Healthcare Tips

Severe Sunburns

June 11, 2023

Summer is just around the corner, but severe sunburns don’t have to be.  

Symptoms of Severe Sunburns

If you’re at all like us, you’re more than ready for summer fun, but hoping to avoid severe sunburns that can come with hours of outdoor play. 

It can happen to any of us … a quick stop by the park turns into an all-day affair with friends. A trip to the pool is so much fun that the necessity of reapplying your sunscreen is quickly forgotten.  A cloudy day is mistakenly interpreted as low risk for sunburn.

Because sunburn more fully develops in the hours after your sun exposure, you can easily find yourself with a sunburn situation that’s more than just ‘a little pink.’  Keep your eyes open for signs of severe sunburn, such as blisters on the hands or face; severe swelling; nausea or headache;  signs of infection; or a fever. Eyes can also get sunburned, so pay special attention if your vision changes or if you are experiencing eye pain.  If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to get checked out by a medical professional.  

The following symptoms indicate extreme sunburn and warrant seeing a doctor immediately: 

In the case of these symptoms being present, please don’t delay and get yourself to a doctor right away! Please note: In the case of severe blistering, blisters on the genitalia or dehydration, going to the emergency room instead of immediate care is warranted.

Immediate Care at Gateway Hancock Health is a convenient and affordable place to receive care for severe sunburns.  With evening hours, we are an easy option at the end of a long day of fun in the sun.

Of course, the best sunburn is the one that you avoid.  Sunscreen continues to be a great defense against harmful rays.  Remember to reapply every two hours (even that “waterproof/sweatproof” kind!), as well as after water play.  Physically blocking the sun’s rays with wide brimmed hats, sunglasses and clothing with SPF in the fabric is another fantastic way to stay protected.  The sun’s rays are strongest (and most likely to harm you) between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. Particularly for babies younger than six months who should avoid sunscreen and may overheat easily, it may be easiest to stay indoors during these hours.

Enjoy summer and stay safe in the sun. Gateway Hancock Health is here if you need us!

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