Sunburn is having a red and painful skin that also feels hot to touch. It can also result in a general fatigue and mild dizziness. The sunburn usually appears after too much exposure to the ultraviolet light from the sun or artificial sources, like sunlamps. The sunburn may take days or longer before it will be healed. Sunburn is from a radiation burn that affects the living tissue of the human, such as the skin that will result in an overexposure to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. An excess of exposure to the UV radiation can cause a life-threatening situation in extreme cases. An exposure of the skin to small amounts of Ultraviolet radiation will often produce a suntan.
Too much exposure to the Ultraviolet radiation is the leading cause of a so-called primarily non-malignant skin tumors. The sunscreen is now widely used and agreed to prevent the skin to be burned and prevent some types of skin cancer. Another preferred skin protection is hats that can give enough shade to some parts of the skin. Moderation on sun tanning without burning the skin can prevent subsequent sunburn, as it also increases the amount of melanin which is known to be a photoprotective pigment of the skin’s natural defense against an overexposure from the sun. Both sunburn and the increase of the melanin production are triggered by the activity of direct DNA damage. When the DNA (skin cells) are overly damaged by Ultraviolet radiation, the type I cell-death is triggered and the skin is at the same time being replaced.
An Intense repetition of sun exposure that results a sunburn can increase the risk of other skin damage and certain diseases. It includes dry or wrinkled skin, rough spots, dark spots, and skin cancers, like melanoma. The sunburn and related conditions of the skin can be prevented by protecting it. It is important to protect the skin when in outdoors, even on cool or cloudy days.
The symptoms of having a sunburn includes:
- Pinkish or redness of the skin,
- The skin feels warm or hot to touch,
- Painful, tenderness, and itchy
- Swelling of the skin
- Small fluid-filled blisters on skin, that may break
- Fever, chills, headache, and fatigue if sunburn is severe
Any exposed part of the body such as earlobes, scalp, and lips can burn. Even the areas that are covered can be burned. So also with the eyes that are considered to be extremely sensitive to the sun’s Ultraviolet light can also be burned. Eyes that are sunburned may feel painful and gritty sensation. Signs and symptoms of sunburn usually appear after few hours after exposure from the sun. But it may take a day or longer to know the full extent of the effect from the sunburn.
Within few days of sun exposure, your body will start experiencing the natural healing of peeling on the top layer of the damaged skin. The skin will temporarily have an irregular color and pattern after the peeling. A bad sunburn will take several days or longer before it will be healed.
You need to see a doctor in severe cases such as:
- there are blistering and it covers a large portion of your body.
- Also, when it is accompanied by high fever, extreme pain, confusion, headache, nausea or chills
- when it does not respond to home remedies within 2 days.
- seek medical care if you noticed signs or symptoms of infection such as Increased pain and tenderness, yellow drainage or pus from the open blister, red streaks leading away from the open blister.
sunburns are usually caused by too much exposure from Ultraviolet (UV) Light. The Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the wavelength of sunlight having a short range for the human eye to see. Ultraviolet A (UVA) or Ultraviolet B (UVB) are two types of solar radiation that are responsible for sunburn. The sunlamps and tanning beds also produce UV light and may cause sunburn
Melanin is the dark pigment of the outer layer of the skin or epidermis that gives the skin its normal color. When exposed to Ultraviolet (UV) Light, the body protects itself by accelerating the production of the melanin. The extra melanin will cause the darker color of a tan.
The body’s way to block the Ultraviolet rays is through a suntan. It prevents the sunburn and other damages on the skin. The amount of melanin produced is known genetically. Many people don’t produce enough amount of melanin that can protect the skin will. It will eventually cause the skin to burn, bringing pain, redness, and swelling from the exposure of Ultraviolet (UV) light. It is also possible to get sunburn on a cool, hazy, or cloudy days. The snow, ice, water, sand and other surface that can reflect Ultraviolet rays, and can burn the skin as severe as being exposed to direct sunlight.
Some possible risk factors for sunburn, includes:
- Living or having vacation on sunny, warm, or with high altitude environment
- Working outdoors
- Having a fair skin
- Exposed unprotected skin regularly to Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sunlight or from artificial sources like tanning beds
- Outdoor recreation with alcohol drinking
- History of sunburn
- Taking a drug that most likely to burn like photosensitizing medications
Ruptured blisters from the effect of sunburn will make the wounded person be susceptible to any bacterial infection. Visit the doctor if there are signs and symptoms of infections, like pain, redness, swelling, and oozing blisters. Sun exposure and repeated sunburns will accelerate the aging process of the skin, making the person look older. The changing of the skin is caused by the Ultraviolet (UV) light called photoaging. The results of it, are:
- Having deep wrinkles
- Weakening of connective tissues (reduces the strength and elasticity of the skin)
- Dark or discolored spots (macules) on the face, arms, chest, back of the hands, and upper back (solar lentigines)
- Precancerous skin lesions.
- Fine red veins on cheeks, ears, and nose
- Freckles (on face and shoulders)
The Precancerous skin lesions are appearing to be rough, having scaly patches on areas that were damaged by the sun. They can be whitish, pink, tan, or brown. They are found usually in areas that are exposed to the sun such as head, face, neck, and hands of the fair-skinned people. The patches may turn into skin cancer. They are also called as actinik keratoses and solar keratosis.
The excessive exposure to the sun (with or without sunburn), will increase the risk of having skin cancer, like melanoma. It will damage the DNA of the skin cells. Sunburns during childhood and adolescence can increase the risk of acquiring melanoma later in life. Skin cancer develops mainly on the areas of the body that are exposed to sunlight, including scalp, ears, face, chest, lips, arms, hands and legs. Having a skin cancer on the leg is more common in women than in men.
Other types of skin cancer will appear as a small growth or a sore that will bleed easily, crusts over, heals, and then reopens. On the case of melanoma, an existing mole can change or a new suspicious looking mole may develop. It is called aslentigo maligna that develops on areas of prolonged sun exposure. It will start as a tan flat spot that will gradually darken and enlarges.
There are different home remedies on sunburn, this includes:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
The apple cider vinegar is known to have a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It naturally soothes the skin and it will help reduce the pain when applied to a sunburn. The apple cider vinegar contains vitamins and minerals which helps replenish the lost nutrients in the skin for a quicker recovery
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an effective treatment for cases of sunburn. The substance it contains has a variety of vitamins which includes vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as the folic acid and choline that replenishes and rejuvenates the damaged skin. The substance from the aloe Vera contains several amino acids and fatty acids that functions to be a reliever for inflammation and redness.
- Coconut oil
The coconut oil is considered to be effective for treating various health conditions and that includes sunburn. The coconut oil contains a very unique combination of fatty acids that can relieve the inflammation and can revitalize the skin.
The best remedy for sunburn is the coconut oil since it hits two birds and one stone. It doesn’t only treat the infected or affected area, but it also, at the same time provides different nourishment to the skin or in any part of the human body. It plays a very unique and vital role in the environment today that is very timely for the needs of every person.
The coconut oil is good for the treating sunburn because there are properties that can help aid the situation such as:
- The coconut oil contains saturated fats, lauric fatty acid, and other unique combination of fatty acids that can help heal sunburned skin and relieves from inflammation.
- It will nourish the dehydrated skin and at the same time it also moisturizes the skin
- The coconut oil is rich in Vitamin D and Vitamin E, proteins and other nutrients that are essential for skin.
- It is rich in anti-oxidants that can eliminate the free radicals and it cools the sunburn.
- it has an antifungal and antibacterial property that will regenerate the skin
- It can reduce the feeling of discomfort that was caused by the peeling and too much dryness of the skin
- It has medium chain fatty acids that allow the skin to absorb it easily
- It soothes the burned skin and it also tightens the skin to prevent lasting damages like wrinkles, tanning, darkening of the skin, etc.
In using the coconut oil for sunburn, apply enough amount of pure coconut oil on affected area and massage it gently for few minutes. Leave it on skin overnight or leave on without washing the oil; or you can blend 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil with 1 cup of coconut oil and apply the mixture on the affected area; or, make a mixture of few drops of fresh lemon juice to the coconut oil before applying; or simply apply pure coconut oil daily on skin and massage before taking a bath.
You can also use the coconut oil with Aloe Vera and lavender oil. This mixture will act as a sunscreen lotion that will reduce the sunburn and prevents the symptoms from occurring. Prepare the mixture by mixing a few drops of lavender oil and Aloe Vera gel in a 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil. After preparing the mixture, apply this on the sunburn and massage it the affected area gently. Leave it for a few minutes to dry. Doing this regularly will give great results.
For coconut oil with castor oil and essential oils, you can mix 1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil, 1/4 cup each of the castor oil. pure aloe vera liquid and the apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of vitamin E oil and for about 3-10 drops of essential oils (tea tree oil, neem oil, rose oil, almond oil, bergamot oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, tamanu oil,
rosemary oil or rose hip seed oil) in a bowl. Apply the mixture on the sunburn and massage it gently to the affected area. Leave it for few minutes to dry. Then, wash it off with water and pat dry the skin gently using a soft cloth.
The castor oil can repair and rejuvenate the skin from the damage of overexposure to the sun. The coconut oil acts to be a healer oil that will gently relieve the skin from painful sunburn, cracking, peeling, and blistering. The essential oils can nourish the skin, while the Aloe Vera soothes the skin.
Do not use the apple cider vinegar if the skin is already broken. If the skin was badly sunburned, let the affected area be cooled by applying an apple cider vinegar cold compress before applying the prepared oil to prevent the worsening due to the heat on the skin. Or simply apply the mixture on the sunburn by stirring a part of castor oil to 2 parts of coconut oil.