Sunburn results when the skin is exposed to more sun than its protective pigment melanin can handle it may only take 15 minutes of exposure for fair-skinned people to burn. Dark-skinned people can generally tolerate the sun for longer time, but regardless of skin type, repeated sun exposure leads to premature wrinkling of the skin and age spots.

The best way to avoid sunburn is to shield skin from the sunlight that damages it, sunscreens have been developed that product against both UVA and UVB rays (long and short wavelengths of ultraviolet light respectively)-the components of sunlight responsible for skin damage and burning sunscreen, protective clothing and ultraviolet-filtering sunglasses can all help prevent excessive sun exposure.

Signs and symptoms of sunburn….

The first signs of sunburn may not appear for a few hours. The full effect to the skin may not be apparent for 24 hours or longer possible symptoms include:

  • Red tender skin that is warm to the touch
  • Blisters that develop hours to days later
  • peeling skin several days after getting burned

Seek immediate emergency medical assistance if there are signs of shock heat exhaustion dehydration or other serious reactions those signs include:

  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • rapid pulse or rapid breathing
  • extreme thirst no urine output or sunken eyes
  • pale clammy or cool skin
  • nausea fever chills or skin rash “sun poisoning “
  • eye pain and sensitivity to light
  • pain blisters

How to deal with sunburn??
Cool off the heat of the sunburn

  • Take a cool bath or shower or place a wet cool washcloth on the burn for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day (small children may easily become chilled so keep the water tepid)
  • Apply soothing aloe Vera lotion, aloe contains active compounds that help stop pain and inflammation
  • If your skin is not blistering, moisturizing cream may be applied to relieve discomfort
  • If blisters are present, applying a dry bandage may help prevent infection
  • Do not apply petroleum jelly, benzocaine, lidocaine or butter to the sunburn these make the symptoms worse and can prevent healing
  • Do not wash burned skin with harsh soap


  • Avoid sun exposure during hours of peak sunray intensity the sun’s rays are strongest from 10a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The sun’s rays are stronger at higher altitudes and lower altitudes
  • Reflection off water sand or snow can intensify the sun’s buring rays
  • Seek shade whenever possible
  • Apply generous amounts of broad –spectrum (UVA andUVB protection) water –resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 1.5 use sunscreen regularly including on cloudy days.
  • Use sunscreen the right way. it’s important to realize that some UV light gets through sunscreen, reapply after swimming and every two hours while you are outdoors
  • Protect your skin with long sleeves long pants and hats light clothing reflects the sun
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection
  • Apply a lip balm that has an SPF SUNSCREEN OF AT LEAST 15.

Pharmacist tip

Regardless of skin type everyone needs to use sunscreen if a person is going to be in the sun for more than 20minutes dermatologists recommend using a broad –spectrum sunscreen with an SPF at least 15.

Must have!!
These products will help you keep your sunburn under control:

  • Sun block
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • After-sun lotion
  • Aloe Vera lotion or spray
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Sunless tanning lotion

Did you know…?


  • Sunscreens protect the skin from harmful UV rays by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays.
  • To avoid sunburn follow the “shadow rule” –stay out of the sun if your shadow is shorter than you are.
  • It takes one full ounce of sunscreen to properly cover the exposed areas of the body.

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