Sunburn — red, painful skin that feels hot to the touch — usually appears within a few hours after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunshine or artificial sources, such as sunlamps. Sunburn may take several days or longer to fade.
Intense, repeated sun exposure that results in sunburn increases your risk of other skin damage and certain diseases. These include dry or wrinkled skin, dark spots, rough spots, and skin cancers, such as melanoma.
You can prevent sunburn and related conditions by protecting your skin. This is especially important when you're outdoors, even on cool or cloudy days. If you are sunburned, you can try several home remedies and treatments to relieve pain and speed healing.
May 01, 2014
- Young AR, et al. Sunburn. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Baron ED. Selection of sunscreen and sun-protective measures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Chien AL, et al. Photoaging. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Geller AC, et al. Primary prevention of melanoma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Auerbach PS. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 5, 2013.
- Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- The Risks of Tanning. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/radiation-emittingproducts/radiationemittingproductsandprocedures/tanning/ucm116432.htm. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Benzocaine topical products: Sprays, gels and liquids: Risk of methemoglobinemia. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm250264.htm. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Sunburn (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Reed KB, et al. Increasing incidence of melanoma among young adults: An epidemiological study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:328.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=56050969. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Watson M, et al. Preventing skin cancer through reduction of indoor tanning: Current evidence. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;44:682.
- Quatrano NA, et al. Current principles of sunscreen use in children. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2013;25:122.
- Reinau D, et al. Outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge, attitudes and protective behaviours: A systematic review of cross-sectional and interventional studies. British Journal of Dermatology. 2013;168:928.
- Diaz JH, et al. Sun exposure behavior and protection: Recommendations for travelers. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2013;20:108.
- FDA sheds light on sunscreens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Sunscreens. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens#.UbdQaJzm9lP. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- The cutaneous manifestations of metastatic malignant melanoma. International Journal of Dermatology. 2012;51:243.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders, Elsevier; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.