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Suggest treatment for severe sunburn on skin

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Posted on Sat, 12 Jul 2014
Question: My son went to the beach and stupidly got a horrible sunburn. Most of the skin on his face and the tops of his shoulders is very yellow and scaly. The rest of his burn is the regular red. I went to the pharmacy and got aloe, lidocaine and silver something cream and have given him anti inflammatory(ibuprofen) . Do I need to take him to a doctor? No fever, nausea, chills and the fluid oozing is clear. Email is YYYY@YYYY . Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar (30 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Current treatment should suffice

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query and the good quality picture! He does not look like a happy camper but he should do well with conservative treatment. It appears as a bad first degree burn, the middle and inner layers of the skin appear intact and the damage from what we can tell from the picture is confined to the epidermis; it can take from 5 to 10 days to heal; peeling is very likely but it should not leave scarring.

Remember not to use silver sulfadiazine cream in the face since it can stain it! Aloe and lidocaine, as well as plenty of fluids are also important.

Hope this helps, wish you the best,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1198 Questions

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Suggest treatment for severe sunburn on skin

Brief Answer: Current treatment should suffice Detailed Answer: Dear XXXXXXX Thanks for the query and the good quality picture! He does not look like a happy camper but he should do well with conservative treatment. It appears as a bad first degree burn, the middle and inner layers of the skin appear intact and the damage from what we can tell from the picture is confined to the epidermis; it can take from 5 to 10 days to heal; peeling is very likely but it should not leave scarring. Remember not to use silver sulfadiazine cream in the face since it can stain it! Aloe and lidocaine, as well as plenty of fluids are also important. Hope this helps, wish you the best, Dr Brenes-Salazar MD Mayo Clinic MN