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Sunburned Scalp Symptoms and their Relief

A sunburned scalp can be painful or an agonizing condition that is probably going to peel and drop as it recuperates or heal. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, it’s fairly easy to prevent scalp sunburn altogether by wearing a hat when you’re out in the sun.

Also, sunburn is known to be a common problem especially during summer affecting a large population of people in Europe just immediately after long season of winter. It is said to carry an increased risk of skin cancer when you have had sunburn more than five times in your life.

Get more insight from the article below and get to know how to control and prevent sunburned scalp.


Signs and side effects of sunburn generally show up inside a couple of hours after sun presentation. Be that as it may, it might take a day or longer to know the full degree of your sunburn.

The following are the signs and symptoms of sunburn scalp:

  • Pinkness or redness
  • Skin that feels warm or hot to the touch
  • Pain, tenderness or itching
  • Swelling
  • Small fluid-filled blisters, which may break
  • Headache, fever, chills and fatigue if the sunburn is severe
  • Sunburn itch
  • Skin loss or peeling after several days of getting the scalp sunburned

Does it cause hair loss

Hair protects your scalp from the sun’s harmful rays, but if your hair is thinning, you need to protect your scalp with sunscreen on a daily basis, says Dr. Eric Schweiger, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon at Bernstein Medical — Center for Hair Restoration in New York City.

Any mild scalp sunburn won’t harm your hair follicles, but exposure that causes blistering can cause scarring and pre-cancer cells, which will harm hair follicles permanently.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends against indoor tanning because tanning-bed radiation exposure is similar to the sun and in some cases may even be stronger.

However, hair loss is known to be caused by various major factors such as scalp psoriasis, scalp eczema, hormonal imbalances and thyroid problems.

Sunburned scalp is a minor cause of hair loss and can be prevented by wearing a hat or even staying indoor to minimize direct exposure from UVR AND URB rays from the sun that can cause scalp damage.

BListering and oozing

Exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause two levels of damage to the skin, and these are first degree and second degree sunburn.

First degree sunburn is said to be mild as compared to second degree which is far more harmful to the skin with potentially lasting damage as a result.

Second degree sunburn causes damage which can appear soon after exposure to the sun and is recognized by one or more of the following:

  • Extremely red appearance to the skin
  • Prominent heat felt from the skin’s surface
  • Severe pain to the skin even when it is not touched
  • Blistering which may weep serous fluid
  • Swelling to the affected area of the body


As your sunburn heals, it will result in peeling skin. On your scalp, this can look like large flakes of dandruff. Use a fine-toothed comb to comb these pieces out of your hair, and check frequently throughout the day for new ones. Scalp peeling should only last a few days.

Protect your scalp from sunburn by applying sunblock to all exposed areas or by wearing your hair in a style that is less likely to expose areas, such as a ponytail. However, the best protection for your scalp is a hat that protects against UV rays.

Yellow crust

Sunburn on the scalp can get serious and infected. It can turn into scalp eczema. This scalp condition may lead to appearance of small bumps or blisters that are fluid filled.

In most cases, these blisters may be a sign and symptom of impetigo which is a skin infection caused by bacteria and characterized by small blisters that form yellow crusts when ruptured.

It is important that to wash the infected areas with soap and water to prevent spreading. Topical antiseptic ointments may also be indicated. Also, have this checked by your doctor for proper evaluation.

Itchy cases 

Itchy scalp is commonly associated with dandruff, although there are other causes such as dry scalp, ringworms and even bacterial infection caused by an autoimmune condition.

However, scalp peeling due to sunburn, can leading to scratching of scalp resulting to small flakes that look like dandruff due to dehydration of the scalp skin.

If the scalp becomes sore, it is recommended to visit your healthcare for further examination but meanwhile wash your scalp with lukewarm water.

With dandruff

Sunburn on scalp causes the appearance of dry skin that leads accumulation of dead skin that flakes off like dandruff. Many people think that a dry scalp is synonymous with dandruff, but either a dry scalp or an overly oily scalp can cause excess cells to clump and fall off, forming dandruff flakes.

Dandruff due to a dry scalp can be treated with inexpensive, medicated dandruff shampoos sold in drugstores that contain pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole.

A gentle scalp massage and a good rinse can also help to prevent dandruff. Remember that your scalp can be sensitive to drying hair products, so take care with your hair and watch what you put on it.

Treatment and remedies

It is difficult to deal with a sunburned scalp compared to a regular sunburned skin. People having this condition can treat the sunburned scalp by doing preventive measures such as:

1. Green Tea

The tea can ease the stinging pain and is especially helpful within the first 24 hours. To make a green tea rinse for your hair, pour boiling water over a green tea bag and let the solution steep for five to 10 minutes.

Remove the teabag, place the cup of tea in the refrigerator and allow it to cool until it’s lukewarm. Wash your hair as usual, using a very gentle shampoo and conditioner. Pour the tea over your damp hair and massage it into your scalp. Do not rinse it out.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Its acidic content helps to draw the sting out of your sunburned scalp, making it easier to bear when it’s still fresh. Make a mixture of one part apple cider vinegar and one part water.

Wash your hair using a gentle shampoo and conditioner, then pours the apple cider rinse over your head. Leave the rinse in your hair. You can repeat this treatment up to twice daily until your sunburn has sufficiently healed.

3. Aloe Vera

It helps to cool down the burn and prevent peeling. Wash your hair with lukewarm water and dry it with a towel until it’s just damp.

Gently massage about 2 tsp. of an aloe vera after-sun gel or the sap from the center of an aloe vera leaf into your scalp and allow it to soak it for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse your hair with cool water.

4. Milk Dip

Milk is known to contain essential enzymes that bond to skin and speed up your skin’s ability to heal. The fat, protein, and pH have anti-inflammatory properties that help calm the skin. The cold temperature takes this remedy a step further by restricting the blood vessels in the scalp and reducing any swelling.

  1. Symptoms of Sunburned Scalp and How to Treat It at Home: http://www.simple-remedies.com/skin-care/sunburned-scalp.html
  2. Sunburn on scalp, hair loss? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090726193924AAplRoZ
  3. How to Save a Sunburned Scalp From Itchy, Flaky Ruin: http://www.byrdie.com/sunburn-remedies-for-scalp
  4. My scalp got sunburned..now I have dandruff!! https://forum.purseblog.com/threads/my-scalp-got-sunburned-now-i-have-dandruff.270816/
  5. Itchy scalp?? Could it be from sunburn? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070709194126AAqX4Bt

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