A 20-year-old woman who is an avid jogger and currently training for the LA marathon, presents to the urgent care clinic for “sunburn”. She developed pain and redness on both her arms after 3 hours of running outside today. She was recently prescribed a topical and an oral medication for acne vulgaris. She has no allergies to any medications or dietary supplements and has no other medical history. Physical examination shows confluent areas of erythema, warmth, and edema on her upper extremities that are tender to touch.
Which of the following is the most appropriate initial treatment for this patient’s condition?
- A) Oral prednisone
- B) Supportive care
- C) Topical benzoyl peroxide
- D) Cafalexin
- E) Topical silver sulfadiazine
B) Supportive care
This patient is suffering from a mild-moderate sunburn and should be treated with supportive care. The patient’s sunburn is likely a result of a photosensitivity reaction from the use of doxycycline, which causes significant photosensitivity in comparison to retinoids and is one of the treatments of acne vulgaris.
Supportive care for mild-moderate sunburn includes cool compresses, aloe vera, calamine lotion, and NSAIDs. Severe sunburn may require hospitalization, wound care, intravenous fluid therapy and analgesia.
The side effects of topical azelaic acid, dapsone, and erythromycin is erythema, dryness, and pruritis. Additionally, these medications are treatments for inflammatory acne. Oral antibiotics such as the 1st generation cephalosporin, cafalexin (Keflex) are not indicated.
Dr. Raj Dasgupta