Sunburn Treatment Questions and Answers
If you have been affected by sunburn, walk-in to AFC Urgent Care Fresno today to get checked out, so we can help you on the way to healing. We are located at 3656 W. Shaw Ave Fresno, CA 93711.
Whether you tanned for a little too long or forgot to put on sunscreen, a sunburn can be a painful annoyance. While most sunburns do not cause significant problems, they do increase one’s risk of skin cancer. As such, it is a good idea to avoid sunburns whenever possible with good skincare routines. If you do experience a sunburn, our doctors and medical professionals at AFC Urgent Care would gladly provide any medical attention or guidance you require!
What is a sunburn exactly?
A sunburn is damage to the DNA within skin cells from ultraviolet (UV) radiation when the skin experiences too much unprotected exposure to the sun. The inflammatory reaction produced by the skin in response to the UV radiation damage is the outward sign of a sunburn.
Your skin produces melanin to block the damaging effects of UV radiation, which results in darkened skin color, commonly referred to as tanning. However, when your skin experiences too much UV radiation exposure, it cannot produce enough melanin, causing the affected skin cells to deteriorate and die. The inflammatory response, or sunburn, functions to replace the damaged and dead skin cells.
Some individuals naturally have less melanin than others, owing to such factors as genetics and ethnicity. Consequently, such individuals are at higher risk of sunburns, as their skin does not have as many resources to fight off UV radiation damage.
What are the degrees of sunburn?
While there are several degrees of burns, sunburns are generally either first-degree or second-degree, depending on the size of the burn and the depth of the UV radiation damage.
Most sunburns are first-degree burns and typically occur with redness, soreness, tightness, and warmth in the affected area. First-degree sunburns can also cause mild swelling and blistering. While most first-degree sunburns do not require medical attention, you may want to consult your doctor or dermatologist about proper skincare for the injured skin.
A sunburn becomes a second-degree burn when UV radiation damages both the epidermis and the dermis, or the outer layer of skin and the layers of skin beneath the surface. Second-degree sunburns can take several weeks to heal and typically require medical attention for proper care and treatment. Some symptoms of a second-degree sunburn include the following:
- Blisters and swelling covering a significant area of skin
- Significant discomfort and pain
- Skin that appears wet, shiny, and dark or deep red
- White discoloration within the burn
How do you know when a sunburn is serious?
Any sunburn is serious to an extent, in the sense that they increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer. However, some sunburns are more immediately serious than others. With that in mind, some signs that your sunburn is severe or is a symptom of a serious illness or infection include the following:
- Blisters on the face, genitals, or hands
- Burn covers a large area
- Large or severe blisters
- Severe pain, swelling, or tenderness
- Symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, such as confusion, dehydration, dizziness, fainting, heart palpitations, peculiar lack of sweat, rapid breathing, slurred speech, and unconsciousness
- Symptoms of infection, including chills, fever, pus, or red streaks that run away from an open blister
Should I go to urgent care for a sunburn?
You should go to an urgent care clinic for a sunburn if you notice signs that your sunburn is serious or a second-degree burn. An urgent care clinic is also a great option if you are looking for guidance on caring for a sunburn.
For an appointment or more information about sunburn treatment at AFC Urgent Care, please call us, schedule an appointment through our website, or visit our clinic at 3656 W. Shaw Ave in Fresno, CA, for a walk-in appointment. We serve patients from Fresno CA, Clovis CA, Sanger CA, Reedley CA, Selma CA, Kingsburg CA, and Kerman CA.