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How is sun burn treated ?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11704 Questions
I got a bad sunburn about a week and half ago. I'm fair skinned but do XXXXXXX after some exposures. My skin is peeling, which is not an issue. However, I have a large swath of raised red spots on my upper chest (both sides of the breast area and up) These do not itch, aren't blistering, etc. #1- what is this? #2- what is the best way to treat them to go away (they are just unsightly). Thanks!
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Sun Burn
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 39 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

The raised red spots you have on your upper chest seem to be due to sunburn.

For treatment, White Distilled Vinegar is an old remedy, it works wonders. It smells terrible, but it pulls the heat out and makes the sting go away. If you put it on and let it soak in over night, you'll wake up in the morning feeling quite a bit better.

Then use a lotion with an SPF of at least 15 everyday from now on.
Don't use regular sunblock though as it will clog your pores and make you break out with acne all over your face. You can also apply lactocalamine lotion for relief.

Ice packs and cold cloths will also help to minimize the duration of the symptoms.

Make sure that you drink PLENTY of water, in order to keep your body hydrated so you don't develop fever. If you do develop fever, then you can take an acetaminophen or an ibuprofen, or any NSAID to help get rid of the fever and to minimize inflammation and swelling.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is sun burn treated ? 1 hour later
Interestingly, these spots don't hurt and my sunburn seems to have healed. These spots are what seem to have remained. They aren't acne like. They are just red raised patches. Do you think it is skin damage, allergic reaction or something else? I will try the vinegar....but wanted to be sure you knew they don't hurt! Thanks!!
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 7 hours later

Thanks for writing back.
It is not necessary that sunburn will hurt. Sometimes they do leave the marks like pigmented spots on the skin. You try the vinegar and if it does not improve in 7-10 days then you might need to see your dermatologist who after proper examination will be able to tell you better.
Sincerely hope it will help.
Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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