Even though the sun’s warm rays feel pleasant, they can also leave a terrible aftertaste in the form of a sunburn.

Because it’s simple to forget to apply sunscreen on the tops of your feet, your feet are particularly vulnerable.

In addition, exposure to dampness and water at the beach or pool can wash away even the most meticulous sunscreen treatments.

There are treatments available if your feet are burnt and swollen.

Continue reading to learn more about what to do and when to call a doctor instead of the pharmacy.



✅ Ideally, you can avoid sunburns by taking preventative measures.

✅ If you do end up with burnt, swollen feet, acting quickly to reduce skin inflammation and preserve both internal and external moisture can be beneficial.

✅But keep in mind that severe sunburns and blisters on the feet can need medical attention.


How should burnt swollen feet be treated?

You should concentrate on methods that lessen swelling and produce cooling sensations as your skin recovers if your feet are burnt and swollen. Examples of these actions consist include:

  • Take a cold water bath. Get a small tub (found at most drugstores) and fill it with chilly water to create a foot bath. Spend roughly ten minutes soaking your feet. Apply a moisturizer to prevent dryness after gently patting your feet dry. Never add ice to the water. Your skin might be harmed by water that is too cold.
  • Include calming elements. Feet bath components should be increased (if desired). Examples include the use of baking soda to lessen inflammation, apple cider vinegar to aid healing, and oatmeal to soothe itching.
  • Place cool compresses on top. By immersing soft washcloths in chilly water and placing them over your feet, you can provide cool compresses.
  • Put on a moisturizer. To keep the skin calm, moisturize. Aloe vera or soy products are frequently wise selections.
  • Go barefoot. In the first few days following a sunburn, wear shoes as little as possible. Shoes may increase pressure and friction, which hinders the healing process.
  • Lessen abrasion. When you do need to wear shoes, put on open-toed footwear (such as flip-flops). Be aware that if the straps on your sandals seem exceptionally tight, you might need to relax them.
  • Keep hydrated. Take in plenty of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can result from sunburn because the damaged cells are attracted to water. Make sure to drink enough water so that your urine is a light yellow hue.
  • Avoid popping blisters. Avoid popping any possible blisters on your feet. Although it may be difficult to resist the urge to pop these blisters, doing so can expose flimsy skin that hasn’t had a chance to heal.
  • Use anti-inflammatory drugs. Ibuprofen is a good example of an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory drug.

Applying anything with the letters “Caine” on it should be avoided because it contains local anesthetics. Due to the potential for allergic responses and irritation, products containing anesthetics may potentially cause more harm than benefit.


How would a doctor handle sunburnt feet that are swollen?

If you have a severe sunburn, it is simple to wonder what a doctor could do for you as opposed to what you can accomplish at home. However, if your feet are extremely burnt and swollen, you might be better off visiting a doctor.

Consider this: Second- and third-degree burns can resemble severe sunburns. For a severe burn, you would unquestionably seek medical attention. The following signs suggest you should consult a doctor about your sunburnt feet, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • chills
  • a fever that exceeds 100.5°F (38°C)
  • blisters that are gushing pus
  • a lot of blistering

According to the degree of the burn, a doctor could advise various therapies. In some cases, you could require:

  • Fluids administered intravenously (IV) to relieve thirst
  • topical steroids prescribed by a doctor to alleviate skin irritation
  • Oral steroids and antibiotics to lessen your body’s immunological reaction
  • wound treatment if substantial blistering or skin irritation occurs

How can sunburnt feet be prevented from swelling up?

The feet are frequently forgotten as a potential site for sunburn. Along with the apparent discomfort of sunburn, exposure to ultraviolet light can damage your skin, raising your risk of developing melanoma. A 2016 study found that your foot and ankle account for roughly 15% of all melanomas on your outer skin layers. The most prevalent kind of cancer on your foot is melanoma.

So, whenever possible, try to avoid getting sunburnt feet. This is possible by:

  • putting sunscreen on your body and feet at least once every two hours.
  • choose to apply water-resistant sunscreen to your feet (even if you aren’t swimming, your feet can still perspire).
  • putting on shoes after applying sunscreen but before allowing the sunscreen to fully absorb into the skin.
  • using sunscreen on both the bottom and tops of the foot. You can also get burned on the bottoms of your feet, and the effects are particularly unpleasant.
  • putting on protective garments or socks with SPF (several brands make socks or leggings for outdoor activities to protect your feet and legs from the sun)

Melanoma and other types of skin cancer can be prevented by shielding your skin from excessive sun exposure.


How can you know whether you have sunburn or sun poisoning?

Sunburn is merely one side effect of too much sun exposure. Additionally, it may result in sun poisoning or polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). Sunburn is a “local” response to the sun; it affects the area of your skin that has been damaged. A systemic (body-wide) reaction is PMLE.

Sun poisoning symptoms include:

  • scaly or eczema-like lesions
  • fever
  • headaches
  • hives
  • scratchy rash
  • nausea

Following your sun exposure, you will typically start to feel these effects a few hours to days later. They represent a sun-induced immunological response. Typically, sunburn does not result in widespread symptoms like nausea, fever, or chills.

Call a doctor if you suffer any of the aforementioned signs. A doctor will typically prescribe steroids and maybe other immune-suppressing drugs like chloroquine or azathioprine, according to a 2017 research review by Trusted Source. These can lessen your body’s immunological reaction, promoting skin healing and symptom reduction.


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