- Red or blistered skin from too much sun
- The redness, pain and swelling starts at 4 hours after being in the sun
- It peaks at 24 hours, and starts to get better after 48 hours
Severity of Sunburn
- Most sunburn is a first-degree burn that turns the skin pink or red.
- Prolonged sun exposure can cause blistering and a second-degree burn.
- Rarely, severe sunburn can cause a third-degree burn or scarring.
Causes of Sunburn
- Direct sun exposure. Warning: clouds don't help. 70% of UV light still gets through on cloudy days.
- Reflected sun rays. From snow 80% is reflected, from sand 20%, from water only 5%.
- Tanning lamp or sun lamp.
- Tanning bed. A common cause in teens.
Ibuprofen to Reduce Pain and Other Symptoms
- Sunburn is an inflammatory reaction of the skin.
- Ibuprofen is a drug that can block this reaction. It can reduce the redness and swelling. But, it needs to be started early.
- Sunburns are sneaky. Many parents are surprised when their child gets a sunburn. Reason: there are no warning signs while the burn is occurring.
- Redness (sunburn) often is not seen until 4 hours after being in the sun. The pain and redness keep getting worse. They don't peak for 24 to 36 hours.
- Lesson: if you think your child got too much sun, start ibuprofen then. Give it 3 times per day for 2 days. Don't wait for redness.