Despite health warnings about sun damage, many people still overexpose their skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation coming from the sun to induce a suntan. The tanning effect is the skin’s protective mechanism against the UV radiation. A typical sunburn causes nothing more than slight redness and tenderness. Extreme sunburns can be very painful, causing swelling and blistering with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, headache and weakness.
How easily a person gets sunburned depends on several factors. People with a lighter skin tone and fair or red hair have a greater risk for sunburn. Infants, small children and seniors are also more susceptible to the burning rays of the sun.
Overexposure to UV radiation increases the risk of three types of malignant skin tumors:
- Basal-cell carcinoma
- Squamous-cell carcinoma
The risk for all types of skin cancer increases with sun exposure; however, melanoma is the most aggressive and life-threatening type. It is important to identify and treat melanoma early, because it spreads easily and can be fatal. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid sun exposure, always use sunscreen when outdoors, and wear protective clothing and hats.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Sunburns are classified as superficial or partial thickness burns. For the treatment of skin conditions such as sunburn, you can come to our convenient health clinic. If you have any concerns about your sunburn, particularly if you are sunburned over a large area or have any of the severe symptoms listed previously, you should seek treatment at Sugar Land Physicians. Sugar Land Physicians can help determine the severity of your sunburn and provide the appropriate treatment.