How Fast Will a Sunburn Go Away?

Are you a die-hard summer fan? We love this weather, too! The warm temperatures and bright sunshine can easily put you in a better mood. There are also so many fun activities to keep the whole family busy outside all season.

But even though the sun is out and it’s time to enjoy the weather, you need to take precautions whenever you are exposed to the sun. A sunburn is never a good thing, and it can cause irreparable harm to your skin and your health over your lifetime.

Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team explains how to prevent a sunburn and how to treat one below, so read on to learn more.

Why Is Skin Sensitive to the Sun?

The sun is necessary for life and for keeping our vitamin D levels in check, but the rays that it produces are actually harmful to your skin. The rays infiltrate your skin and damage the cell DNA within your skin and cause a reaction. This reaction is a sunburn, which inflames your skin and turns it red and painful.

This reaction is a direct reflection of the damage done to your skin. Most mild sunburns will go away in three to five days on their own, but more severe burns can take a couple of weeks. Your skin may start to peel and it may be really sensitive during this healing process.

Treating a Sunburn Gently

  • Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
  • Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay out of the sun.

What Are the Best Ways to Avoid Sun Damage?

By avoiding the sun, of course! Seeking the shade whenever you are outside gives you the best protection from the harshest rays, and try to avoid being exposed to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as the sun is the strongest during this time. You also need to prioritize wearing sunscreen whenever you are outside, even when it is cloudy. Pick a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it every two hours while outdoors.

If you do still end up getting burned, treat it gently with the methods mentioned above and try to stay out of the sun the next time you are outdoors. Each sunburn you receive increases your chances of premature wrinkles, sun spots and even developing skin cancer.

Skin Changes to Have Evaluated

  • A new change to your skin, like a growth or sore
  • A changing mole
  • Skin itchiness
  • The appearance of a lump under the skin

Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you are worried about a potential sign of skin cancer, come see us at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte.