Trends in emergency department visits due to sunburn and factors associated with severe sunburns in the United States

Raghav Tripathi, Rishabh S. Mazmudar, Konrad D. Knusel, Harib H. Ezaldein, Jeremy S. Bordeaux, Jeffrey F. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known regarding the burden of sunburns leading to emergency department (ED) visits in the United States (US). The objectives of this research were to characterize the burden of sunburn ED visits, investigate predictors of severe sunburns, and evaluate risk factors for increased cost of care in patients presenting to the ED for sunburn. In this nationally representative cross-sectional study of the National Emergency Department Sample (NEDS, 2013–2015), multivariable models were created to evaluate adjusted odds for sunburn ED visits, seasonal/regional variation in sunburn ED visits, adjusted odds for second and third degree sunburns, and risk factors for increased ED expenditure. 82,048 sunburn ED visits were included in this study. On average, the cost of care for a sunburn ED visit was $1132.25 (± $28.69). The prevalence and cost of ED visits due to sunburn increased during the summer months. Controlling for sociodemographic factors, comorbidities, and hospital characteristics, patients presenting to the ED for all sunburns (and for severe sunburns) were most likely to be lower income young adult men. Older, higher income patients in metropolitan hospitals had more expensive ED visits. This research provides nationally representative estimates of visits to the ED due to sunburn in the US, as well as evaluates determinants for severe sunburns and more expensive sunburn ED visits. Ultimately, characterizing the national burden of ED visits due to sunburn is critical in the development of interventions to reduce the impact of sunburn ED visits on the US healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Dermatology consult
  • Disparities
  • ED
  • Emergency department
  • National emergency department sample
  • National trends
  • Sunburns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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