Sunburn Care: When to Seek Medical Help for Bad Sunburn

Sunburn is more than just a summertime annoyance—it can have serious consequences for your skin and overall health. While most sunburns can be treated at home with proper care, there are situations when seeking medical help becomes crucial. 

In this guide, we’ll delve into the signs and symptoms that indicate a bad sunburn and explore when it’s time to escalate your sunburn care to a medical professional.

What is sunburn?

Sunburn is a painful and damaging skin condition caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds. 

It occurs when the skin’s protective pigment一melanin一is overwhelmed by excessive UV rays. This leads to inflammation, redness, and in more severe cases, blistering.

How does sunburn occur?

Sunburns occur when ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun damages your skin cells. The body’s defense mechanism responds by increasing blood flow to the affected area, resulting in redness, inflammation, and discomfort. 

Prolonged exposure can lead to DNA damage, potentially increasing the risk of skin cancer. In more severe cases of sunburn, the body may form blisters as a protective measure. Blisters contain clear fluid and are a sign of second-degree burns.

What are the different degrees of sunburn?

Sunburn can be classified into different degrees based on its severity, ranging from mild to severe. These classifications help to understand the extent of skin damage and guide appropriate treatment. Here are the commonly recognized degrees of sunburn:

  1. First-degree sunburn (Mild)

Symptoms: Redness, warmth, and mild pain in the affected area.

Characteristics: Skin appears red, may be slightly swollen, and feels sensitive to touch.

Healing time: Typically heals within a few days to a week with proper care.

  1. Second-degree sunburn (Moderate)

Symptoms: More intense redness, swelling, pain, and the possibility of blisters.

Characteristics: Skin blisters may form, and the affected area is more painful and sensitive.

Healing time: It can take up to two weeks to heal, and blisters may take longer.

  1. Third-degree sunburn (Severe)

Symptoms: Severe redness, intense pain, widespread blistering, and potential systemic symptoms.

Characteristics: Extensive blistering, deep tissue damage, and a risk of infection.

Healing time: Healing time varies, and medical attention is often required to prevent complications.

How do you know if a sunburn requires medical help?

Sunburn severity varies, so how do you know when it’s more than just a temporary discomfort? A bad sunburn goes beyond the surface redness and may involve the following:

  • Blistering: When your skin forms blisters, it’s a sign of a more severe burn. Sometimes the blisters will cover a large area or show signs of infection.
  • Intense pain: If sunburn causes extreme pain, it might indicate deeper tissue damage or second-degree burns.
  • Fever and chills: These systemic symptoms could indicate a significant sunburn affecting your body’s balance.

If you experience any of these symptoms, then it’s time to seek an urgent care facility or primary care physician in Baytown, TX.

What are the different treatment options for sunburn?

Sunburns are usually treated depending on their degree or severity. Your doctor will assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options. This includes the following:

At-home sunburn care

Treating sunburn at home requires a combination of soothing remedies and proper care to help alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Here are several at-home sunburn care tips:

  • Cool compresses: Apply cold, damp cloths or take cool showers to help reduce skin temperature and ease inflammation.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and counteract the dehydrating effects of sunburn.
  • Moisturize: Apply a gentle, alcohol-free moisturizer or aloe vera gel to soothe dry and irritated skin.
  • Over-the-counter pain relief: Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Stay out of the sun: Protect your sunburned skin from further exposure by staying in the shade or wearing protective clothing. However, protective clothing should be made of soft cloth so as not to irritate or cause discomfort to the sunburned skin.
  • Avoid hot water: Use lukewarm water instead of hot water when showering to avoid aggravating the sunburned skin.
  • Hydrotherapy: Add colloidal oatmeal, baking soda, or Epsom salts to a cool bath to soothe itching and discomfort.
  • Stay cool: Use fans or air conditioning to keep your environment cool and reduce sweating that can exacerbate sunburn.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink water, herbal teas, and clear broths to help maintain hydration and support healing.
  • Avoid sunburned areas: If possible, try to minimize pressure or contact on sunburned areas to prevent additional irritation.

These tips can provide relief for mild sunburns only. If you have severe sunburn with blistering, intense pain, or other concerning symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention.

Medical treatment for severe sunburn

Medical treatment for severe sunburn is important to prevent complications, manage pain, and promote healing. Here are some medical treatments that physicians may employ for severe sunburn:

  • Prescription medications: Doctors may prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to manage discomfort and swelling. It may be taken orally or intravenously, depending on the severity of your condition. 
  • Topical treatments: Specialized creams or ointments can aid healing and reduce infection risk. Over-the-counter topical steroids (e.g., hydrocortisone) can also help reduce redness and inflammation.
  • Hydration and monitoring: In extreme cases, hospitalization might be needed for intravenous fluids and close observation.
  • Cooling techniques: In severe cases, healthcare providers may use specialized cooling techniques, such as cool water immersion or cold compresses, to bring down skin temperature and reduce inflammation.

How to protect yourself from sunburn?

Protecting yourself from sunburn is essential to maintain the health of your skin and reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Here are effective sun protection strategies to help prevent sunburn:

Apply sunscreen

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Apply generously to all exposed skin at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Reapply every two hours or more often if swimming or sweating.
  • Protect your lips from sunburn by using a lip balm with SPF.

Seek shade

  • Stay in the shade, especially during the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Use umbrellas, trees, or other structures to create shade.

Wear protective clothing

  • Cover your skin with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Choose tightly woven fabrics that provide better sun protection.
  • Look for clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) labels for added sun protection.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes and the delicate skin around them from UV rays.

Limit time in the sun

Reduce sun exposure, especially during the peak hours when UV radiation is strongest. The peak hours when UV rays are the strongest typically occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun is at its highest point in the sky during this time, and UV radiation is most intense.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and maintain healthy skin. This is especially true for people who spend most of their time outdoors, may it be for work or any activities.

Avoid tanning beds

Tanning beds emit UV radiation that can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Avoid them altogether.

Remember that sunburn can occur even on cloudy or cool days, as UV radiation can penetrate clouds and affect your skin. 

So, consistently practicing these sun protection measures is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and reducing the risk of sunburn and related skin issues.

Where to find the best urgent care near me?

UrgentcareMDs is your trusted partner for immediate healthcare solutions. Our dedicated team of experienced medical professionals is ready to provide timely care when you need it the most—no more waiting for appointments or enduring long ER queues. 

With convenient locations across the city, access to quality healthcare has never been easier. Find an UrgentcareMDs center near you for quick and hassle-free care.

Contact us now to learn more!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

brain fog

What is COVID Brain Fog, and How Can You Clear It?

COVID brain fog occurs when all symptoms from the illness have recovered, yet some cognitive challenges remain. The patient’s thinking and memory are still not back to normal. 

The brain fog experienced can have a range of symptoms, and severity can range from mild to severe. Sometimes it can make it hard for patients to live everyday life. 

If you require COVID testing, visit our urgent care Baytown or Urgent Care Crosby. We offer acute care and primary care to meet all of your medical needs. 

What is Brain Fog?

Many patients who have recovered from COVID experience the symptoms of brain fog. One study of over 235,000 patients estimated 33.62% of people had neurological or psychiatric symptoms six months after having COVID.

Brain fog is not necessarily one symptom; it can be a range of symptoms related to thinking and memory. Some people describe an inability to concentrate, focus or think clearly. Others struggle with attention, memory, or just feeling mentally exhausted.

Brain fog can affect one’s ability to begin and finish a task or remember what you were doing when you entered a room. 

What Causes Brain Fog in COVID Patients?

Researchers are still not clear what causes brain fog in COVID patients. Because it is still a new disease, they are still learning about long-term symptoms, including brain fog and how to help patients.

There has been a connection that brain fog is more likely if the patient is severely ill or placed on a ventilator. 

In some people, COVID can directly attack the brain and cause strokes, impairing cognitive function. Also, those who had a severe illness may experience brain damage from hypoxia and inflammation when they were on ventilators. 

Psychological Impact and Brain Fog

Psychological causes are a possibility because of extreme anxiety. This can be increased when family members or friends tell people with brain fog that “it is all in their head.” 

However, the onset of anxiety can be very real, especially when you consider job loss, isolation, and worry if brain fog will affect their future. 

More studies need to be completed to explore whether psychological issues contribute to the worsening of brain fog. People who have brain fog should be reassured that it is a temporary condition and not something that will be long-term. 

What Can You Do to Clear Brain Fog?

First, talk to your provider about your symptoms. Treatment options are similar to those used for people who have had strokes or other cognitive impairments.

The provider will likely do cognitive testing to diagnose the patient’s impairment. Sometimes a referral to a neuropsychologist or speech and language pathologist is necessary. 

Patients can practice brain exercises using computer programs and smartphone apps. 

Other recommendations to help brain fog include: 

  • Regular aerobic exercise
  • Cognitive challenging games such as puzzles and word puzzles
  • Sleep
  • Modifying their diets to include monounsaturated fats, plant proteins, whole grains, and fish
  • Avoid isolating: stay socially connected to others and active

Brain Fog? COVID Symptoms? We Can Help at our Primary Care.

At our clinic, we treat acute and chronic conditions. Our specialists address your unique needs through every stage of life. PrimeCareMDs in Baytown offers a convenient location to serve you and your family:

PrimeCareMDs in Baytown

2655 West Baker Road

Baytown, Texas 77521

If you require care, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today! 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Flu, Fever, and Colds

Fever

Fever refers to elevated body temperature. Normal oral measurement is 98.6 F (37 C) or the normal rectal temperature is 99 F (37.2 C). Your normal temperature may actually be 1 F (0.6 C) or more above or below the average of 98.6 F. Fever is not considered medically significant until body temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever serves as one of the body’s natural defenses against bacteria and viruses. It is a non-specific symptom and can happen in both infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Fevers of 104 F (40 C) or higher demand immediate home treatment and subsequent medical attention, as they can result in body organ damage. It can also cause seizures in children and less commonly in adults. Go to nearest appropriate medical facility if you or your child has a high temperature. It’s best to take age appropriate dose of either acetaminophen or ibuprofen or contact your doctor ASAP if you are not sure what to do. YOUR DOCTOR IS YOUR BEST SOURCE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION. Untreated high temperature can cause side effects and could be a sign of serious underlying disease.

DONT’s

  • Never give aspirin to children or adolescents
  • Never immerse anyone with fever in ICE water
  • Tepid water baths (85 F 30) are OK
  • Wet towel is preferred
  • Never sponge an adult or child with alcohol, as this is dangerous
  • Don’t ignore a restless child with high fever, as kids are susceptible to febrile seizures

Common cold

The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold. In fact, children in preschool and elementary school can have three to 12 colds per year while adolescents and adults typically have two to four colds per year. The common cold is the most frequently occurring illness in the world, and it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.

Common cold vs. Influenza

Common cold is frequently confused with influenza. The influenza virus causes influenza, while the common cold generally is not. While some of the symptoms of the common cold and influenza may be similar, patients with the common cold typically have a milder illness. Patients with influenza are usually sicker and have a more abrupt onset of illness with fever, chills, headache, body aches, dry cough, and extreme weakness. There is lab testing available at your doctor’s office to differentiate between common cold and influenza when the indication exists.

H1N1

The following is the best resource for up-to-date information and education related to flu for Texans. It’s really a comprehensive website for flu related questions specific to our area.
www.dshs.state.tx.us/txflu/splash/index.html

This CDC article about “H1N1 and You” answers the most commonly asked questions and is an excellent source of information.
www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Urgent Care MDs: Here for all Your Medical Needs

At Urgent Care MDs we are always here to help. We treat a variety of emergencies, illnesses, and injuries. We are often the first point of contact when you have a health concern. We pride ourselves in accurately diagnosing and treating our patients.

For medical consultations, you can visit:

We are also offering covid testing at all our urgent care locations. Our experienced staff is ready to treat any acute illness or medical need that is not life-threatening.

Contact us today for any inquiries and to set an appointment. No matter your health needs,  we are here to provide the best care for you: our patients!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Treating Asthma

Dealing with Asthma

Asthma

Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but adults can have asthma too. The symptoms of asthma are wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and nighttime or early morning coughing. If someone in your family has asthma, you are also more likely to have it. You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an attack, staying away from things that trigger an attack and following the advice of your doctor or other medical professional.

The following are some of the known triggers of asthma:

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Dust Mites
  • Outdoor Air Pollution
  • Cockroach Allergen
  • Pets
  • Pollens
  • Mold
  • Strenuous physical exercise
  • Some medicines
  • High humidity or freezing temperatures
  • Smoke from burning wood, grass, or other vegetation
  • Some foods and additives
  • Severe emotional conditions

HAVE AN ASTHMA ACTION PLAN!

Important points to remember

  • Don’t wait to seek help if you think you are experiencing an acute asthma flare up that has not responded to your hand held rescue inhaler (albuterol).
  • Take your maintenance Asthma medicine even when you feel JUST FINE.

GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IF:

  • Asthma attack is more severe than usual
  • No relief after appropriate rescue inhaler
  • Blue nail beds are noted
  • Child seem to be using Belly muscles too much (abdominal breathing)
  • Lower ribs seem to retract inward (rib retraction)
  • Any adult asthmatic having symptoms severe enough to keep him/her speaking in full sentences
  • Somnolence, confusion or any altered mental status in a patient experiencing asthma exacerbation is the sign of impending respiratory failure. Call 911 immediately if this happens.

Urgent Care MDs: Here for all Your Medical Needs

At Urgent Care MDs we are always here to help. We treat a variety of emergencies, illnesses, and injuries. We are often the first point of contact when you have a health concern. We pride ourselves in accurately diagnosing and treating our patients.

For medical consultations, you can visit:

We are also offering covid testing at all our urgent care locations. Our experienced staff is ready to treat any acute illness or medical need that is not life-threatening.

Contact us today for any inquiries and to set an appointment. No matter your health needs,  we are here to provide the best care for you: our patients!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Coping with COPD

Coping with COPD

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is a long-term lung disease usually caused by smoking. However, there are some other diseases that can cause COPD, even if the patient never smoked.
COPD includes a few lung diseases: the most common are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Many people with COPD have both of these diseases.

Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased mucus and coughing

Some people with COPD say it feels like they’re breathing through a straw.

What does COPD do to my lungs?

COPD slowly damages your airways, the breathing tubes that go in and out of your lungs. People with COPD have swollen and partly blocked airways. They can also have damage in the air sacs at the tips of their airways.

COPD makes it hard to breathe because:

  • The airways and air sacs in your lungs lose their shape and stretchiness
  • The walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed
  • The walls of the airways become thick and swollen
  • Cells in the airways make more mucus than usual, which blocks the airways

Many people with COPD have emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Causes

Smoking cigarettes is the main cause of COPD in 80 – 90 % of cases. Other things that can cause COPD are:

  • A rare genetic disorder known as ALPHA 1 ANTI TRYPSINE DEFICENCY
  • Second hand smoke
  • Air pollution (dust or chemicals)
  • Having repeated lung infections as a child

Anyone who smokes, or who smoked in the past, can get COPD. People with Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, exposure to second-hand smoke or pollution, or many childhood chest infections, can also get it.

People usually notice COPD symptoms when they’re in their 40s, 50s or 60s. Often people think their COPD symptoms – feeling short of breath, wheezing or coughing – are a normal part of getting older.

Warning Signs Of Acute Flare-up

  • Worsening or shortness of breath and wheezing despite adequate medications
  • Increased phlegm production
  • Change in color of phlegm and fever might point towards development of pneumonia

What should you do in case of Flare-up of COPD

For mild cough or mild wheezing related to COPD, stay in air conditioning when it’s very humid outside. Also avoid very cold air. Extreme temperature and high humidity cause a lot of flare-ups. Avoid dust, smoke and other triggers. Call your doctor; he/she may prescribe you a short course of steroids to decrease the inflammation in your lungs, and maybe a short course of antibiotics, depending upon your specific medical issues

WHEN TO SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE

  • When you experience shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, which does not respond to the usual medications that your doctor has prescribed and you feel that your symptoms are actually getting worse.
  • Unable to speak in full sentences
  • Cynosis (blue discoloration) of finger tips, lips etc
  • Confusion or lethargy

Urgent Care MDs: Here for all Your Medical Needs

At Urgent Care MDs we are always here to help. We treat a variety of emergencies, illnesses, and injuries. We are often the first point of contact when you have a health concern, including dehydration. We pride ourselves in accurately diagnosing and treating our patients.

For medical consultations, you can visit:

We are also offering covid testing at all our urgent care locations. Our experienced staff is ready to treat any acute illness or medical need that is not life-threatening.

Contact us today for any inquiries and to set an appointment. No matter your health needs,  we are here to provide the best care for you: our patients!

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