Is a sunburn serious?

Sunburn is related to skin cancer in that damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause a sunburn and can also damage the DNA of skin cells. Damage to the DNA can lead to many types of skin cancer. It is important to wear sunscreen and/or long sleeve clothing when out in the sun, and to have a doctor check the skin for signs of skin cancer.

Usually, a sunburn, albeit uncomfortable, will fade away in a few days and will not need medical attention. But if it is severe and accompanied by fever, chills, thirst, trouble breathing and/or a racing pulse, then it may be a sign that a more serious complication is present. For instance, heat stroke, shock and dehydration may be linked to sunburns. Also, repeated sunburns, or even a few bad sunburns, in your lifetime have been connected to an increased risk of skin cancer. So, yes, sunburns can be serious and should be prevented.

Continue Learning about Skin Care

Skin Care

Skin Care

Blueberries, dark chocolate and sunscreen are three things you need to keep skin beautiful, supple and smooth. Antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, dark chocolate, cantaloupe, citrus fruits and leafy greens provide the vitamins ...

you need for skins elasticity. Avoiding smoking prevents premature aging. But the number-one way to keep skin gorgeous is to stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. The suns radiation causes skin damage, including wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays in an SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply often.

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.