Summer, sun, sunburn – after hiking, biking or swimming, a painful aftermath can be the consequence of a careless behavior.
Whether you forgot your sun cream or stayed longer in the sun as planned, sunburn is inevitable once the limit has been exceeded. Treatment depends on the severity and the extent of the affected area. In general, the symptoms of sunburn ranges from simple reddening with slight irritation to a painful inflammation of the skin causing blisters in severe cases. If a larger area is affected, it can also cause systemic symptoms such as headache, a general sick feeling and even fever.
Besides the immediate reaction, sunburn increases also the risk of skin cancer. Prevention is therefore of upmost importance for avoiding sun cancer risk. Particularly after a long winter, the skin is most sensible to sun. Therefore, especially at spring or early summer, sun protection is of particular importance.
Treatment of sunburn
For any type of sunburn, cooling of the affected area can ease the symptoms. For mild extent, commercially available creams and lotions can help. In severe cases, ice packs are required. In any case, it is important to watch hydration (i.e. to drink enough), particularly when systemic symptoms occur.
Besides creams and lotions that one can by over the counter, steroid creams are the treatment of choice to reduce inflammation. Therefore if pain persists, seeing a doctor is inevitable. Painkillers are helpful to reduce pain and inflammation but if systemic symptoms are heavy, contact a doctor immediately.
Dr. Okamoto is a dermatologist in Vienna and offers treatment of any kind of skin diseases including sunburn. He is also an expert on skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. His private office is located in the Skodagasse of the 8th district in Vienna, Austria. If you require medical assistance, please fill out the electronic contact form to set an appointment.