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Got sunburn on shoulders and legs. Can this lead to kidney problem?

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Posted on Tue, 28 May 2013
Question: Hi I recently got sunburn on my shoulders and legs. Was just wondering if this could lead to kidney problems. I have been drinking water although maybe not enough.
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Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul (1 hour later)
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

I completely understand your concern and I hope I am able to help you for the same.

In cases of sever sunburn, the most important thing is to stay hydrated.
It is good that you have already increased your intake of oral fluids.
You should be drinking lots of water, juice and sports drinks.
Do NOT drink alcohol as it is a diuretic.
The sunburned skin loses a lot of water through evaporation and your body requires additional fluids to heal the damaged areas.
Sunburns can often be associated with mild nausea, often relieved by properly hydrating.
Most people benefit by doubling their daily amount of liquid. If you usually drink six glasses of water a day, for a severe sunburn you should be getting around twelve glasses of fluid. The best way to gauge adequate intake is by monitoring your urine color. If it appears yellow, you need to drink more water. In a well-hydrated body the urine should be almost clear.
So I am sure that if you have doubled your intake of fluids, then any chances of renal damage are least, as renal damage occurs only when our body is dehydrated

For discomfort caused by the sunburn, over-the-counter aspirin is usually the best relief for adults.
For immediate relief, aloe vera applied to the skin often helps take away the sting of the burn. The gel consistency is preferable to thick lotions because the gel allows your skin to properly cool. If you experience any blisters do NOT open them. They serve as a cushion while the skin under the blister heals. Be gentle with them and allow them to help your body recover from the burn. When the blisters open, apply an antibiotic ointment, like bacitracin/mupirocin, to help remain free of infection. Any foul smell, purulent drainage, increasing pain or redness should be evaluated by your physician.
You may also find relief by using an over-the-counter steroid cream, like 1% hydrocortisone, to help with itching and discomfort. This cream should only be used for a few days.

And lastly, remember to always use a sunscreen in future with SPF >26 before getting out in the sun in future. For best protection, the sunscreen should be applied atleast 20-30 minutes before the sun exposure.


Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help.

Take care

Wishing you speedy recovery

Dr Geetika Paul

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Geetika Paul

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2606 Questions

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Got sunburn on shoulders and legs. Can this lead to kidney problem?

Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

I completely understand your concern and I hope I am able to help you for the same.

In cases of sever sunburn, the most important thing is to stay hydrated.
It is good that you have already increased your intake of oral fluids.
You should be drinking lots of water, juice and sports drinks.
Do NOT drink alcohol as it is a diuretic.
The sunburned skin loses a lot of water through evaporation and your body requires additional fluids to heal the damaged areas.
Sunburns can often be associated with mild nausea, often relieved by properly hydrating.
Most people benefit by doubling their daily amount of liquid. If you usually drink six glasses of water a day, for a severe sunburn you should be getting around twelve glasses of fluid. The best way to gauge adequate intake is by monitoring your urine color. If it appears yellow, you need to drink more water. In a well-hydrated body the urine should be almost clear.
So I am sure that if you have doubled your intake of fluids, then any chances of renal damage are least, as renal damage occurs only when our body is dehydrated

For discomfort caused by the sunburn, over-the-counter aspirin is usually the best relief for adults.
For immediate relief, aloe vera applied to the skin often helps take away the sting of the burn. The gel consistency is preferable to thick lotions because the gel allows your skin to properly cool. If you experience any blisters do NOT open them. They serve as a cushion while the skin under the blister heals. Be gentle with them and allow them to help your body recover from the burn. When the blisters open, apply an antibiotic ointment, like bacitracin/mupirocin, to help remain free of infection. Any foul smell, purulent drainage, increasing pain or redness should be evaluated by your physician.
You may also find relief by using an over-the-counter steroid cream, like 1% hydrocortisone, to help with itching and discomfort. This cream should only be used for a few days.

And lastly, remember to always use a sunscreen in future with SPF >26 before getting out in the sun in future. For best protection, the sunscreen should be applied atleast 20-30 minutes before the sun exposure.


Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help.

Take care

Wishing you speedy recovery

Dr Geetika Paul