Sun poisoning as the name suggest is a condition developed due to extreme exposure to the sun. This is your skin’s response to sun exposure which comes in form of reaction. This is a severe kind of sunburn. Sunburn is inflammatory condition of skin which results due to excessive exposure to UV rays emitted from sun. UV radiation from any source can be harmful to the skin and can also cause damages to the eye. Sun poisoning does not mean that you are actually been poisoned by the son. It is just a term to depict intensity of severe sunburn cases. Like other disorders even this condition is accompanied with certain symptoms.
Types of Sun poisoning
There are basically two types of sun poisoning which are Polymorphous Light and Eruption (PMLE) and Solar Urticaria. These two issues are explained below.
Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE)
This kind of sun poisoning is a reaction which is not apparently linked with drugs or diseases. It occurs in individuals who are susceptible and exposed to extreme sunlight which they are not generally used to. For instance, people living in northern climate may suffer from this condition if they relocate to tropical region for short term. Symptoms of the condition are usually skin rashes that become obvious after few hours from the exposure to sun. These rashes may be itchy some times and have bumps on the affected region. You may also notice dense cluster of bumps and hives usually occurring on the arms and legs as well as torso.
Polymorphous Light Eruption may also be inherited which is commonly found in Native Americans. This condition may persist until fall. Symptoms of this kind of PMLE may occur with signs such as redness, itch and burning sensation. These signs may often last for two to three days and ebb away, but in some cases it may also persist for a week. These signs are also accompanied with other symptoms such as:
- Head pain
- Chills and tremor
This is another kind of sun poisoning wherein the symptoms may develop faster within minutes after exposure to extreme sun light. Some of the symptoms that may occur due to this condition may include:
Though the blisters may ebb away within few hours it may recur throughout the year.
Other Symptoms of Sun Poisoning
Merely a 15 minutes long exposure to hot sun may cause sunburns. However, occurrence of such damages to skin by sun radiation becomes noticeable after some time. It may take a few hours for discomfort and redness to become obvious. Generally, people may be influenced by the sun if they remain in sun for prolonged time without any protection. Such burns from sun are more influential on people with fair complexion and light hair. Apart form redness and discomfort following are some other possible symptoms of sun poisoning.
- Blisters along with redness
- Tingling sensation
- Head pain
In case if you experience these aforementioned symptoms it is better to consult a doctor and seek medical assistance. This will help you avoid possibilities and underlying issues.
Sun poisoning treatment
People experiencing sun poisoning often finds it difficult to deal with burning sensation and they desire to get rid of it faster. Though a doctor can certainly help you eradicate adversities caused due to sunburn, there are also some home remedies which comes handy to deal with these conditions. One of the easiest home treatments to deal with sun poisoning includes applying cold compresses. You can make cold compresses of equal parts of milk as well as water. You can also apply herbal creams or lotion based on aloe vera. You may get at least a few variety of this lotion at all medicine store.
It is not suggested to use anesthetic lotions. These lotions may cause allergic reaction if applied on sensitive skin. You should also avoid using anything that may prevent your skin from getting needed air. This may slow down the natural healing process. The burning sensation can also be relieved by taking a cool bath (not with cold water). While taking bath do not use anything such as soap, salt or shampoo. Using these substances may aggravate the condition. You can also keep yourself hydrated by increasing the amount of fluid, preferably plain water. After taking bath, ensure to gently dry your body do not be harsh, especially on the affected area.
You can also prevent your burnt skin from infection by applying silver sulfadiazine tropical cream. In case pain is intense you can use anti- inflammatory medicines or pain killer to get relief. Even if you consult a doctor, he may also prescribe you these medications. In case if the doctor determines that you are suffering from dehydration he may suggest you to be on drips. In case if you are suggested hospitalization then consider it to be a serious case but such cases are rare. Recurring sun poisoning may also lead to skin cancer which may ultimately lead to death if not treated timely.
Measures that you can take in case of severe sun burn
- First of all you need to get away from the sun and protect yourself from UV as much as possible
- Use cool compresses and take cool bath twice a day
- Put on an air conditioner in house and in your car
- Avoid using harsh chemicals on the skin at least in the affected skin
- Consult your doctor immediately
Prevention of Sun poisoning
If you stay in hot climate you may need regular protection from sun to prevent sun poisoning. Some of the best ways to avoid this condition are:
- Sunscreen:- Wearing sunscreen when you are outdoor will prevent or at least reduce the effect of UV rays significantly. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with minimum 30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor). You can check for the SPF level on the label of the cream. Sunscreen protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. You should apply this lotion on your skin at least 15 minutes before leaving your house. You may also have to reapply the solution every three hours or when you wash your face or even sweat.
- Restrict Exposure to Sun:-
You should restrict your exposure to sunlight. It is believed that sunrays are usually intense from 1 to 4 or clock in the noon. During this slot of the day you should restrict your exposure to sunlight. Nevertheless, it is better to avoid sun as much as possible. At the same time you should understand that sun light is also essential for us, hence, you need some amount of sunlight.
- Wear Protection:-
Even if it is inevitable to go out in sunny environment, you can obtain protection by wearing proper gears. For example, you can wear a wide rimmed hat which is quite useful. You can also use an umbrella which gives considerable protection. Wearing long sleeve tops and full length bottoms will be beneficial to great extent. You can also increase your protection by having tinted glass windows for your car.
Sun poisoning solely occurs due to too much exposure to sun. Some people with insignificant pigments in their skin are more susceptible to sun poisoning. This is especially seen in people with fairer skin. There are also medicines that may make you vulnerable to this disorder. These medicines may include tranquilizers, hypertension medications as well as birth control drugs. But skin susceptibility due to medications is not a common occurrence. It is often recorded that fairer people are more prone to sun poisoning than people with darker skin. You should be extra careful while going in sun if you have a lighter skin. The condition is often not fatal but if not controlled timely and effectively it may turn hazardous overtime. You should strictly consult a doctor if you have recurring sun poisoning issue.
Sun Poisoning Rash – Pictures