Sunburn is the term for red, sometimes swollen
and painful skin. It is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays
from the sun. Sunburn can vary from mild to severe. The extent depends on
skin type and amount of exposure to the sun. Sunburn is a serious risk
factor for skin cancer and for sun damage.
- Try taking a cool bath or shower. Or
place wet, cold wash cloths on the burn for 10 to 15 minutes, several
times a day. You can mix baking soda in the water to help relieve the
- If your skin is not blistering,
moisturizing cream may be applied to relieve discomfort.
- Do not apply petroleum jelly, benzocaine,
lidocaine, or butter to the sunburn. They make the symptoms worse and
can prevent healing.
- If blisters are present, dry bandages
may help prevent infection. Do not puncture blisters as that may slow
- Do not wash burned skin with harsh soap.