Sunburn treatment: Do I need medical attention?
Medically reviewed on February 26, 2018
Consult a doctor for sunburn treatment if:
- The sunburn is severe — with blisters — and covers a large portion of your body
- The sunburn is accompanied by a high fever, headache, severe pain, dehydration, confusion, nausea or chills
- You've developed a skin infection, indicated by swelling, pus or red streaks leading from the blister
- Your sunburn doesn't respond to at-home care
Your doctor might suggest a corticosteroid cream for your sunburn, or a short course of prednisone for severe cases involving large areas of your body. Antibiotics are most often not required unless you develop an infection.