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Should You Visit a Walk-In Clinic for Your Sunburn?

Spending time outside in the sun is one of the best ways for you to absorb Vitamin D, which is essential to healthy bones. However, too much time in the sun can also lead to sunburns, something we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. You should always take measures to prevent them and protect your skin, by wearing an SPF lotion during long periods of time outside. But, things happen. We forget our sunscreen or forget to re-apply. Most of the time, sunburns will go away on their own, although they can be severe. How do you know when to visit a walk-in clinic because of one? 

Signs of a Minor Sunburn
Hopefully, most of the sunburns you run into will fall under this category. You were having too much fun, and now you realize that you’re red all over! You’ll probably experience:

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Burning and heating sensations
  • Sensitivity 
  • Peeling

This kind of sunburn likely doesn’t warrant a visit to a walk-in clinic because it’ll heal up on its own. There are ways to treat the symptoms and ease some of the discomfort. You can use after-sun lotions to speed the healing process, aloe vera to soothe your skin, apply cold compresses, and take cooler showers. While you won’t always peel, it’s typically a sign that you’re healing. 

Time to Visit a Walk-In Clinic
If your sunburn isn’t getting better, or seems to be getting worse, visit a walk-in clinic to get it looked at. You might find yourself forming blisters, which could lead to infection. While blisters aren’t always an immediate cause for concern, stopping by a walk-in clinic could be beneficial. Your doctor might decide to prescribe you a topical cream to help your sunburn. 

Some symptoms may require immediate medical attention, like:

  • Severe Pain
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Fever
  • Swelling

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a walk-in clinic might recommend you to an urgent-care facility. If you’re ever unsure, seek medical attention right away, as we can always get you the help that you need. 

Tips to Avoid Sunburns
The best way to prevent a trip to a walk-in clinic (or emergency room) over a sunburn, is to avoid them altogether. Always plan to bring sunscreen with you when you’re outside and re-apply it as directed. Hats will help shade your nose and ears from getting burnt; sunglasses will protect your eyes. Drinking is water helps you stay hydrated, which is important because the sun can dehydrate you. 

Even though the heat can make us want to wear as little clothes as possible, consider keeping a lightweight, cotton, long-sleeve top to throw on when you’ve been outside all day. It will help keep you cool, while providing shade for your skin. 

The next time you get a minor sunburn, let it serve as a reminder for you to protect your skin from the sun. As you’ve learned, sunburns can turn severe, and overtime, they can lead to bigger problems like skin cancer. It just takes a few minutes to keep yourself safe!