We aren’t living in the 60s and 70s anymore, when it was common for women to lay out in the hot sun for hours each day in pursuit of the perfect tan. Fortunately, most people now understand that the sun’s UV rays can harm the skin and lead to unattractive skin conditions and even cancer. But what many people don’t realize is that there’s something worse than sunburn that can occur when out in the sun for too long. It’s called sun poisoning, and it’s very important to understand the signs and symptoms, especially if you have children who love playing outdoors in the summer.
What is Sun Poisoning?
Sun poisoning is essentially an extreme case of sunburn that causes symptoms above and beyond standard red skin. UV radiation is very inflammatory and can cause painful damage to the skin, so this damage in large quantities is considered sun poisoning. It’s most common during summer months, especially in southern states and areas closer to the equator.
Symptoms of Sun Poisoning
Sun poisoning can form as little as 15 or 20 minutes after entering the sun, especially without any sunscreen or protective clothing. Its symptoms might manifest themselves for the next four to seven days. The main signs of sun poisoning are hive-like blisters and itchiness, but scaling and bleeding is even possible in the areas of worst sun exposure. As the body struggles to deal with the extra UV rays it has absorbed, it’s also common for fever, chills, nausea, dizziness, or even fainting to occur.
Sun poisoning does have some treatment options. The first and most obvious is to prevent it all together by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and staying in the shade. However, if it’s too late, be sure to stay hydrated and take an anti-inflammatory to manage any pain. A cold compress of equal parts milk and water, as well as Aloe Vera gel, can help soothe the skin against burns. Avoid the sun until you’re feeling better, since more sun will only make everything worse!