Sunburn is inflammation of the skin and tissues just beneath it caused by overexposure to the ultra violet rays of the sun. It is very damaging to the skin and may lead to skin cancer. You should always protect yourself from the sun's ultraviolet rays, especially if you have a fair complexion.

The American Cancer Society recommends that you limit direct sun exposure, particularly when the sun's rays are most intense, generally from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  You should also wear protective clothing, such as a hat that shades the face, neck and ears, and wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher on all exposed skin. Additionally, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the sensitive skin around them from ultraviolet light.

More than 1.3 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year. However, the vast majority of skin cancers could be prevented by protecting your skin from the sun.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Red, hot, tender, and swollen skin  
  • Blisters


  • Apply cool water compresses to affected areas  
  • Apply a bland lubricating cream or ointment  
  • Aspirin may help relieve the pain  
  • Begin using a sunscreen or sunblock with an SPF rating of 15 or more

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