A Look at Second Degree Sunburn

I personally think that tanned skin looks great. However, I wouldn’t recommend staying in the sun for extended period of time. The reason for this is that I have had friends spend two or more painful weeks of dealing with sunburn. See, rather than a tan, they ended up with sunburn of the second degree. From their explanation, their skin felt like it was constantly on fire and needed cooling. Most of them know better now about applying sunscreen when going out in the sun for extended periods.

Exposure to the sun for extended periods can result in either second degree or first degree sunburn. The former is more severe and, I’ll discuss the condition a little more.

What is second degree sunburn?

This form of sunburn is more severe than first degree sunburn. The reason for this is that the burns occur a little bit deeper under the skins surface.

How does sunburn of the second degree occur?

This form of sunburn occurs when the suns UV rays damage skin cells and molecules as well as the DNAs structure. Such damage causes dilation of blood vessels just under the skin which triggers inflammation of skin tissue.

What are the symptoms?

Some of the symptoms associated with this form of sunburn include:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blisters appearing on skin surface
  • Chills and fever might occur in severe cases

Who is at risk?

People with fair skin are the most vulnerable to sunburn of the second degree. However, some factors also contribute to whether you’re likely to suffer from sunburn or not. They include the following.

First, how long are you exposed to the suns rays? Activities such as sunbathing and camping expose you to the suns rays for extended periods. This increases chances of getting sunburn.

Second, are parts of your body exposed to the suns rays? Direct exposure of the skin to the suns rays is the main cause of sunburn. Some of the body parts at most risk include the face, shoulders and arms.

Third, have you protected the exposed parts of your skin? One of the best ways of protecting the skin against sunburn is applying sunscreen. You can also wear a broad hat to protect the face and shoulders.

How long does sunburn of the second degree take to heal?

It typically takes between 2 and 3 weeks for this form of sunburn to heal completely. During the healing process, the skin might shed since the cells have already been killed by the suns UV rays. However, you might need to take measures to provide relief for some of the symptoms associated while the skin heals. Some of the common methods of alleviating the symptoms include the following.

Painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can be prescribed to help relieve the pain and inflammation. Aspirin shouldn’t be used by persons under the age of 18 years.

Another common remedy is vinegar for sunburn. Vinegar has both antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It can sting if applied on open blisters and its advisable to dilute in it a 1:1 ratio with water before applying on the affected area. Besides relieving pain and preventing infection, vinegar also helps to dry out the blisters promoting fast healing.