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Sunburn treatment: Do I need medical attention?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunburn-treatment/AN01423
- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
Treatments and drugs (1)
- Sunburn treatment: Do I need medical attention?
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Sunburn treatment: Do I need medical attention?
When might sunburn require medical attention?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Consult a doctor for sunburn treatment if:
- The sunburn is severe — with blisters — and covers a large portion of your body
- The sunburn is accompanied by a high fever or severe pain
- You've developed a skin infection from scratching your sunburned skin
- You have a severe sunburn that doesn't begin to improve within a few days
Your doctor might suggest a corticosteroid cream for your sunburn, or a short course of prednisone for severe cases involving large areas of your body. Rarely, people who have severe sunburn may need intravenous fluids to combat dehydration.
In most cases, sunburn can be treated at home with:
- Cool compresses
- Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
- Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Aloe vera gel or lotion
- Hydration — drinking plenty of fluids
Tanning: Does a 'base tan' prevent sunburn?
- AskMayoExpert. Sunburn. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=40. Accessed Jan. 18, 2013.