Sun tan, sun burn even sun stroke are some of the sun or UV rays related problems everyone is familiar with, but there are hardly few people who know about sun poisoning. Well it does not mean you are poisoned by sun or something, but a more severe form of sunburn characterized by inflammation and rashes.
Also known as polymorphous light eruption, sun poisoning is a skin condition which occurs to those who stay in sun for long without wearing any protective aid or have highly sensitive skin towards sun. Certain vitamin deficiencies and reaction of medication or plant allergy can also trigger sun poisoning. One can get this skin problem even from tanning lamps and tanning beds. Rashes, Blisters, itching and redness are allergic response of your skin to sun and their severity may vary depending upon the type of skin and length of the period of solar exposure. It starts with redness of the skin with the formation of bumps over the affected area, if you are still out in the sun, soon your skin will develop blisters and rashes. In very severe cases, sun poisoning can lead to second degree burns for which immediate medical help should be take.
This skin problem can occur to any person, of all age groups. Proper care and treatment is must to cure its symptoms and prevent it from reoccurring.
Sun Poisoning Symptoms
Itching, redness and peeling of skin are some of the common symptoms of sunburn and sun poisoning both, which may appear within 15 minutes after being exposed to the sun. Other characteristic symptoms and signs of sun poisoning are:
- Sun rash with blisters
- Tenderness and burning sensation
- Dehydration and vomiting
- Fluid loss with electrolyte imbalance
Some of these symptoms are found at particular areas of the body, exposed to the sun, which may spread all over depending upon the severity of sun poisoning. The skin is hot to touch and becomes tender. In many cases of sun allergies, people show signs of sunburn, but due to their negligence and continuous exposure to sun light for long worsens the symptoms. Thus it is important to have potential treatment or to take preventive measures to safeguard your skin from harmful effects of solar radiation as it protects your internal parts from outside environment.
Sun Poisoning Treatments
Treatment for sun poisoning depends on the severity of this problem. Today you may find several treatments and medications for sun poisoning which can provide instant and complete relief from this painful, discomforting condition. Also there are many home remedies which can be used for treating severe sunburn and sun allergies. You should consult your dermatologist to know your skin type and right treatment for symptoms of sun poisoning.
- Use ice packs or cold water over the affected area to avoid burning sensation and itching. This is the first step before any treatment is provided.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel over the affected area. This aids in reducing swelling, redness and sooths the skin.
- Calendula, in the form of tincture or suspension, is used for reducing inflammation and controlling bleeding, if any.
- Use any cream or salve containing at least 1 percent of hydrocortisone to get relief from itching.
- Take anti-inflammatory medicines like Motrin and Aspirin for instant relief from pain and redness.
- For severe cases of sun poisoning, steroid injections are given to the patients in order to dwindle down inflammation and swelling. Along with these, certain creams are prescribed for healing purpose.
- In a tub of lukewarm water, add one cup of cedar vinegar (white) for instant comfort. Vinegar is helpful in relieving from burning sensation and stinging and reduces fever. You can also apply diluted vinegar using a cotton plug over the affected area.
- Yoghurt acts as the natural coolant which helps in reducing inflammation and blisters. It also prevents any bacterial infection from spreading through opened sores and thus, is an effective and age-old remedy used for treating symptoms of sun poisoning.
Prevention of Sun Poisoning
Sun is everywhere, so staying completely away from it is practically not possible. Also to know which product, pant, medication or vitamin deficiency will make your skin more vulnerable to sun allergy is quiet tough. But one can surely take protective measures, especially those with sun sensitivity, to guard their skin from sun poisoning and other problems. If you have a fair skin, then your risks of getting sun poisoning will increase. Some of the preventive steps which you can take to avoid getting that red, itchy, fluid-busted rash are as follows:
- As soon as you feel the symptoms, come in shade or any cool place. Also limit your exposure to sun during summers.
- Wear protective gears like sunglasses, gloves (protective clothing) and hat to protect your skin from harmful sun rays.
- Use sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. It should be at least SPF 30 and does not contain any sun allergic chemical.
- Drink lots of water to keep you and your skin hydrated. You can also consume fresh juices and shakes (no sugary fluids) to increase your daily fluid intake.
- There are some medications like acne medication, birth control pills, antibiotics etc. which can increase your photo sensitivity, so ask your doctor before you take any of these.
- If your skin is photosensitive due to vitamin deficiency, then start taking carrots, flax seed oil and green tea which are good source of vitamins like beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and others. Also consume fresh fruits and vegetables for more minerals and skin soothing vitamins.
- Use cool or gel based products to apply over the affect area and keep it dry.
- Keep your skin clean (away from dirt, dust and snow which can intensify sun allergy) and properly moisture in every reason to maintain its proper texture and avoid sunburn.