It’s summer, it’s hot, and we all pretty much know it. If you’re anything like me, I have to buy sunscreen every other week and apply it at least twice a day. If not, I’ll turn into a tomato three seconds after I step outside in sun. I’m serious, it’s the worst thing ever. Especially if your skin decided to act out, causing it to burn and peel.
Did you know that sometimes, extreme cases of severe sunburn can actually cause sun poisoning? Yes, that is definitely a thing. Sun poisoning occurs when UV rays inflame your skin. If it is left untreated, it can lead to very severe symptoms. Usually, it is most common in the summer and attacks those with lighter skin tones, especially redheads (there goes my time in the sun), or those who are susceptible to sun poisoning.
Why? Well, their body has not had a chance to produce melanin, the pigment that absorbs UV light and darkens the skin to form a protective layer.
Don’t know if your burn is due to sun poisoning or just a regular sunburn? Here are a few things you should look out for when it comes to sun poisoning symptoms, and what to do if you think you might be in danger of sun exposure.
Check to see if you have any sun rashes.
The main symptoms of sunburn is a burning “rash.” The skin usually reddens, dries up and peels off. Yet, for sun poisoning, the symptoms are a bit more severe. There is usually swelling, large blisters begin to form, one develops a headache or a fever, is prone to dizziness and nausea, can get a rapid pulse, and can get dehydrated.
The worst part of it all? The sun can cause the allergy to widespread across the body, and be extremely itchy. The rash can also develop small bumps that might look like hives. Usually, the severity of the rash depends on the skin type and age of the person. Like stated, people with sensitive skin or lighter complexion will have a higher probability of getting a harsher rash. If untreated the say can become into blisters.
Watch out for Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE).
Yes, this name is quite a handful, but it’s very important to know what to do when one suspects they have it. This is usually common when someone’s skin reacts to the sun after them not being used to the intense sunlight. This mostly affects children and fair-skinned people who live in northern climates. Usually, one can see they have PMLE if they see their arms, hands, neck, chest or lower legs, getting small dots forming into a rash. Just 20 minutes of light exposure can actually trigger the problem, and they usually anywhere from half an hour to an hour, to a few days later! It’s a delayed ration, tricky, tricky!
What are the symptoms of PMLE?
Yes, PMLE made it twice on the list because, well, how do you know you have PMLE? Usually one can have a severe skin rash, hives, or cluster of bumps. Some remedies that might help heal PMLE are ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin to relieve pain. Drink extra fluids, cover sunburned areas and put sunscreen before going outside. Apply hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching and pain (works wonders.) Avoid popping any blisters or sweating on the rash.
One can also check if they have PMLE by checking if they have red papule or has intensely itchy spots that look like bumps. Be careful if you do scratch though, they may lead to scaring.
Do you have flu-like symptoms?
Many people don’t actually know this is a very important symptom. If your reaction gets too severe, yes, sun poison can feel like you have the flu. In addition to dealing with a painful, painful, burn, you can also get a fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, exhaustion, and fainting spells. Symptoms can last anywhere from hours to days if your condition is bad. This is due once again, the inflammation of the skin. When you get burned, your skin becomes tender and red, and sometimes the sunburn even reaches beyond the skin.
What can you do to protect your skin?
Seek medical attention as soon as possible and get out of the sun immediately. If not treated early and properly, it can increase the likelihood of skin cancer. An easy way to begin to treat it is to hydrate and take ibuprofen to manage the pain. You can also use cold compressors to soothe the soreness of the skin and apply aloha vera. When washing your skin, use cold water when bathing and avoid scented item such as bath salts, lotions, perfumes and oils that may react negatively harm the skin. Most importantly, avoid the sun at all cost!
Now, of course, we aren’t telling you to have an awful time during summer and avoid the sun at all cost. These are just reminders that sometimes our skin can easily burn without us knowing, which can cause us to end up in the emergency room. The best way to treat a serious sunburn is to, you guessed it, prevent them. Before leaving to your destination, put on some broad spectrum over-the-counter sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher. Your best bet would be to use one that is at a high-protection level and is water-resistant. Usually, when you want to apply, make sure you use enough that can cover all areas. Wait 15 minutes before heading outside, and yes, apply every two hours.
Your best bet would be to get to know your skin. Check and feel if you still have residue left over, apply as much as you need to avoid getting burnt. If you are more prone to getting sunburnt, say, you have fair skin or are on medication, then you might be more sensitive to the sun. Staying on top of your skin care touring can help you save your life, and ultimately your skin! Get those cold compressors, and that aloe vera when needed. Remember, it’s the only skin we’ve got!