may need medical treatment.

A third degree sunburn is very rare and requires emergency treatment. It severely damages all layers of your skin, including the fat layer beneath your skin. It can also destroy nerve endings. Most third-degree burns result from a chemical burn or a fire and not from sun exposure.

What are the three stages of Sunburn?

While others may notice your skin turning pink in the sun, unless you’re looking in a mirror, you probably won’t notice sunburn until the pain starts. Your sunburn will go through three stages:

  1. Pain from sunburn usually starts within a few hours of your burn.
  2. Your skin will get redder and more irritated, with pain peaking at about 24 hours after your burn. If you have a second-degree sunburn, you’ll start to blister.
  3. Over the next week or so, your skin may peel and should gradually return to its normal shade. If you have a severe sunburn, this may take a few weeks.

What causes Sunburn?

Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet rays. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. Both types of rays can burn your skin.

Anyone can get a sunburn. But your chance of getting a sunburn increases depending on:

  • The amount of time you spend in the sun.
  • Certain medications, including antibiotics like doxycycline and Bactrim™, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) retinoids and heart medications (like diuretics).
  • Intensity of UV rays. This is affected by the time of day, cloud coverage, altitude and closeness to the equator.
  • Ozone depletion, depending on where you are in the world.
  • Skin type and color.
  • Use of tanning beds without sunscreen.

How is Sunburn Treated?

You can treat most first and second-degree sunburn by yourself at home. Steps you can take include:

  • Covering your sunburned skin while it heals, especially when outside. Cool, damp cloths may help you feel better.
  • Using topical cooling and hydrating gels and creams like hydrocortisone cream or aloe vera gel.
  • Once you’ve cooled the skin and stopped ongoing damage, ointments — including antibiotic ointment — or petroleum jelly will keep the skin moisturized and help it heal without scarring.
  • Drinking water to avoid dehydration.
  • Taking a cool bath or shower. Try a bath with oatmeal or baking soda to soothe sore skin.
  • Taking NSAIDs for pain relief.
  • Leaving blisters alone until they heal — don’t pop them. If they become extremely large, see your provider for help. And don’t peel skin — let it come off on its own.

If you have severe blistering or dehydration, your provider may give you rehydrating fluids.

If you have a third-degree sunburn, you may need a skin graft. A surgeon removes dead skin and transfers healthy skin from elsewhere on your body. These burns take weeks or longer to heal and can have severe complications.

Are there other factors that put me at higher risk?

You’re at a higher risk of sunburn if you:

  • Have light skin, freckles, blue eyes, or red or blonde hair.
  • Live or spend time at high altitudes or closer to the equator.
  • Play sports or swim outdoors frequently.
  • Spend a lot of time on the water doing activities like boating, fishing or paddleboarding.
  • Tan regularly.
  • Work outdoors.
  • Use tanning beds.

How can I reduce my risk of Sunburn?

You can prevent sunburn and lessen your risk of sun damage. Steps you can take include:

  • Applying broad spectrum suncream every day to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every 90 minutes when outdoors and more often after swimming and sweating.
  • Avoiding suntanning and tanning beds.
  • Being aware of your sun exposure when taking medications that increase your skin’s sensitivity.
  • Limiting your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
  • Seeing a dermatologist for annual skin cancer checks.
  • Using sunglasses that filter UV rays.
  • Wearing a hat when outside if you’re bald.
  • Wearing protective clothings such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats.

Are there long-term effects from Sunburn?

Frequent sunburns increase your risk of sun damage. Repeated exposure to harmful UV rays can cause:

  • Premature skin aging, including discolored age spots, freckles, red veins, wrinkles and sagging.
  • Scaly, rough patches that may become skin cancer (precancerous skin lesions).
  • Eye damage, which can lead to cataracts.
  • Skin cancer, especially on areas most exposed to the sun, such as your arms, back, ears, face and legs. Skin cancers can range from pink scaly spots, to local sores that don’t heal, to multi-colored lesions that can spread to internal organs.
Frequently Asked Question on Sunburn
How long does it take for sunburn to appear after sun exposure?
Sunburn symptoms typically appear within a few hours of sun exposure, and they may continue to develop for up to 24 hours.
How can I prevent sunburn?
Preventive measures include applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing protective clothing (hats, sunglasses, long sleeves), seeking shade, and avoiding direct sun exposure during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
What is the best way to treat sunburn?
Treatment involves cooling the affected area with cool compresses, taking cool baths, applying moisturizers or aloe vera gel, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Staying hydrated is also important.
Is it possible to get sunburned on cloudy days?
Yes, UV rays can penetrate clouds, and sunburn can occur on cloudy days. It’s important to use sunscreen and take protective measures even when the sky is overcast.
How long does it take for sunburn to heal?
The healing time for sunburn varies depending on its severity. Mild sunburn may resolve in a few days, while more severe cases may take a week or longer. It’s essential to avoid further sun exposure during the healing process.
When should I see a doctor for sunburn?
You should see a doctor if you experience severe symptoms such as blistering, dehydration, high fever, or if the sunburn covers a large area of your body. Severe sunburn may require medical attention.
Is there a way to soothe sunburned lips?

Applying lip balm with aloe vera or a moisturizing ingredient can help soothe sunburned lips. Avoid using petroleum-based products, as they can trap heat and worsen the condition.