As we work our way through the summer and people flock to the lakes and beaches, sunburns become more and more common. While the serious risks that are commonly associated with sunburns, like skin cancer and melanoma, only happen after repeated exposure over a long period of time, individual sunburns can lead to permanent scarring if they are severe enough, and if proper steps are not taken to treat them.
Serious Sunburns Can Cause Scarring
While most sunburns do not pose much of a risk of a long-term disfigurement of your skin, some of the most severe sunburns can lead to scarring. Any sunburn that leads to blisters or even skin peeling can make your skin scar, if it is not handled properly.
Peeling Your Skin Can Cause Scars
When you get a sunburn and your skin peels, remember that the layer of skin underneath the one that is coming off is still new and delicate. Peeling off the outer layer, even though it is in the process of coming off, can gently tear the layer underneath. This can cause the new skin to scar.
Instead of peeling the skin off, let the skin come off on its own. If you want to speed up the process, or need to look presentable for a meeting or event and cannot cover up the skin shedding, take a warm bath and coax it off with a washcloth.
Whatever you do, the important part is that you should not irritate the new skin underneath. Because it is so new and soft, it is easily damaged, and this can result in scarring.
Sunburns That Blister Can Also Cause Scarring
Blisters can also cause scarring, as well. If the blister is not broken, then the best way to treat it is by covering it with a loose bandage that does not irritate the sensitive skin. The blister will heal on its own, but needs to be protected from further irritation, or else it could break.
If the blister is already broken or breaks during your treatment, cover it with antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage to protect it and keep it moist and clean. Before going to bed at night, take the bandage off to let the skin dry and breathe, and then use a clean bandage for the next day.
Prevention is the Best Treatment
Of course, it is best to prevent the sunburn from happening, in the first place. Using sunscreen anytime you are outside or wearing clothing that covers your whole body can prevent sunburn from happening, eliminating the odds of your skin scarring from a sunburn.