Ouch, that sunburn hurts

With the sudden arrival of summer sun we are seeing a parade of red shoulders from patients and staff. Many are quite uncomfortable. Even though we live in Oregon, sunscreen is very important for all age groups. We are having some visits asking us for relief of the sunscreen after the damage is done. Unfortunately there isn't much to do after the sun damage besides moisturizer lotions and pain relievers.
The best treatment is prevention.

The best sunscreen is shade. Hat, T-shirt and tree shade goes a long way to protecting skin. Avoiding the time of day with the most direct rays (your shadow is very short) is very helpful. For chemical sunscreens apply at least SPF 25 to all exposed skin 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 1-2 hours, especially if swimming or at the beach.

What to do once sunburn has happened:

  • Use ibuprofen to decrease pain and skin inflammation

  • Hydrocortisone 1% cream can be used on intact skin to decrease skin inflammation

  • For any popped blisters use topical antibiotic creams to decrease chance for infection

  • Increase fluid intake

  • Call office for lots of blistering on face

  • Call office for blistering covering >10% of body surface