Symptoms may include redness and peeling of the skin, the appearance of bumps on it, bulging spots on areas of the skin exposed to sunlight. Itching and burning may also occur, the rash may last for several days. In some people, the skin can adapt to the sun and the reaction to it will be less acute.
To relieve discomfort with sunburn:
- Apply a cold compress to the affected skin.
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) immediately after exposure to sunlight, which will help relieve discomfort and inflammation
- Apply to the affected areas a cooling gel or ointment, which include aloe, corticosteroids or antihistamines
- Avoid exposure of the skin to sunlight until skin is restored.
In case of severe sunburn or sunstroke, seek medical advice immediately.
Under the influence of a certain amount of ultraviolet radiation, most people will burn. However, some people’s skin burns much faster than others, and they also have a stronger reaction to sunlight. This disease is called photosensitivity, which is often called sun allergy.
The immune system of people suffering from photosensitivity reacts to light, as a rule, solar. The amount of sunlight sufficient for a reaction to occur is an individual indicator. Some people with photosensitivity are also sensitive to fluorescent radiation.
Light sensitivity is associated with:
- Contact with chemicals, fragrances or plants
- Drugs for oral administration (including sulfonamides, tetracycline and thiazide diuretics)
- Herbs, including St. John’s Wort
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus
- Porphyrin disease, metabolic disorders, which, as a rule, is transmitted hereditarily.
The invisible ultraviolet rays of the sun (UVA and UVB) can adversely affect the skin. Excessive exposure may cause burns, changes in skin texture and skin cancer. Sometimes the sun’s rays cause a rash. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet radiation reaches the ground and can adversely affect the skin.
When the skin is exposed to a large amount of ultraviolet light, which the protective pigment melanin cannot cope with, a burn appears on the skin.
You are more susceptible to sunlight if you have:
- Bright skin
- Blonde hair
- Burns after a brief exposure to the sun on the skin
- Increased skin sensitivity due to the use of certain drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, synthetic antibiotics, tetracycline, psolarenes, thiazides, furosemide, amiodarone, phenothiazines).
The symptoms of sunburn are pain and redness of the skin, but the symptoms do not always appear instantly. By the time redness and pain appear, the skin is already damaged by the rays. A severe burn can cause swelling and blistering, as well as fever, chills and weakness. In rare cases, sunburn can lead to shock.
Burnt skin may peel off after sunburn for several days. Itching may occur, and areas of burnt skin will be more sensitive to sunlight for several weeks.