Sunburns.. When do you need to consult a doctor?

Written By Mark

Dr. Amy Qasouf warned of the increased risk of sunburn during the summer, stressing the need to recognize the signs of severe sunburn and know when to seek health care.

A report published by the German News Agency quoted Amy Kasouf, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, as saying, “We are usually concerned about the long-term effects of sunburn, such as the development of skin cancer, which is basal cells and squamous cells resulting from cumulative exposure to ultraviolet A.” A (UVA), and melanoma resulting from severe burns/UVB exposure, however, there are health consequences that may occur immediately after a severe sunburn.”

She added, “We do not have to visit a doctor for every sunburn we may be exposed to, as a small spot of a first-degree burn – the lowest degree of burn – is usually not considered a serious health condition. However, as the skin continues to interact with ultraviolet rays, it may develop in the affected person.” “Worrying symptoms, and getting health care when needed can help prevent the development of some serious diseases.”

Qasoof pointed out that solar burns are similar to thermal burns resulting from touching surfaces, hot liquids, steam, or flames. Although solar burns are not as severe as thermal burns, they cause greater damage to the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of those affected.

First degree burn of the whole body

Dr. Qasouf recommended the need to consult a doctor in cases that include exposure to a first-degree burn throughout the body, which may increase the risk of developing thermal diseases, or the presence of a large area of ​​ulcerated skin, which increases the risk of infections, or the presence of disease symptoms or symptoms of dehydration such as fever. Or chills or fainting.

Qasouf said, “ulcerated skin means there is greater damage to the deeper layers of the skin, and the affected person is then more susceptible to dehydration, fever, and inflammation, and that is when the person should seek health care.”

Risk of second degree burn

Dr. Qasouf added that a second-degree burn may entail health risks that include dehydration, sun poisoning, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and infection.


Severely burned skin becomes unable to retain moisture in the body, which may lead to dehydration. Signs that indicate that a person is severely dehydrated include dry mouth or thirst, inability to urinate or dark urine, constipation, confusion, dizziness, especially when standing up, fatigue, headache, and lack of concentration.

Sun poisoning

Qasoof explained that sun poisoning is more like an allergic reaction to sunburn. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays causes skin inflammation, but the main difference between sun poisoning and a classic sunburn lies in the additional symptoms that a person with sun poisoning may feel, which include a burning sensation, chills, extreme thirst, itching, nausea, or a rash.

Heat stress

Dr. Qasouf pointed out that a person does not have to be exposed to extreme heat to suffer from heat exhaustion. Severe sunburn causes loss of body fluids, which can lead to low blood pressure and blood volume. The first of these symptoms is usually feeling tired, and then the person may suffer from dizziness, extreme thirst, feeling faint, fever, headache, or heavy sweating.


She explained that heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature, warning that this condition may cause permanent disability or even death if not treated quickly. Symptoms of heatstroke usually begin with heat exhaustion. Symptoms quickly deteriorate and may include excessive sweating, hot and dry skin (if dehydrated), loss of consciousness, mental disabilities such as confusion, slurred speech, seizures, or very high body temperature (more than 40°C). ).


“The risk of infection increases several days after a burn, as skin blisters erupt and lower layers of skin are exposed to the air,” Qasouf said. Obvious signs of infection include increased redness, pain, swelling, high fever, or a covering of pus or crust at the open site.

Permanent damage

Dr. Qassouf urged not to ignore the early signs of a serious sunburn, saying, “You should see your doctor if you notice any signs of dehydration, sun poisoning, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. The symptoms of these health conditions go beyond the mere discomfort that sunburns cause.” “It may last for longer periods and may lead to permanent damage.”

“When a sunburn is severe, the skin is no longer a barrier that can protect the body. Although you may experience symptoms of heat shock such as dehydration, low blood pressure and shock, it all starts with a sunburn, and shade alone is not enough to prevent overexposure to the sun. So be sure to take preventative steps such as wearing sun-protective clothing, hats and sunscreen,” she said.