When Should I Visit Urgent Care for a Sunburn? Know the Symptoms

A closeup of a woman lifting her tank top strap to check her sunburn.

With summertime fast approaching, the idea of potential sunburn is top of mind for many.

From days spent at the beach and sunshine-filled hikes to relaxing days by the pool or a picnic in the park, sun exposure is heightened in the warmer months.

However, too much sun exposure can quickly lead to severe skin damage, increasing your risk of developing skin cancer or other serious skin conditions.

While most of us are diligent in applying sunscreen every 2 hours, sometimes sunburns occur quickly, and we are left to rest, hydrate, and apply aloe for relief and healing.

Most sunburns heal on their own, but severe sunburns may require medical attention, especially if they cause serious symptoms like fever or nausea.

Let’s discuss when you should visit Coastal Urgent Care of Houma for a sunburn.

What Is a Sunburn?

A sunburn is a type of skin burn caused by overexposure to sunlight or artificial sunlamps.

Symptoms of sunburn include

  • Red skin
  • A burning sensation
  • Itchiness
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Skin peeling

In some instances, blistering may occur.

Sunburn Treatment

In most cases, sunburn appears 6 to 12 hours after sun exposure.

Mild to moderate sunburn can be treated at home using over-the-counter ointments, aloe, and pain-relieving medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce swelling and tenderness.

In addition, hydrating with cool water, applying damp, cool washcloths to the affected area, and resting help relieve symptoms and promote healing.

If you are experiencing a mild to moderate sunburn, it is vital to keep your affected skin away from direct sun exposure until your sunburn heals.

When Should I Visit Urgent Care for a Sunburn?

Severe sunburn is not something to sit and wait on when it comes to proper healing and adequate care.

You should visit urgent care immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling and inflammation of the skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Infected blisters
  • Severe pain
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration

The best way to avoid severe sunburn is to follow proper preventative measures.

Tips to Avoid Severe Sunburn

Although everyone is at risk of developing a sunburn if they spend time in the sun, the good news is that there are effective ways to prevent them from occurring altogether.

To reduce your risk of developing a sunburn

  • Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors.
  • Stay out of the sun when it’s at its strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Use sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or more when out in the sun for an extended period of time.

Long-term sun exposure, especially when sunburn occurs, leads to an increased risk of skin conditions such as wrinkles, brown spots and skin cancer. It is imperative to take care of your skin to avoid overexposure and burn.

Rapid Sunburn Care in Houma

If you’re experiencing symptoms of severe sunburn, we encourage you to get your sunburn treated now.

Our experienced and compassionate team of medical professionals is here to help with your urgent care needs seven days a week with no appointments required; simply walk in.