Sunburn: What causes it? Treatments. Prevention tips.

Sunburn occurs when the skin is too exposed to ultraviolet radiations from the sun. Sunburn can lead to skin redness, irritation, swelling, itching and even peeling. Extreme cases can cause fever, shock, nausea and chills. Sunburns can be painful and uncomfortable, but they are also dangerous. Long-term exposure to UV radiation may lead to skin cancer or premature aging.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer annually. Melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer. More than 90% of melanomas can be attributed to excessive UV radiation.

Sunburn: What Causes it?

Sunburn can be caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation without proper protection. How severe your sunburn will be depends on how intense and long-lasting the UV exposure. Sunburn can also be caused by weather conditions, skin type, time of the day and location.

The strongest UV radiation occurs between 10 a.m. & 4 p.m. It is important that you limit your exposure to these hours. Wear protective clothing such as sunglasses and a hat if you intend to spend time outdoors in peak UV hours.

Sunburn can be caused by artificial light sources, like tanning beds. Tanninng beds can emit UVA as well as UVB radiations that may cause skin damage and raise the chance of developing skin cancer. Avoid tanning beds, and any artificial UV radiation sources.

Sunburn Treatments

Sunburns can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which reduce inflammation and pain; creams and ointments that soothe the skin; cool compresses for discomfort; or Cold water baths. A doctor might prescribe stronger Medications such as an oral corticosteroid or steroid cream if the sunburn is very severe.

Sunburns can be treated with aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel has been shown to reduce inflammation and speed up healing. Sunburns can also be treated with other natural remedies like coconut oil, tea tree oil and vitamin E.

Viewpoints of Experts and Pros

Experts agree that sun safety is the best way to avoid sunburn. Sunscreen with a minimum 30 SPF is recommended. Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours and wear protective clothing like sunglasses and hats.

Jeffrey Dover is a Yale University School of Medicine clinical dermatologist. He says that sunscreen should be used every two hours. If you're swimming, sweating, and if there are high temperatures, you can apply it more frequently.

Glow: A Dermatologist's Guide for a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet by Dr. Rajani Katta is a book that explains that it is important to hydrate your skin to prevent sunburn.

Tips and Natural Remedies for Prevention

You can use natural methods and tricks to prevent and treat sunburns. These include:

Although sunburns are painful and unpleasant, they can be avoided. You can protect your skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation by following these tips. This will help keep your skin beautiful and healthy.


Sunburns are very painful and may even cause skin cancer. They can be prevented if you make the right precautions. Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen. Avoiding direct sunlight during peak UV hours is a good way to protect it. There are also natural treatments that can soothe sunburns, speed up healing and help to accelerate the process.

The best thing to do to avoid sunburn is to be sun safe and to take precautions to keep your skin from getting burned. This will help you keep your skin beautiful and healthy for many years.