Each year, millions of individuals suffer from the effects of over tanning, sun burn, and sunstroke because of prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate covering.
When over tanning occurs, sun burn and heat stroke are usually not far behind as the human body can become overheated very quickly in the right conditions.
There are some basic safety tips and first aid methods that should be kept in mind to help anyone that is suffering from the effects of over tanning.
Most cases of over tanning occur on bright sunny days after the person has been laying out in direct sunlight for a long period of time. The skin begins to become sensitive and redden to a darker color as the sun damage becomes progressively worse.
In some cases, the skin becomes so damaged from the sun that painful blisters begin to appear and the skin cells on the surface die, flaking off in patches several days later.
Over tanning damage
The amount of damage sustained by the skin during over tanning depends on the length of time the skin was exposed to the sun and the intensity of the sunlight at the time.
Different degrees of damage to the skin require different first aid methods to sooth and help the condition. Knowing which method to use for each level of over tanning is key to assisting someone that has become injured by the prolonged exposure to the sun.
In some cases, the symptoms of over tanning do not appear for several hours after exposure to the sun, with the person often unaware that they have over tanned until the effects are felt later in the day.
Most cases of over tanning result in a first degree burn on the skin, characterized by redness, swelling, and mildly painful. The typical first aid treatment for a first degree burn on the skin is a cool bath or shower, followed by the application of topical lotion, one containing the numbing effects of lidocaine if the pain is significant.
Second degree burns resulting from over tanning require a different type of first aid treatment method because the damage to the skin is more severe. Often, blisters appear on the surface of the second degree burn indicating that more than the surface layer of skin has been damaged.
The blisters should remain unbroken to ensure that bacteria and other foreign items cannot infect the wound and cause more problems.
Second degree burns often require treatment from a medical professional because of the severity of the injury and probability of contracting an infection in the damaged tissue.
Over the counter pain relievers are typically used to control the pain while the damaged area repairs itself and the pain generally fades within a few days. First aid treatment should be begun as quickly as possible to limit the amount of pain experienced.