You’ve been out on the beach on your day off work. When you get home, your child is redder than you first realized. Although you can treat most sunburn at home with aloe vera and rest, there are signs that could indicate that you need urgent care from a doctor. You may not see immediate symptoms, so after a day in the sun you should pay attention for the signs of severe sunburn that will require professional medical care.
Seek Help When You Have a Fever
You should seek care immediately if you have a fever with your sunburn. Don’t rely on your skin temperature, but use a thermometer. A fever may indicate heatstroke, so it’s important to see to your safety. Chills and severe pain are other symptoms that you should not ignore.
Sunburn needs care if a large area of your skin is red, or crucial areas of your body are red. This would include your face, eyes, mouth or genitals. Large blisters the size of a nickel or larger need professional care. If the skin looks cooked or has no sensation, you should seek help.
Other Complications with Severe Sunburn
Other complications, such as diabetes or another health problem that may interfere with healing need consideration. Younger children, pregnant women, or the elderly could more easily dehydrate with severe sunburn. It will be important to evaluate each person’s situation based on his or her health and age. If the sunburn doesn’t show improvement in a few days, you should call your physician.
Sunburn is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medication and cool compresses. Don’t use ice, as it may freeze the skin, causing more damage. Avoid butter or Vaseline-type gels. Take off jewelry or restrictive clothing in case the area swells.
Although it is best to avoid getting sunburn, there are times when it is unavoidable. Seek urgent care when the sunburn is more than uncomfortable. If you are concerned, come into an urgent care center to let a professional examine you or your child.