Treatments of Sun Poisoning

sun poisoning

It is good to spend some time in the sunshine to get the vital vitamin D from it. Enjoying the warmth of the sun in cold winter days is usually seen. When people spend a lot of time in the sun, their skin gets burn; a condition called sunburn. However, the most severe state of sunburn can lead to sun poisoning. When your skin is exposed to UV light over a long period, then it can lead to an allergy-like reaction called sun poisoning. Due to this, the UV radiation effects and damage the skin resulting in severe blisters or rash on the surface.

sun poisoning

People Who are Susceptible to Sun Poisoning: 

  • Those people who live near the equator.
  • People who have skin cancer in the family. You have more chances of getting the sun allergy if your parents are also the patient of it. Similarly, your siblings also have the opportunity of having this disease.
  • People who are on certain medications such as oral contraceptives or antibiotics. They should be careful about exposure to the sun.
  • People who have fair skin with light hair.
  • Those who have lupus or Eczema.
  • People who have lighter eye colours such as grey or blue coloured eyes.
  • People who are engaged in regular snow activities in the winter. As we all know, that sun reflects off the snow too.
  • People who are using some kind of Apple citrus oils on the skin before going to Sun exposure.

Types of UV Rays and Their Effects:

As we all know that all the skin damage is due to the ultraviolet radiation, and this UV light is the radiation energy from invisible light waves. There are usually three types of ultraviolet radiations named ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B, and ultraviolet C. However, only UVA and UVB reach the earth. Both types are dangerous for the skin.

If we consider both the rays, UVB rays being more vulnerable and cause more damage to the surface. They usually damage the outer layer of the skin causing skin cancer. Skin cancer may be Melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or basal cell carcinoma.

UVA rays, however, cause less damage to the skin, but they are less intense than UVB rays. Yet, they can reach the deeper layer of the skin and still can cause damage to the surface. So you should be careful when you are exposed to the sunlight.

The time when sun radiations are more intense.

According to many scientists, the time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. is the hard time when UV rays are at peak and can cause more damage to the skin. However, we all know that in summer and early autumn, the sun is at its peak. The UV rays are less intense in the winter season, but still, they can damage the skin and eyes.

The intensity of the UV rays is dependent on the altitude and latitude of the earth. If the height is higher, then the concentration of UV rays is also higher. Similarly, the UV rays are very intense when you are standing on the equator or near the equator.

One of the essential things that in the water, sand, and snow, is that the UV rays reflect from the reflective surfaces. So, when you are standing in water, sand, or snow, you are bombarded with UV rays from all the sides. Therefore, the swimmers, skiers have more danger of getting their skin damaged from the sun.

Sun allergy:

Many people all around the world have Sun allergy in which their skin gets the red colour and having rash whenever they are exposed to sunlight. Due to this allergy, people may have the chance of getting skin poison, which is the sun allergy called polymorphic light eruption.

As many people get sun allergy or Sun poisoning because of the hereditary problems, and some people trigger this cause because of the medications they are having. You can protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation by taking some preventive measures such as wearing Sun protective clothing or using sunglasses.

There are too many treatments to prevent sunburn or sun allergy. However, many people overcome this allergy without treatment. Many doctors treat sunburn with certain kinds of steroid creams or pills. We will discuss the procedures of sunburn in detail later in this article. 

Symptoms of sunburn:

There are several symptoms associated with sun poisoning in which the most common symptom is the reaction on the skin. However, it is similar to an allergic reaction which people get from other skin problems.

  • Itching on the skin
  • Having blisters on the skin
  • Bumps on arms
  • Redness of the skin
  • Fainting
  • Chills
  • Pain and swelling in severe conditions
  • Some times back pain

It is a critical condition when the affected area of the skin causes pain and also having swelling. It just looks like the Eczema lesions when the skin becomes red or swollen.

  • Darkening of the skin:

This is also the common symptom of skin allergy or skin damage when the colour of the skin becomes darker. This condition is commonly known as hyperpigmentation.

  • Fever:
  • The affected person may have the chance to have an illness.
  • Nausea or vomiting:

The patient also feels nausea during skin rash. Some patients may vomit in extreme conditions.


Headache is also the most common symptom of people with sunburn. Do not mix it with flu or some viral conditions as these are simple nausea and headache.


The person may feel dizziness having a sleepy condition.


The patient may also feel dehydration.

The person with sun poisoning is at more risk of getting skin cancer. This is the most alarming situation when a person hears from the doctor that you are at risk of getting skin cancer.

Acute vs Chronic Sun Poisoning:

There are two types of Sun poisoning named as acute and chronic form. In acute Sun poisoning, the symptoms are mild and also temporary. These symptoms can be removed with treatments. However, chronic Sun poisoning is a severe form when the symptoms are severe and also ongoing. It is tough to prevent yourself from the chronic form. If you have chronic conditions, then you must take medical advice from your doctor.

Symptoms May Varies Depending on:

  1. The time, location, duration, and altitude of exposure to the sun.
  2. The type of skin of the person.
  3. The type of medications a person is taking. Researchers assume that the people who are using sun-sensitizing drugs may have more chances of getting sunburn.
  4. The people who are using sunscreen lotions and creams.

Treatments for a sunburn:

There are many medical treatments. These treatments are used to lessen the symptoms of sunburn, such as blistering, peeling, burning, itching, and inflammation.

Treatment for Redness, Discomfort, and Pain:

For the treatment of pain, discomfort, and redness, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs are beneficial.

Oral NSAIDs include Motrin, Naprosyn, Advil, and especially Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is used widely all over the world for the treatment of pain on the skin due to sun allergy. However, the redness and anxiety can also be reduced by topical diclofenac 0.1% gel (Solaraze). People usually apply it immediately before exposure to the sun or after the exposure to UV rays. These medications play a vital role in relieving the symptoms of pain and redness.

Treatment for itching:

Over the counter moisturizer cream, if applied right after the shower or bath, is very helpful in relieving itching.

Treatments for pain:

There are certain anaesthetics such as benzocaine, which is very helpful for relieving the painful symptoms on the skin.

These treatments are also helpful in relieving the headache or other body pains due to sunburn.


Sometimes the dressing of the blisters is also essential. They are open wounds, and you can do the dressing by applying the clean, wet dressing to the erupted wounds. With the help of dressing, you can also protect your skin from the risk of having the infection.

Light Therapy:

Light therapy is also known as phototherapy. In this therapy, the affected person is exposed to a specific wavelength of light. This phototherapy plays a significant role in slowing the growth of damaged skin cells. It is also beneficial in relieving the pain and manage symptoms.

Drug Therapy:

Drug therapy is used by doctors when light therapy is not working on the patient. Drug therapy is only recommended for those people who are more sensitive to light. Short term and long term drug treatments are used by many people who have a severe sunburn.

Dietary Changes:

If you start consuming more vitamins and minerals in your diet, you can reduce the risk of photosensitivity due to the sun. So, make changes in your diet to prevent your skin from skin problems along with sunburn.

Other Medications:

As we discussed earlier that over the counter pain relievers such as naproxen and Ibuprofen are very helpful in it. These are anti-inflammatory drugs. Many Sunburn gels and creams are also beneficial. In addition to gel and anti-inflammatory drugs, different antibiotics are also potent in relieving pain and redness. In these antibiotics, silver sulfur diazine is very popular for the treatment of the severe condition of the skin.


Many steroids are beneficial in relieving pain, redness, and itching. Two types of Steroids are present; oral steroids, which are used for pain and swelling. Steroid creams for the painful blisters on the skin.

Intravenous fluids:

Intravenous fluids are the fluids that are given directly into the vein. These fluids are the liquids given to the patient in the replacement of water, sugar, and salt. So these fluids are given to the patient in severe conditions of sunburn.

Prevention from Sunburn:

When you think that your skin is more sensitive to the sun, you can help protect your skin from the Sun exposure by taking many preventive measures. Preventing yourself from exposure to the sun is very helpful in protecting your skin from severe chronic conditions.

Protective clothing:

You can protect your skin by using protective clothing whenever you go out in the sun. You must wear long-sleeve shirts when going outside, especially in the daytime. Broad hats are also trendy in preventing your face from sun exposure. You should avoid wearing thin fabrics whenever you are exposed to UV rays as they can easily pass through the thin clothing and damage your skin.

Avoiding the sun during peak hours:

As we also discussed earlier that the peak hours when you are more susceptible to sunburn. The peak hours are between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. So you must stay in your home during days these hours to protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation.

Avoiding a lot of exposure to sunlight


As you all know that eyes are also affected when you go out in daylight so you must protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, especially black sunglasses.


Different sunscreens are available in the market with which you can protect your skin. You must use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has SPF of at least 30. Do not use sunscreen vigorously on your skin; instead, use it generously. Sunscreen must also be used by the people who go out for swimming.

Avoiding the triggers:

If you know that you are allergic to some kind of substances or medications, then you must avoid these substances and medicines to prevent your skin from any severe skin reaction. So avoiding that triggers is also very helpful in the production of the skin when exposed to sunlight.

Difference between sun poisoning and sunburn:

Some people think that sunburn and sun poisoning are similar terms. However, the severe condition of sunburn may be called sun poisoning.


When your skin is exposed to the direct sunlight for a more extended period, then you may have a sunburn. The common symptoms of sunburn are itchy skin and the redness of the skin. Sometimes, the skin begins to peel off. The affected person may have fever and nausea because of it when the person is exposed to sunlight for too long.

Sun poisoning:

Sun Poisoning is a form of allergic reaction when exposed to intense UV light for a more extended time. The symptoms of Sun poisoning is much severe than sunburn. The symptoms include rashes, blisters, and hives on the skin, along with the symptoms of sunburn.

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