What is Sun Poisoning?
Sun poisoning is really, really, REALLY bad sun burn! Sunburns are never fun. Your get red, it stings, it itches, but it doesn’t leave any permanent damage. Sun poisoning and sunburns, or photodermatitis, is your skin’s allergic reaction to being out in the sun too much.
What is the difference between sun burn and sun poisoning?
The symptoms are much more severe for sun poisoning then for a regular sun burn. An average sunburn will leave your skin red, dry, itchy and then it will peel. Some may even include a couple of nasty blisters which should be cleaned to avoid infection. Sun poisoning leads to symptoms that go beyond your skin. You may experience headache, fever, nausea, dizziness and fluid loss.
Whether you are sunburnt or have sun poisoning it is important to stay hydrated, but especially with sun poisoning since you have lost lots of fluid. Make sure that you apply ice, cold compresses (like peas) to reduce the itching and swelling. You also can take an aspirin to reduce swelling and pain. You can also try taking a beta-carotene supplement to help get rid of some of that nasty inflammation. Otherwise, treat it like you would a regular sunburn. Time heels all wounds as they say, and try to stay out of the sun and as comfortable as you can in the mean time.
Warning: Do NOT use oils with fragrances or exfoliants which will make you feel worse!
In addition to all the above information a cool bath may help lower your body temperature. Do not go into a cold bath though. When you get out of tub make sure to pat your skin dry, and not rub (which would make your skin even more irritated). Laying out in front of the A.C., sticking your head in the freezer or exposure to any cool environment will help ease the symptoms.
(PMLE) Polymorphous Light Eruption (Something that COULD happen to you.. but probably won’t)
One in every 10 American will experience PMLE at some point, and your risk is higher if you are woman. It does not matter what age you are, and can happen to pretty much anyone. One scenario that makes it happen frequently is a drastic climate change. For example, if you live in Toronto and vacation in Colombia, you may have some trouble if you do not apply sun screen.
This condition usually occurs in the form of a rash that will happen after 30 minutes to hours after being exposed to the sun. The rash is basically small bumps all over the body in clumps. These symptoms can last for days or weeks. Overall it is really not a pleasant experience. See a doctor if you think you experience PMLE when outdoors.
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