Learn About Second Degree Sunburn and Treatment Options

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Learn About Second Degree Sunburn and Treatment Options

On February 18, 2015, Posted by , In Uncategorized, With Comments Off on Learn About Second Degree Sunburn and Treatment Options

About four months ago, I came across one of my high school buddies at the beach. The skin on his forehead was peeling off. Upon inquiry, he informed me that had suffered from sunburn as the skin was actually healing. “you should have seen me weeks ago. You’d have thought I was an alien due to the blisters.” He said jokingly as we headed for a shade to chat further. I found out that he had suffered from sunburn of the second degree after going out sunbathing without applying sunscreen. I had heard about sunburn before but didn’t take much interest in the topic until then. After doing a little research on sunburn of the second degree, here’s what I found.

Second degree sunburn

Sunburn occurs when harmful sun radiation damages living tissue such as the skin. It can occur in as little as 15 minutes if unprotected skin is exposed to the suns rays. The effects can be felt within 30 minutes where the skin turns red. Depending on the severity, the effects can continue to develop within a 24 to 72 hour period. It’s more likely to affect people with fair skin, freckles and, light colored eyes.

Sunburn of the second degree is more severe than first degree sunburn in that besides damaging the skin tissue, it also damages nerve endings under the skins surface. Some of the symptoms include the following.

  • Reddening of the skin usually within minutes of exposure
  • A sensation of extreme heat in the affected area
  • Pain and inflammation of the affected area even if its not touched
  • Swelling in the affected area
  • Blistering

As the condition advances, the affected person might experience dehydration, fever, vomiting and secondary infection.


The main way of preventing sunburn is to wear protective clothing. If going ensure that you wear clothes that cover most parts of your body including the arms. Wearing a hat will also protect your face and neck.

If sunbathing, it’s always advisable to apply sunscreen which protects your skin from harmful sun radiation.


Treating sunburn involves first aid and secondary treatment which can be performed at home. The following are some of the treatment options available.

The main first aid procedure is to cool the affected area. This can be done by applying a cold press or running cold water over the affected area. It’s advisable to avoid using ice for cooling as it might cause further damage to the nerves.

Ensure that you hydrate by taking plenty of fluids. Sunburn causes dehydration of the skin which is one of the body’s important organs. By taking plenty of fluids, you will ensure that the skin doesn’t dry out.

Apply vinegar for sunburn. Vinegar contains antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. As such, when applied to the affected area, it can help prevent infection and relieve pain. In addition, if applied soon, it can also prevent formation of blisters by balancing the pH of the skin.

Moisturize and cover the affected area. Besides hydrating, you should keep the affected area moisturized to prevent drying out. After moisturization, it’s recommended that you cover it with a bandage to prevent infection and promote healing.

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