Sun Poisoning – What to Watch For

With the summer months approaching, you will want to be on the watch for sun poisoning. Sun poisoning doesn’t mean you were poisoned by the sun, it just means that your severe sunburn is causing distress to your body in the form of a headache, fever or chills, nausea, dizziness, and more. Sun poisoning can cause additional complications with your body, which is why it is important to call your doctor if you are noticing any symptoms of sun poisoning.

Considering it only takes 15 minutes of exposure to the sun to cause a sunburn, be sure to protect your skin with a sunscreen, any time you go outside – even if it is cloudy. Sunscreen will help keep your skin safe from a sunburn (or sun poisoning), but it is best to try to avoid the sun as much as possible. Make sure your children also have sunscreen on when they play outside as they may not realize they are getting burned. Sunscreen does need to be applied multiple times throughout the day, at least every 2 hours you (or your children) are in the sun… especially if they are playing in water. Even though you may have purchased a sunscreen that is water resistant or water proof, you should still reapply sunscreen anytime you (or your children) get out of the water and have dried off.

If you are outside and notice or feel a sunburn happening, get inside or in a shaded area immediately. The effects of sun poisoning can actually occur for 4 – 7 days after your initial sunburn and can be quite distressing, so you may not realize how bad your sunburn is at the time – which is why it is important to try to prevent getting a sunburn. If your sunburn appears unusual and causes any of the symptoms listed above, you may have sun poisoning. Drink water and apply cool compresses to help with the pain and call your doctor if you are feeling ill or if you notice multiple blisters.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.