Hi Dr. Karen:
A while ago, I got a really harsh sunburn, and it still hasn’t gone away. There are still tiny bumps throughout my nose, cheeks, and forehead. I’ve tried aloe and I always put on sunscreen so it doesn’t get worse, but it won’t go away! What can I do to help treat it for it to get better?
Following a bad sunburn, the skin becomes inflamed. This can create swelling in the skin which leads to whiteheads or tiny red bumps: I call this “sunburn acne”. If it has persisted for over one month, you may need a topical acne product to clear it up. Over the counter you can purchase salicylic acid in 1-2% concentration. If this doesn’t help, you may need to see your primary care physician for referral to a dermatologist.
The KEY message: SUNPROTECTION! Seek shade; wear a hat, sunglasses, appropriate clothing; and of course SPF 30 or greater sunscreen.