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Avoid Sun Poisoning

When you're out in the sun, which is bound to happen with all this gorgeous warm weather we're having, you've got to be careful not to get sun poisoning, or Photodermatitis, as it is scientifically called. Sun poisoning is a condition that develops when your skin over reacts to UV rays from the sun.

What causes it? Sometimes certain medications like antibiotics, certain skin products such as soap, sunscreens containing PABA, or certain fragrances may cause photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to UV rays). You should also be aware that just plain ol' overexposure to the sun is one of the main causes, so avoid staying out in the sun all day.

Symptoms of sun poisoning are fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, chills, headache, swelling, a burning sensation, a red itchy rash, small blisters, or peeling of the skin. When you're out in the sun for a long time, keep an eye out for these symptoms.

To avoid a skin reaction, stay out of the sun during the brightest sun hours, from noon to 3pm. Remember that just because it's cloudy, doesn't mean you are protected - so always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when you are outdoors. Apply it to cool, dry skin 20-30 minutes before you go outside, and reapply it every 2 hours.

If you can stand being hot, you could also wear lightweight long sleeves, pants, and a hat to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Definitely avoid any chemicals that may trigger your reaction.

Fit's Tips: If you think you may have sun poisoning, definitely consult your doctor. If you know you have it, a cool shower or bath can help relieve symptoms. When you get out, lube yourself up with some aloe (I like to keep mine in the fridge for more of a cooling effect). Taking an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin may also reduce swelling, and help with nausea or headache.


Join The Conversation
AucuneRancune AucuneRancune 10 years
I ALWAYS get sun poisening (in its mild form) when I spend several hours in the sun. I get feverish in the worst cases, and usually very fatigued. The only thing that cures me is a nice loooong nap.
DCStar DCStar 10 years
I have very delicate, light skin, and even if I sit outside under an umbrella or hat, with sunscreen, etc. I will get sun-rash! It's so awful. And my friends wonder why I'd rather not lay out on the beach all day long!
smartypantssugar smartypantssugar 10 years
I had this happen last summer. I was taking penicllin for a root canal when I went white water rafting. I had a life vest on all day, so I was striped from that, and the tops of my thighs were blistered - they're still a few shades darker than the rest of my body. We had to drive four hours home, and I spent the whole ride crying with icebags on my legs and shoulders. Life lesson learned - double up on the sunscreen when you're taking ANYTHING!
steen steen 10 years
A friend of mine got sun poisoning last summer because her kids wanted to go swimming in their pool all the time. She was BRIGHT red. My skin has gotten increasingly more sensitive to the sun --- probably from not being in it as much --- so I make sure to slather on the highest SPF I can find, usually in sunblock for babies or kids. I make sure my make-up has at least some form of SPF too.
mrsgrillo mrsgrillo 10 years
I got this a couple of years ago when my husband and I took our boat out. I had SPF 45 on, but I guess it wore off. i was on birth control at the time, and when i went to the doctor with it, she told me that BC really increases your sensitivity to the sun. i have been out on days where the sun was much stronger and for a longer period of time, and had nothing like that happen. It was awful and painful and never again! I slather sunscreen on all the time now.
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
I've gotten it before and now if I know I am going to be outside all day, I take an allergy pill beforehand which seems to ward it off, I also take a couple llycine's when I come back inside.
thehabra thehabra 10 years
Ouch, pinupsweetheart!I feel ya.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
I got this a couple years ago. I went to an outdoor microbrew and it was overcast. I was really bad and didn't put sunscreen on until it was too late. The next day I was so sick. I was hot then cold then hot again. I kept throwing up and I was in so much pain. It took me two days to get over it - but it made me put on sunscreen when it is overcast.
the-clam the-clam 10 years
Aloe in the fridge is a good idea for sunburn! I use aloe on my face everyday - it keeps me from getting breakouts.
ellenmarie ellenmarie 10 years
Beautifulbarbie Beautifulbarbie 10 years
Aw, that looks bad.
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