eNewsletter Dermatology Sign Up
Look good, feel great with Beautiful Skin
Crutchfield Dermatology Home Patient Reviews Patient Portal Make a Payment Leading Doctors Best Doctors in America Consumer’s Research Council of America Top Dermatologist for Women Mpls St. Paul Top Doctors Crutchfield Dermatology Awarded 2008 Best of St. Paul for their Excellence in Skin Care Mpls St. Paul Top Doctors Physcian Health Care Heros America's Top Doctors Request Appointment eNewsletter Sign Up
Medical Education Sectionspacer

What is the redness on this man's leg?

A man's leg turns red after watching an outdoor baseball game.

What is your diagnosis?

Sunburn on legs

A man's leg turns red after watching an outdoor baseball game.



Sunburn is a phototoxic reaction as a result from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Chronic exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Having multiple sunburns is a risk factor in melanoma. The most important thing in sunburn to prevent it is sun protection. I recommend sun-protective clothing as the first line of defense against the sun because once you put it on, it always works for you and you don't have to worry about reapplying it. Also, the clothing they make now including a company called 'Coolibar' located in Golden Valley, Minnesota (makes tremendous protective wear that have a specially designed tight weave to block the sun but is well vented so they are very lightweight and are very comfortable. There are other sun protective clothing manufacturers as well. Also, on the protection side, is to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30; SPF measure the ability to block UVB, the wavelength most associated with sunburns. Most important is to make sure the sunscreen ALSO has protection against UVA, which produces wrinkles and skin cancer. Fortunately, most sunscreens have both, but not all do, so best to check. Also put the sunscreen on 30 minutes before sun exposure; it take s 20 minutes or so to set up and then reapply every 60 minutes (even more often if swimming or perspiring) to maintain protection.



To treat sunburn, I use two things, a class 1 steroid gel kept in the refrigerator to be applied three times daily for three to five days. In between applications, I recommend an aloe gel, also kept in the refrigerator. This is nice and cool. I like oral plain aspirin appropriate for age and weight. Generally speaking, in adults two aspirin every 6 to 8 hours for three to five days. Indomethacin has also been used, but in my experience aspirin has worked just fine. If there is an extensive disruption of the epidermis, also monitor for infection.


Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD
Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor of Dermatology
At the
University of Minnesota Medical School
Medical Director, Crutchfield Dermatology



Cases of the Month Archives

spacer spacer

Crutchfield Dermatology

651-209-3600       Look Good, Feel Great with Beautiful Skin ™

Prestigious Organizations
MetroDoctors ASDS-Net.org ASCDAS.org NMANET.org aestheticmd.com Better Business Bureua
expert injectorMayo Clinic American Board Dermatology American Medical Med.UMN.edu cosmeticsurgery.org ASNA Top Dermatologist

AAD Fellow Alpha Omega Alpha
Crutchfield Dermatology All Photographs are copyright protected. Unauthorized use is prohibited 651-209-3600

Crutchfield Dermatology
1185 Town Centre Drive Suite 101 Eagan, MN 55123
Call for appointment: 651-209-3600 Fax: 651-209-3601

top 100 places to work

Proudly serving: The greater Twin Cities area, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, Eden Prairie, Eagan, Richfield, Bloomington, Hopkins, Savage, Mendota Heights, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Crystal, Roseville, West St. Paul, Apple Valley, Burnsville

Web Design Arbor Bay Marketing


Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society