Last Updated on Aug 21, 2011


  • Sunburn is a burn of the skin 
  • Results from overexposure to the sun 
  • Normal exposure results in the production of Vitamin D 
  • Most of us become sun burnt at some time in life 
  • Sunburn causes a lot of discomfort 
  • It can cause premature ageing/cancer 
  • Common in children/young adults 


  • Sun's ultraviolet rays during outdoor activities 
  • Tanning beds 
  • Traveling to places at high altitude 

Risk factors
  • Light-skinned or fair-haired people 
  • Recent exposure to sun 
  • Prior skin injury 
  • Infections like Herpes, Porphyria 
  • Certain Medications like antibiotics, anti-psoriatic drugs 


The skin injury begins within 30 minutes of exposure to the sun
  • Redness of the skin 
  • Irritation 
  • Blisters 
  • Pain 
  • Skin burning 
  • Skin loss 
  • Dehydration 
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Infection 
  • Fever 
  • If very severe, shock leading to death may occur 

  • Get out of the sun 
  • Cover the exposed area 
  • Take a cool bath 
  • Use a cool compress available commercially like, Burow solution 
    a. Dissolve solution in one pint of water 
    b. Soak a gauze or clean cloth in it 
    c. Wring it well 
    d. Apply to sun burnt area for 20 minutes 
    e. Change the cloth and solution every 2 hours 
  • Apply aloe-based solution 
  • Avoid using oils, bath salts, perfumed lotions etc 
  • Avoid scrubbing/shaving 
  • Use a gentle towel 
  • Stay out of the sun while sun burnt 

Consult a Doctor
In case of-
  • Pain 
  • Headache/confusion 
  • Blisters 
  • Nausea/vomiting 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Sunburn being present along with other medical condition 
  • Wear hats, long-sleeved dress, long pants while out in the sun 
  • Try to avoid exposure to sun 
  • Use sun-block creams during exposure to sun 
  • Select a suitable SPF number for the sun block cream
  • Sun Blocks should be reapplied every 2-3 hours 
  • Avoid tanning beds 

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delreengeorge, India

Do not wash your body directly after coming from the heat of the sun as it may cause sun burn.

SecretEver, Singapore

Fresh Aloe Vera may be applied directly to the sun burnt area.
You may want to squeeze the aloe vera's juice as it would produce a soothing relief.