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What is considered a bad sunburn?

It’s happened to the best of us. We spend a little time outdoors on a sunny day, forget to apply sunscreen, and then experience a sunburn that develops into a red, uncomfortable appearance. Dr. Michael C. Margulies of the Miami, Florida area sees it happen to a lot of patients. But how do you know when to see a professional for a sunburn? How bad is a sunburn? Sunburns can be categorized into degrees based on their severity.

They can be broken down into the following categories: 

  •         First-degree burns. One of the most common types of sunburn is the first-degree burn. These painful sunburn cause redness increases for up to two days and then decrease. For the first few days, patients will often complain of itching, warmth, and irritation.
  •         Second-degree burns. A second-degree burn, sometimes called a “superficial partial-thickness burn,” is more severe than a first-degree burn. It turns white when pressed on, and can be moist, painful, and swollen, Some  patients may experience blistering.
  •         Third-degree burns. This type of burn injures the deer skin layers and can become a serious issue. Patients might notice blistering which can leave them susceptible to not only infection, but long-term scarring after they heal. It is important to monitor this type of sunburn and seek the assistance of a dermatologist if signs of infection develop.

When should I see a dermatologist for sunburn? 

Most cases of sunburn will resolve on their own, and patients can manage their discomfort with after-sun skincare products such as aloe vera. However, if there are signs of infection, or significant changes in the skin’s appearance that gives reason for concern, it may be time to connect with a dermatologist for an evaluation. Infections from sunburn will often require antibiotics to address, which is only available through a prescription from a medical professional.

Prevention is key

To avoid sunburn or any type of sun damage, it is important that patients prevent sunburn with proper skin care protection. This includes the use of a high SPF, broad-spectrum sunblock on all exposed areas of the skin every day, regardless of how much time is spent outdoors.

Do you want more information on ways to care for your skin?

Connect with Dr. Michael C. Margulies of Margulies Dermatology in Miami, Florida to start learning more about skin safety and protection. The office is located at 8940 North Kendall Drive, Suite #704E and can be reached by phone to book an appointment at (305) 595-0393.

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