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Las Vegas doctors urge use of sunscreen to prevent severe sunburns

Posted at 5:46 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 10:12:15-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As the summer starts to heat up across the Las Vegas valley, doctors are seeing an increase in patients suffering from severe sunburns. It's a reminder that after being mostly indoors during the pandemic, skin may be more sensitive to sun exposure.

“A severe sunburn is almost like a regular burn, and we’ve even had to hospitalize people with some of these severe sunburns,” said Dr. Daliah Wachs.

Therefore, before soaking in that sizzling, summer sun, our skin should first soak in some sunscreen. If you’re planning on being outdoors for long periods of time make sure you’re wearing loose clothing that protects the skin, or lather up on some sunscreen that is not pass its expiration date.

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Doctors even say if you’re staying indoors, like if you work by a window, or spend a lot of time driving you still could be at risk of sunburn and sun-sensitivity reactions.

“The UVA that causes aging and the UVB that causes burning, they both can cause cancer," Dr. Wachs said. "So we don’t want to accentuate that.”

If you’ve already been burned, doctors recommend using a cooling compress or soothing applications with natural aloe vera. Do not use ice. It can further damage the skin. Also, resist that urge of picking off the skin.

Extreme peeling, blistering, intense pain, fever, vomiting and the skin’s changing of color are all symptoms of severe sunburn, and you should go see a doctor.

Most importantly, doctors are reminding everyone to hydrate.

“The largest organ of your body is the skin, and when you burn it, you lose your ability to protect you, as well as keep moisture in so you gotta keep your fluids up,” said Dr. Wachs.

One to two ounces should be applied to each limb of your body, torso, and head, then reapply at least every two to three hours or every half hour if you go in the water.