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is it okay to peel away the dead skin off of a 2nd degree sunburn?

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Yes, as long as it has no bodily fluids associated with the skin and the skin is dry and not associated with the underlying dermis.
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2nd degree burns are accompanied by the red, pain, as well as water bubbles. If the bubbles are more than 2 inches in diameter, seek professional help immediately. DO NOT POP THEM!! If there is a discoloration in any of the oozing, again, seek professional help immediately.

Try taking a cool shower. Taking a cold shower or bath can cause the body to go into shock. If you wish to take a bath, you can add vinegar to your water. The vinegar will take out the sting from the sunburn. You can also cook oatmeal and add it to your bath as well. Of course, these are just home remedies and do not replace your regular health care provider. If unsure at anytime when you receive your sunburn, call your health care provider for assistance.
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You can peel the skin but I think the best method would be to let the skin come off naturally. I know it's a little unsightly but you can sometimes expose tender flesh underneath and it can exacerbate the situation. I know that it's a pain, but it's your best strategy. I hope that you recover from this quickly! In the meantime, just keep the salve and lotion on and your skin will look great again in no time.
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