Symptoms of Sun Poisoning and How to Treat Them
What is Sun Poisoning?
Sun poisoning refers to any severe symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight. The results of this condition vary depending on the severity of the exposure. Sunburn is the mildest form of sun poisoning, and is the best indicator of when you should retreat to shaded areas.
Sun poisoning isn’t actually poison, though there are some who suffer from skin conditions that are similar to allergies.
Do I have sun poisoning?
Below are the most common symptoms of sun poisoning, ranging from milder cases to more severe. However, all sun poisoning is more severe than a simple sunburn. If you experience any of the below symptoms, get out of the sun immediately.
Stages of Sun Poisoning Symptoms
What to do if You Have Sun Poisoning
Most cases of sun poisoning can be treated at home. Hydration is key, as well as avoiding additional sun exposure. If you must go outside, cover as much skin as you can with longer sleeves, hats, and long pants.
- Aloe vera is a natural healing product. In gel form, it can be spread on skin to greatly reduce pain, and speed healing.
- Cool baths can also soothe skin. Immersing burned areas into water also hydrates the skin
- Ibuprofen can be taken to soothe pain and reduce swelling
If your symptoms are difficult to manage, or last longer than a week, call a doctor. Sun poisoning can be very serious, and should not be left untreated for long. Professional medical help might become necessary.
What is a Sun Allergy?
Polymorphous Light Eruption
Polymorphous Light Eruption (or PMLE) is a rare skin condition that is aggravated by solar exposure. Reactions are similar to that of poison ivy or other skin allergies. Common symptoms of this unique condition are:
- Skin rash
- Raised bumps on the skin
- Dense clusters of hive-like rashing
- Itchy, raised patches of skin
If you’re suffering from symptoms of PMLE, it’s possible you have this condition. Typically, treatments are simple.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream to stop itching
- Stay hydrated – drink more fluids than you normally do
- Bathe in cool (not cold) water
- Take appropriate doses of ibuprofen for pain
A few days after initial exposure, PMLE symptoms should begin to subside. If they continue for extended periods of time without improving (a week or longer), seek medical attention.
Don’t let the fear of sun poisoning ruin your spring summer fun! One of the easiest ways to avoid overexposure to sunlight is by adding shade to your yard. Contact Superior Sun Solutions today if you’re interested in shade screens, awnings, or other UV-blocking products!