Treatment for Sunburn – When to Consult a Doctor

Sunburns are a big problem for many of those who go out in the sun. In the case of mild or moderate sunburns, we don’t need to visit a dermatologist. We just go under a cold shower and use topical ointments. Consistent application of aloe vera also works fine in such cases. These are traditional practices to give you quick relief from sunburns. You should avoid peeling skin aggressively, exfoliating, popping blisters and applying alcohol-based ointments.

The earlier you start sunburn treatment, the better. Some symptoms may appear late, even hours after you come back indoors. Drink plenty of water, use topical treatments and take anti-inflammatories as soon as you realize that you have been exposed too much to the sun.

Not all sunburn cases are mild or moderate. In severe cases, these popular tried-and-trusted practices are not considered enough. Cold showers fail to bring you relief and over-the-counter medications do nothing to ease the pain.

What will you do if your sunburns are too severe to get benefits from common treatments? Though not life-threating, acute sunburns are dangerous and also linked to skin cancer in the future.

What are severe sunburns?

Severe sunburn does not refer to large red patches accompanied by occasional blistering. Severe sunburns are usually painful and often have one or more symptoms as follows:

  • Burns with high fever
  • Widespread blistering
  • Excruciating pain (often unbearable)
  • Nausea and chills
  • Burns along with confusion, headache and vision problems
  • Heavy fluid loss

If your burn does not respond to your home remedies within a couple of days, it is considered severe. If you have any of the above-stated symptoms accompanied by severe sunburn, you should not delay in consulting a medical professional. These symptoms may even cause additional heat-related problems if left untreated. Severe sunburn can lead to infections.

As soon as you return from outdoors, take aspirin, ibuprofen or any anti-inflammatory medicine. It will be effective for pain, inflammation and other mild problems. Once the anti-inflammatory drug starts working, you should observe the severity of your sunburn for evaluation. Sunburns usually develop after 6-8 hours of your returning indoors. That is why observing sunburns is important to assess how it turns out in the hours after sun exposure.

See a Doctor

If you have a high fever, headache, tendency of vomiting along with sunburns, immediately pay a visit to the IVs in the keys. These are symptoms of a more severe problem, such as poisoning or heatstroke. In the most severe cases of sunburns, you may even have to be admitted to hospital.

If your sunburn has puss excretion or extensive blistering, the problem can be immediately addressed by an urgent care facility. A walk-in clinic can easily manage moderate fever, pain, dehydration, and other milder symptoms.

You need to assess the timeline of your sunburn to decide which type of medical attention you need in your case. If you feel sick immediately after withdrawing yourself from sun exposure, it demands immediate attention to your problem. If you develop severe symptoms after twelve hours, there is no alternative to visiting a doctor.