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Sun Poisoning Rash

Sun Poisoning Rash

Reddening of skin or sun poisoning rash is caused when someone is subjected to excessive exposure to the sun. The skin breaks into a rash, that may develop into painful blisters.
Debopriya Bose
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Sun poisoning refers to a condition where the skin reacts to prolonged exposure to the sun. The immediate effects are generally skin redness, or a rash breakout. Sunburn is a form of sun poisoning, where other types of the same include, polymorphous light eruption or PMLE, which is an outbreak that doesn't find its cause in any disease, or reaction to drugs. People who are sensitive to sunlight, and whose bodies aren't used to the harsh sun-rays, are bound to get PMLE. Women are more affected by this type of sun poisoning than men.
Another kind of sun poisoning is called solar urticaria, which is a condition where the skin immediately reacts to sunlight when one steps outside. The term sunburn is often used for one experiencing a reaction to the sun. People with black skin are less affected by the sun, whereas those with lighter skin tones cannot (due to a lack of melanin) take it. That is why it is important for them to step outside with sunscreen, or a trusty sunblock.
Symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • Dizziness
  • Blisters
  • Tingling sensation
  • Swelling
Severe Symptoms that Need Immediate Medical Assistance
  • Upset stomach
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Face starts to swell
  • Painful blisters
  • Blister spreads over a large area
  • Scaling, crusting
  • Severe skin injury leading to bleeding
  • Feeling confused
  • Fever
Symptoms of Solar Urticaria
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy skin
  • Feeling faint
  • Skin redness
  • Wheals start forming
Symptoms of PMLE
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Chills
Treatment
Sun poisoning rash occurs mainly because of heat being trapped in the body. During exposure to the harsh rays of the sun, our body gets dehydrated. Hence, the main idea is to draw out the heat, while keeping the body cool, and hydrated. Make sure you take cold showers, avoiding scalding water. Stop using harsh soaps (opt for all-organic soaps) while taking a bath and do not rub your skin while drying yourself off. Just pat gently with a clean, soft towel. The purpose of this is to keep the body cool, as well as dry. You can also use a cold compress to keep your body cool.
Be careful what medications you take if you are susceptible to sunburns; things like acne medication, tetracycline and even contraceptives (oral), can make you sensitive to sunlight. Those with certain illnesses, like vitiligo, or other skin diseases, are more prone to sun poisoning related problems. Medication like low-dose antimalarials and topical corticosteroids can help. It is important to use a sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping out into the sun (or as directed on the product label), with an SPF (sun protecting factor) of at least 30.
Home Remedies for Mild Cases
  • Collect potato peels and dice them into small pieces. Mix these fine pieces in a cup of aloe vera lotion and 3 teaspoons of hydrocortisone cream. Store this mixture in a container with an airtight lid, and then refrigerate this for an hour. Use this mixture on the areas that have been injured - it'll also help with the itching. Simply cutting a potato and applying its juice, will help just as much.
  • Sponging the area with chamomile steeped in water, helps speed up recovery.
  • You could also make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it on the afflicted area to reduce pain.
  • Calamine lotion can be used to relieve itching.
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat foods rich in antioxidants. Drinking green tea has been found to help with the symptoms. Consume foods that are rich in vitamins B, C, D, and E and also beta-carotene.
Over-the-counter pain relievers may be taken to ease intense pain. If the sun poisoning case is very serious, one may be required to be admitted to the hospital where steroids (to reduce inflammation) and intravenous fluids may be administered.
Sunburns are a very common occurrence during the summer season, and certain people are more prone to it than others. For such people, taking preventive measures is the best option. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Use sun-protective clothes when stepping outside, preferably cotton wear (to help the skin breathe), coupled with a good pair of sunglasses, and a wide brimmed hat.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.