Healthwatch: Treating mild to severe sunburns

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 11:52 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Every week we talk with a different health expert to bring you health tips that you can use in your daily life. This week we are joined by Dr. Kirstin Hockhausen with Monument Dermatology to talk about treating sunburns and how they can still be a danger as the weather gets cooler.

“Even though many kids are heading back to school and it feels like Fall is right around the corner, the risk of getting a sunburn is still very high this time of year. If you get burnt, here are some ways you can treat your skin,” said Hockhausen.

She explained that treating these burns can depend heavily on their severity.

“The treatment of burns depends on the location and severity of the damage. Most sunburns can usually be treated at home but sever sunburns may require medical attention,” Hockhausen explained.

Hockhausen first explained how to deal with a burn that is less severe.

“First, cool the burn to reduce pain and swelling. Apply a cool, wet compress to the area until the pain eases. Don’t use ice. You’ll want to remove rings, jewelry or other tight items as burnt area may swell. Once a burn is cooled, apply a lotion. Look for aloe vera or other moisturizers which prevent drying and provide additional relief, avoid anything with fragrances,” said Hockhausen.

Next she went over the process for more severe sunburns.

“If the burn is severe, fluid-filled blisters may form. This is your body’s way of protecting itself against infection. It’s important not to break blisters, but if one breaks on its own, gently clean it and apply an antibiotic ointment. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and Tylenol can be taken to help releive pain. Be sure to drink lots of fluids, especially just plain water,” said Hockhausen.

To end the talk, she left us with some tips to prevent the sunburn altogether.

“A sunburn dehydrates you and your skin. Hydrating well with water supports the healing process of your skin. The best treatment is prevention, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before heading outdoors,” said Hockhausen.

This has been your Healthwatch, be sure to check here next week for more health tips.