Skin Conditions
Sunburn is damage to the skin caused by ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds. Sunburn may occur on cloudy days and even in colder temperatures when UV light reflects off snow and water. Most sunburns are first-degree burns, which involve only the outer layer of skin and result in pain and redness. More severe sunburns can cause the skin to blister and may result in symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Although it is more common in light-skinned individuals, those with darker skin can also experience sunburn.


  • Apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater to all exposed areas, at least 30 minutes before going outdoors
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours while outdoors
  • Stay indoors between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M., when the sun is most intense
  • Wear loose, light-colored shirts with sleeves, pants, and shoes if you burn easily. Shade the face with a wide-brimmed hat
  • Wear UV-protective sunglasses
  • Drink plenty of water, as sweating helps cool the skin
  • Ask your medical provider if any of your medications may make your more sensitive to the sun


Home care   Home Care

  • Get out of the sun if you have symptoms of sunburn
  • Stay well-hydrated
  • Take cool baths and apply aloe-vera lotion to soothe to the skin. Skin peeling is a normal part of the healing process
  • Take Tylenol® or Advil® to lessen pain, swelling, and fever

Professional care   Professional Care

Seek medical attention for any of the following:

  • Signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, headache, nausea, or confusion
  • A severe, blistering burn covering more than 20% of your body
  • A fever greater than 102 degrees F (38.9 degrees C)