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When to Seek Medical Attention for a Sunburn

Man with a painful sunburn on armSummer has arrived in Montgomery County, at last! While the risk of winter-related illnesses like influenza is on the decline, warmer temperatures usher in problems of their own, including sunburns.

A sunburn is the body’s inflammatory response to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Most sunburns can be addressed at home by applying some soothing aloe gel and temporarily avoiding the sun, but this isn’t always the case. Occasionally, professional medical care is recommended for more extensive sunburns. Be sure to visit a reputable same-day urgent care provider like Fast Track Urgent Care if a sunburn:

  • Does not improve after three to seven days of at-home care
  • Covers more than 20% of your body
  • Blisters
  • Causes severe discomfort
  • Displays signs of infection, such as pus, swelling, or red streaking
  • Is accompanied by signs of dehydration, such as headache or nausea

Although rare, a severe sunburn may warrant emergency care. Be sure to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if a sunburn is accompanied by possible signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, including:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • Loss of consciousness

Sunburn Treatment on a Walk-in Basis

If you need timely treatment for sunburn that isn’t a medical emergency, you can count on the board-certified physicians and clinicians at Fast Track Urgent Care. Our immediate care locations in Silver Spring and Kensington cater to patients of all ages and are open every day during extended hours. Appointments are not required, although you’re welcome to reserve an appointment time on our website if you’d like. Most health insurance plans are accepted—come see us today!