The Scars of Summer
What you may not know is that sun exposure can lead to first-degree and second-degree burns and scarring.
Classic sunburn with redness, slight swelling and mild pain is
considered first-degree and can be treated with over-the-counter pain
relievers and a moisturizer, according to the American Academy of
Family Physicians. This prevents the delicate new skin underneath from
drying, cracking and peeling away with the burned skin layers on top of
Blistering burns, however, are considered second-degree, and require
the following treatment to guard against scarring and infection:
* Do not burst the blister. Treat with sterile white petrolatum
or petroleum jelly and a light gauze wrap until it bursts on its own.
* Once burst, remove the collapsed skin with gentle washing and sterile
tweezers and treat the raw skin with petrolatum gauze.
the dressing once or twice a day and wash gently with an antibacterial
soap. This prevents infection and stops an unwanted thick membrane from
forming on the skin.
If any signs of infection are found, a physician should be consulted
immediately. Also consult a professional if more than 1 percent of the
skin's surface is involved or if the affected person is under 12.
To prevent this kind of dangerous burning, the American Cancer
Society recommends an application of 30 SPF sun block during sun
"If you're going to be in intense sun, take precautions with
sunscreen and clothing," says Martin A. Weinstock, director of the
dermatoepidemiology unit at Brown University. "This is not rocket
science. It's more like common sense."