08/08/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tanning: What To Do When You've Gone Too Far

Sunburn occurs when overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays kills cells in the top layer of skin and triggers reactions like inflammation, redness, pain and blistering, said Dr. Mandy L. Warthan, a dermatologist in Dallas.

For mild discomfort, Dr. Warthan recommended ibuprofen or naproxen to bring down inflammation. For more acute sunburns, she suggested corticosteroid creams. She also recommended cold water compresses or cool, but not icy, baths to relieve inflamed skin and fragrance-free moisturizers for dryness and flakiness.

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