Sunburn Treatment Questions and Answers
If you have been affected by a sunburn, walk-in to AFC Urgent Care Wichita today to get checked out, so we can help you on the way to healing. We are located at 3161 N. Rock Road, Suite A Wichita, Kansas, 67226.
The sun often conjures warm feelings and pleasant memories and is greatly appreciated in the summer. In fact, people often describe desirable weather as sunny with clear skies, and ‘bad’ weather, as rainy and overcast. This goes to show how much we appreciate the sun and its warming rays, but it can also cause concern when received in large amounts. Excessive sun exposure can lead to sunburn, which is experienced by nearly every person at some point throughout their life. Sunburn causes the skin to feel hot, sensitive and even painful. It is easier to get a sunburn at higher elevations, as the sun’s radiation has less atmosphere to travel through.
What is a sunburn exactly?
Sunburn is a skin burn caused by sun exposure and occurs when the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the skin, damaging the skin cells and physically altering their DNA. Both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays come from natural sunlight, but the shorter of the two wavelengths (UVB) can also be produced artificially, such as through indoor tanning beds. Prolonged or repeated exposure to UV radiation causes sunburn but also increases the risk of other skin problem commonly contributed to aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines and discolorations.
Common signs and symptoms of sunburn include:
- Pinkness or redness of the skin
- Skin feeling hot to the touch
- Pain or tenderness
- Itching or irritation
- Small, fluid-filled blisters
- Headache or fever
- Nausea and/or fatigue
Sunburn can develop on any exposed part of the body—even the earlobes, lips, and scalp. Covered areas of skin can burn as well, particularly if a person is wearing clothing with a loose weave that can be penetrated by UV light. In many cases, after the burn has started, physical symptoms such as heat and redness develop over the course of several hours, with peak redness occurring between 12 and 24 hours after exposure.
What are the degrees of sunburn?
The degrees of sunburn are similar to those of heat burns, although third-degree sunburns are considerably rare.
First-degree burns are by far the most common, with painful symptoms accompanied by redness that worsen for up to 36 hours and then decrease within the next several days. First-degree sunburns are an itchy, irritating condition that causes discomfort and fever-like symptoms for three to five days. They do not typically cause blisters or scarring. Due to sensitive skin and high risk for associated problems, sunburn is serious in babies, small children and adults over 60.
Second-degree (superficial partial-thickness burns) are less common and injure the first and second skin layers. The burned area turns white (blanches) when pressed, then red again after relieving the pressure.
Second-degree (deep partial-thickness burns) are severe and injure deeper layers of the skin. They are typically white with red areas. Although they are generally not painful, they can often cause a sensation of pressure. With this type of burn, the skin:
- Appears spotted
- Remains white after pressing
- May appear waxy in some areas
- Is dry or only slightly moist
How do you know when a sunburn is serious?
A sunburn is serious when it fits the description of a second-degree deep partial-thickness burn as described in the question above. If you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to minimize the risk of complications.
Can urgent care treat a sunburn?
Urgent care clinics are a great place to receive treatment for a sunburn. They can provide effective and expeditious care to have you feeling better, sooner.
If you have a sunburn, come to AFC Urgent Care in Wichita, KS today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating sunburn and can help you recover faster. Call us today or book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 3161 N. Rock Road, Suite A, Wichita, Kansas, 67226. Our office is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM. We look forward to serving you!