Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Sun Poisoning Home Care

Home care for sunburn includes:

Sun Poisoning Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with sunburn include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Sun Poisoning Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain and fever in children with sunburn include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Sun Poisoning Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have sunburn and any of the following:

Continue to Sun Poisoning Prevention

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sun Poisoning References
  1. Han A, Maibach HI. Management of acute sunburn. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(1):39-47. [14979742]
  2. O'Riordan DL, Geller AC, Brooks DR, Zhang Z, Miller DR. Sunburn reduction through parental role modeling and sunscreen vigilance. J Pediatr. 2003 Jan;142(1):67-72. [1252025]
  3. Warthan MM, Sewell DS, Marlow RA, Warthan ML, Wagner RF Jr. The economic impact of acute sunburn. Arch Dermatol. 2003 Aug;139(8):1003-6. [12925386]
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