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Suggest remedies for sunburn

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Posted on Thu, 21 Apr 2016
Question: Hello doctor,

A few weeks ago I managed to accidentally get sunburn on consecutive days on my face and chest despite it being a fairly overcast and cold weekend. The burn was fairly red, swollen and tender but was not bright red and there has been no peeling or blistering, however, there has been slight stinging for several weeks since and the redness won't go away and is especially noticeable after exercise / showering etc. Is this normal as I would have thought that if burn was really bad it would blister / peel off and heal? Would you recommend any other treatment than time and sunscreen to heal at this time?

Many thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilyas Patel (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Sun burn

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Welcome to HCM...

I can understand your concern for remedy for sunburn. As you described, I agree with your presumption of having sunburn.

Sunburn is skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. It usually causes the skin to become red, sore, warm, tender and occasionally itchy for about a week.

You can usually treat mild sunburn at home, although there are some circumstances where you should consult the dermatologist.

I would suggest...
- cold compresses on the affected areas may help.
- plenty of fluids should be taken to prevent dehydration.
- apply a water-based emollient or petroleum jelly like Vaseline to keep your skin cool and moist.
- take analgesic like Tab PARACETAMOL 650mg twice daily after food for 3 days..
- avoid exposure to sun rays...

Redness after exercise or exposure to sun rays is normal in your case. That would create uneasiness,so avoid exposure to sun and also do not exercise.

It is good that severity is not there..like blistering in affected areas. So, do not worry you may be alright in few days to few weeks. You do not require further treatment,as you do not have seriousness.

But, please continue to apply sunscreen gel on exposed areas to prevent the relapse of sun burn even after you feel better.

I hope this would help you. If you have query more, kindly ask.

Thanks.

Dr. Ilyas Patel MD




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ilyas Patel (48 hours later)
Many thanks for your help, I have used your suggestions! I was just a bit concerned that sunburn stinging can last for several weeks when it looked fairly innocuous as only ever had very mild ones previously.

Please may I just also enquire as to whether this could also have flared up rosacea as I have mild rosacea with slight redness / pimples prior to this and I believe that rosacea can also cause stinging and redness so could the ongoing redness present also potentially be rosacea flaring up?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilyas Patel (36 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Sunburn

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Welcome back...

You are right. If you suffer from rosacea,it may be relapse or flare up of rosacea. Sun exposure is one of the factors to cause flare up of rosacea. If you feel so, you may take treatment for rosacea,which you have taken in past. Otherwise follow the suggestions as I gave in previous post.

Thanks..

Dr. Ilyas Patel MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ilyas Patel (2 days later)
Many thanks. Just one final question, does this kind of exposure significantly increase the risk of negative long term health effects given that it has taken about five weeks for sunburn to stop mild stinging (even if no peeling / blistering / sun freckles) and that I had these sunburns for two days in a row or is sun damage cumulative over a long time? I know I shouldn't ask that kind of question but I have always had health anxiety and struggle just to move on from these kind of things.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilyas Patel (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Sun burn

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

You are right...Such long term exposure to sun might cause health hazards like actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma..etc

So, kindly avoid long term exposure to sun.

Thanks.

Dr. Ilyas Patel MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Dr. Ilyas Patel

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Practicing since :1982

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Suggest remedies for sunburn

Brief Answer: Sun burn Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to HCM... I can understand your concern for remedy for sunburn. As you described, I agree with your presumption of having sunburn. Sunburn is skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. It usually causes the skin to become red, sore, warm, tender and occasionally itchy for about a week. You can usually treat mild sunburn at home, although there are some circumstances where you should consult the dermatologist. I would suggest... - cold compresses on the affected areas may help. - plenty of fluids should be taken to prevent dehydration. - apply a water-based emollient or petroleum jelly like Vaseline to keep your skin cool and moist. - take analgesic like Tab PARACETAMOL 650mg twice daily after food for 3 days.. - avoid exposure to sun rays... Redness after exercise or exposure to sun rays is normal in your case. That would create uneasiness,so avoid exposure to sun and also do not exercise. It is good that severity is not there..like blistering in affected areas. So, do not worry you may be alright in few days to few weeks. You do not require further treatment,as you do not have seriousness. But, please continue to apply sunscreen gel on exposed areas to prevent the relapse of sun burn even after you feel better. I hope this would help you. If you have query more, kindly ask. Thanks. Dr. Ilyas Patel MD