Sun poisoning, also known as sun poisoning , heat stroke or heat stroke, is an extreme case of sunburn. This is a serious burn that occurs when ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun inflames your skin. It begins with symptoms similar to those of any sunburn, which is why it usually goes unnoticed, causing more serious and dangerous symptoms.

Sun poisoning is more common during the summer months and in sunny areas.

People with lighter skin, especially redheads, are more susceptible to heatstroke because your body hasn’t had a chance to produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that absorbs UV light and darkens (tans) the skin to form a protective layer.

What are the symptoms of sun poisoning?

The main symptom of sun poisoning is a stinging rash in which the skin becomes red, dry and peeling. More serious symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • large blisters
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fast heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Inflammation

A sunburn can occur in less than 15 minutes. Spending too much time outdoors on a sunny day could lead to a serious sunburn and even sun poisoning. The short-term negative effects of sun poisoning manifest over the next four to seven days. Other serious long-term effects last until after the first week.

Symptoms of sun poisoning can last two to three days or persist for weeks. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. If not treated early and properly, sun poisoning can increase the risk of developing skin cancer .

What is sun poisoning rash?

Sun poisoning rash, also known as sun allergy or sun rash, can result from sun poisoning or excessive sun exposure. This is a widespread red rash that is very itchy. Small bumps similar to hives may also appear on the skin.

Another sign of sun poisoning is blisters. Blisters are small white, fluid-filled bumps surrounded by red, swollen skin that can be extremely painful and itchy.

How can I prevent sun poisoning?

Heatstroke and sunburn can be prevented by following these steps:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection and protective clothing, such as hats or caps.

Factors that increase the risk of sun poisoning

A pre-existing condition, such as lupus and eczema, can increase the risk of sun poisoning.

Polymorphous light eruption (PLE)

A special type of sun poisoning is polymorphous light eruption (PLE). This is a sun-induced skin reaction in people who are not used to bright sunlight. It mainly affects light-skinned people who live in more northern climates.

Medications that cause sun sensitivity

Some common medications that can cause sun sensitivity are:

  • Acne medications such as retinoids.
  • Antibiotics such as doxycycline, tetracycline and ofloxacin.
  • Antidepressants such as doxepin and tricyclics.
  • Treatments against fungi such as griseofulvin.
  • Antihistamines such as promethazine and diphenhydramine.

How to treat sun poisoning?

If you suffer from a mild sunburn or sun poisoning, there are home remedies that can help reduce the pain:

  • Apply cold compresses infused with an equal mixture of milk and water or Burow’s solution to help soothe the skin. Aloe vera gel can serve as an alternative.
  • Avoid the sun until you feel better and take precautionary measures to avoid a similar situation in the future.
  • Hydrate and take ibuprofen to control pain.
  • Take cool (not cold) water baths .
  • Avoid scented products such as lotions, bath salts, oils , and colognes because they can react negatively with burned skin.

Treatment for heat stroke rash is very similar:

  • Apply a cold compress with a solution of water, apple cider vinegar, milk, or baking soda.
  • Apply a natural calming agent such as aloe vera or coconut oil.
  • Let the cold compress sit for 30 to 60 minutes and repeat as necessary.
  • Take pain relievers if pain persists.
  • Use an anti-itch cream to protect your skin and relieve itching. If the itching worsens, your doctor may need to prescribe an antibiotic.

If you experience sun poisoning, sunburn, or sun rash, it is best to avoid the sun.

If you have severe symptoms of sun poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. Warning signs include fever and chills, upset stomach, headache, confusion, fainting, or dehydration.

Nota del editor: Este article se publicó por primera vez el , y se revisó por última vez el .

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