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How is a sunburn diagnosed?

You're likely to be able to diagnose or detect a sunburn yourself. Your skin may show signs of the burn with redness, warmth, and pain. These symptoms may start appearing a few hours after the time spent in the sun or tanning bed. You may also notice blistering, if it is a bad burn, and peeling later on. If you believe you might have a sensitivity to light and want a clinical diagnosis, your doctor can give you an exam, talk to you about sunburns you've had in the past, and conduct phototesting (running an experiment with a small skin area to see how much UV light produces a reaction).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.