Q:

What is the difference between sunburn and windburn?

A:

Quick Answer

Sunburn is a burn on the skin from overexposure to ultraviolet rays while windburn is the result of high winds stripping the oils from the skin, resulting in a burned appearance. Individuals are at risk for sunburn during hot and cold weather, but windburn only occurs in cold, windy conditions.

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Full Answer

WebMD recommends preventing sunburn by regularly applying sunscreen while outdoors, wearing hats, and staying indoors or in the shade between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun's rays are strongest. Treat sunburn by applying cold compresses and creams containing aloe or menthol. Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will help reduce pain and swelling from the burn.

Prevent windburn by using a thick moisturizer with ingredients such as jojoba oil or shea butter to lock moisture into the skin, as suggested by Self Magazine. Runners World also suggests treating wind burned skin with 1 percent hydrocortisone cream.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long does it take to get rid of sunburn on your face?

    A:

    It takes three days to one week for sunburn to fade. The length of time it takes varies with the severity of the burn. It is important to protect sunburned skin from the sun while the skin is healing, as further exposure can lead to long-term damage.

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  • Q:

    What can be done to treat swollen feet due to sunburn?

    A:

    Treat sunburn to the feet by getting out of the sun, taking a cool shower, applying a cooling agent and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, according to About.com. In some cases, swelling of the feet due to sunburn is a medical emergency. If the swelling completely circles the feet causing them to become numb, tingly, blue or cold or they feel like they have "fallen asleep," seek immediate medical attention.

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  • Q:

    How do you help a burn?

    A:

    For minor burns from heat or flame, WebMD recommends cooling the burn with cool running water or compresses. Cover the burn with a clean cloth or sterile non-stick bandage and treat pain with over-the counter pain medications like acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen.

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  • Q:

    How do you care for a burn?

    A:

    Depending on the severity of a burn, treatment includes some combination of applying cold water for several minutes, wrapping the burn in sterile gauze and using drugstore medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen to minimize the pain. Major burns require the immediate attention of a doctor, according to Mayo Clinic.

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