Sunburns: A Hot Topic This Spring

Boston Bruin’s coach Claude Julien was on fire last week and not just for Team Canada’s wild success at the 2014 Winter Olympics. At last week’s game against Tampa Bay, Julien sported a Category 8 sunburn. He told New England Sport’s Network (NESN), the sunburn resulted from “going on too many long walks” in the Florida sun – a common problem in sunburn cases across the Sunshine State.

Now that warm weather is finally returning to the United States, you’re likely hearing more about the great health benefits of getting your daily dose of Vitamin D. Healthy sun exposure helps your body absorb nutrients like calcium and phosphorus to promote strong bones and a healthy immune system. Spending time in the sun can also help regulate your blood pressure, as well as reduce stress and tension.

When Sunburns Become an Issue

Doctor’s recommend applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. Without sunscreen your skin may suffer mild to severe damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, resulting in the pink, tender skin commonly associated with first-degree sunburns. If you notice red, swollen sunburns with blisters, you may have a second-degree burn to the deep layers of the skin. If the skin turns white, cherry-red, or black, appears leathery (rather than moist), and doesn’t blanch when you press fingers to the affected area, you may have a third-degree burn and should seek medical attention right away. A doctor should examine you if you also develop any of the following symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Dehydration, and you are unable to replenish your lost fluids
  • Signs of an infection in sunburn blisters
  • Signs of an allergic reaction
  • Vision problems after you get out of the sun

With the proper precautions, spending time in the sun is a healthy and fun way to keep active. It’s important to always apply a “broad spectrum” sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher – insect repellent can reduce sunscreen’s SPF by up to one-third, so make sure to use a higher SPF and reapply it more often, if that’s the case for you.

If you do find yourself with severe sunburn that requires medical attention, urgent care centers may provide you with Silvadene, a prescription strength antibiotic cream that prevents bacteria from penetrating the damaged skin and infecting deeper layers of your skin. At an urgent care facility like MD Now, your doctor can provide you this kind of medication and show you how to apply it on your own during your appointment.

No one suspects a sunburn can take them down during a family vacation. Luckily, MD Now Medical Centers is ready for walk-in patients seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you have severe sunburn and need medical attention, please contact us at any of our Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade county facilities and get back to your vacation activities.