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First aid: sunburn

The skin’s exposure to the Sun’s heat causes sunburn .(first aid: Sunburn)
Wear shades to protect yourself from Sunlight.

Getting sunburn is a common experience, especially for people with sensitive skin. Even a few hours of exposure can cause the skin to swell and have reddish hues. It happens to be painful, as well. In severe cases, sunburn can also cause blisters. People can experience various other symptoms, such as fever, nausea, and headaches. It is good that you need just a proper first in many cases of sunburn, and only in severe cases you need medical help.

The first aid for Sunburn

  • The skin’s exposure to the Sun’s heat causes sunburn. You would have to cool the area effectively with the help of cold water by taking a shower for at least 20 minutes. You may also apply wet towels every fifteen minutes on the affected area. Cold presses work if the affected area of sunburn is small.
  • cooling gel or lotion such as aloe vera or calamine lotion can help soothe the burnt skin and help it heal. Don’t break the blisters, if any. Usually, no sunburn scars will remain after healing.
  • Rest in the shade, which will help you rejuvenate and escape exhaustion.
  • Drinking lots of water will help you cool down faster and rehydrate your body—sunburns cause the mouth and eyes to dry up.
  • If you get blisters from sunburn, don’t break them, even the tiny ones. It would be better to clean the area and apply an antibiotic ointment after covering it with nonstick gauze. If this doesn’t help and you get a rash, seeking medical assistance would be the right thing to do.
  • Take a painkiller ( aspirin or ibrufen) to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by the swelling in the region. You may also use over-the-counter sunburn relief medication.
  • When you already have a sunburn, it is best to avoid going out in the Sun till the sunburnt area heals
  • If you happen to have a severe sunburn, it is best to apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. You may also consult a medical practitioner for the same.

Things to know

  • The Sun’s rays can damage young children’s skin. Similarly, fair-skinned people with less melanin are more susceptible to sunburn than others. If proper initial care is not taken, the skin can be damaged and cause long-lasting problems.
  • Sunburns in children need medical assistance.

When do you need expert medical assistance?

  • Seek medical assistance if :
  • Excruciating pain
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness
  • collapse
  • Chills
  • Signs of infection
  • Pus from the blisters
  • Red streaks on the skin (rash)

Sunburns in kids

Kids get sunburns quickly, and getting out in the harsh Sun for just fifteen minutes can cause redness and discomfort. Repeated episodes can cause skin cancer. Kids with moles or freckles are more susceptible, and Fair-skinned people are more prone to these burns than others.

Kids usually face redness, pain, and itchiness when they get sunburned. A tingling sensation can accompany the pain. In extreme situations, the kid can get a fever and have chills. Headache and dizziness are some of the other symptoms that the kid might undergo because of sun exposure.

These burns can happen on the face or over a large exposed skin area. You can observe the kid has dehydration, resulting in increased thirst, less urination, and dry eyes and mouth.

Bring the kid indoors at once to cool off, get him into the cold shower, and give him extra liquids for a couple of days. Applying aloe vera gels and painkillers, if needed, can be used to relieve the pain.

Extreme summer heat should be avoided; apply ample sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the Sun. Reapplying is necessary if the kids happen to sweat or go for a swim. More minor children, such as babies, need to be shaded.


  • Have proper protection when going out in the Sun if your skin gets easily burnt.
  • Avoid skin exposure by wearing clothes that completely cover every inch of the body.
  • Applying sunscreen liberally and reapply every couple of hours
  • Limit outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, etc.
  • Don’t stay for long in the Sun
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses, too, can help protect your eyes
  • Get sunshades for the vehicles you drive


When you have a sunburn, waiting until it heals before you head out again is best. If you know that your skin can get sunburnt, wear a tightly woven fabric that holds bright light. The lesion can worsen when the Sun’s violet rays can damage it further, and the person risks skin cancer. Hence, protecting your skin from the Sun’s harsh rays is imperative.

  1. Mayo Clinic
    First aid
  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association.
  3. Kidshealth
    How To Handle


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