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When to Get Medical Help for Your Sunburn

Created: June 29, 2017
Updated: July 23, 2022
Summertime Sunburn
This blog content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Care Connection:  Sunburn

Feel the burn?  Summertime is a great time to be outdoors.  But while the sun is warm and enjoyable to be in, not preparing for it's effects can lead to short-term pain and increase your risk of long-term problems. So, whether you are hiking, biking, swimming, or just relaxing, protecting yourself from a sunburn is important.


  • Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to going into the sun.
  • Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Cover up the head and skin when possible with hats and loose fitting tightly knit clothing.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours.  Reapply more often if sweating or swimming.
  • Try to avoid sun exposure when the sun is strongest, usually between 10am and 4pm.

If you do happen to get burned, here are some treatments than can help soothe the skin and speed up the healing process.

Sunburn Treatment:

  • Cool compresses(towel dampened with cool tap water).
  • Apply skin moisturizer with aloe vera.  Apply to moist skin.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Take over the counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium.
  • Avoid intentionally breaking open any small blisters that may have formed.

Get Care If:

  • Large blisters form
  • Fever and chills develop
  • Multiple episodes of vomiting occur
  • Confusion, dizziness, passing out, or seizures occur

Would you like a medical professional to take a look at you to provide further treatment and advice?  If so, use the buttons below from any internet connected, audio & video capable desktop, laptop, or tablet computer.

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