Second degree sunburn

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Exposure to the sun for long hours can result to second degree sunburn. It affects the deeper layer of the skin and also damages the tissues of the deeper layers. The damage can cause blisters and results to infection and scarring. Second-degree sunburn can also damage the nerve endings which are close to the skin. In severe cases, sunburn can make the affected person very ill.

Symptoms

  • Feeling nauseous and vomiting
  • Dehydration, thirst, infrequent urination, weakness and sudden episodes of lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Fever
  • Skin appears reddened
  • Formation of blisters that can oftentimes become infected
  • Severe pain and swelling
    Second degree sunburn

    Difficulty in moving the neck when turning the head to the side

Treatment

  • Take a bath or shower to cool down the body and cope with the effects of the sunburn. Take a bath using lukewarm water or water that is pleasantly cool. Avoid using icy cold water since it can make the condition worse. When taking a bath, use a gentle spray if possible.
  • If the affected area of the sunburn is on the face, neck or the torso, apply a cold compress. In case the back is affected, any kind of compress can be applied such as a wet towel or take a cool shower.
  • Apple cider vinegar to balance out the pH of the skin. Take a cool bath by adding a cup of apple cider vinegar to the water. Another way is using oatmeal which helps relieve the pain and relaxes the affected area. In a bathtub filled with warm water, mix in a cup of ground oatmeal. Mix well until the oatmeal is fully dissolved and then soak the body in the mixture.
  • Apply relaxing and moisturizing lotions especially those that has an ingredient that relieves the pain such as aloe vera. You can extract a gel directly from a fresh aloe vera plant. Avoid using lotion that is petroleum based especially when there are blisters since they clog up the pores and slows down the healing process.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter topical hydrocortisone cream to lessen the itchiness and pain in the area. Using Vitamin E is also beneficial for the condition. It is a strong antioxidant that can be applied as cream, oil or taken as a supplement.
  • If there is blistering and the skin is inflamed, cover with a bandage using sterile gauze. Wrap it lightly but make sure that it is properly secured around the affected area to protect while it heals and prevent infection from developing.
  • Using black tea and cucumbers are both helpful with the condition since they can be applied topically on the area. Black tea has tannic acid that helps draw out heat from the sunburned skin. Cucumber can be mashed and cooled and applied on the affected area.
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  • All canadianfirstaid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.