Wilderness: Burns Topic Guide
Burns: Heat, chemical, or electrical injury to the skin, eyes, nerves, blood vessels, and internal organs can cause burns. First-degree burn symptoms include red skin and local pain (sunburn). Second-degree burns can cause blisters and swelling. Third-degree burns are a medical emergency, and cause white or black charred skin.
Sunburn (Sun Poisoning) Sunburn is a burn on the skin caused by UV radiation. Mild sunburn symptoms include skin redness and pain. Severe cases of sunburn (sun poisoning) are complicated by skin burning and blistering, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and possibly infection. A sun rash is caused by a condition referred to as polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). Home remedies for sunburn include over-the-counter pain medicine, aloe vera gels and lotions, and cool tepid baths. Severe sunburn may need medical treatment. Prevention of sunburn include staying out of the sun during the peak hours of the day, wearing sunscreen often and reapply often, and wear protective clothing shielding the exposed body from the sun.
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