Sunburns hurt! Some people can get a sunburn after only 10-15 minutes in the sun! It is important to protect your skin while outdoors to prevent skin cancer and premature aging (sun spots, wrinkles, cataracts in the eyes, etc). Tanned skin means that your skin cells are already damaged, so getting a ‘base tan’ is not helpful for prevention of any kind. The best prevention is to keep the skin covered with UV protective clothing, wearing hats, and using sunscreen. Remember, sunscreen must be reapplied often if in the sun for more than an hour.
Sunburns start to develop after about 3-5 hours after sun exposure and peak in about a day. The pain from a sunburn can last for about 3 days!!! Symptoms include skin that is tender to touch and to heat. Some sunburns can even cause blistering to the skin and damage to the deeper layers.
Prolonged sun exposure can lead to fever, severe pain, confusion, nausea, vomiting. If you or someone you know begins to have such symptoms it is very important to get them out of the sun and for them to be seen by a medical professional.
For simple sunburns you can take ibuprofen or aspirin as needed for the first 24 hours. Skin preparations with aloe vera may also be helpful. It is also important to stay hydrated at all time, and drink water than you would normally if you are outdoors!