Signs and Symptoms of Sun Poisoning

In Primary Care

Signs and Symptoms of Sun Poisoning

What to Look for to Prevent Sun Poisoning

The sunny  skies sun make it all too easy for sun overexposure to take place. Sun poisoning, or severe sunburn, may be a term you’ve heard before. And while it’s a bit of a misnomer – you’re not actually being poisoned – it still describes a serious condition that requires treatment.

So what exactly happens when your skin gets burned by the sun? When your skin is exposed to the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun, your body reacts to this toxin by producing excess melanin (a pigment in your skin) as a defense mechanism. It’s similar to having an allergic reaction. Melanin works as a natural sunscreen, absorbing the ultraviolet radiation and trying to dissipate it as heat. People with very fair, light skin naturally have low levels of melanin, which is why they are more prone to sunburn and sun poisoning than people with darker skin. Prolonged sun exposure or multiple episodes of sun poisoning can also increase your risk of skin cancer.

Symptoms of sun poisoning can include:

  • Redness or blistering of the skin
  • A tingling sensation on the skin
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting

Sun Poisoning Treatment 

While most people generally don’t think of a sunburn as a condition requiring medical attention, a severe sunburn is nothing to take lightly. This type of reaction to the sun can lead to blisters that can become infected and leave scars. The symptoms of sun poisoning can also be indicative of heat stroke or dehydration.

At Physician Partners of America, we have an experienced team of medical professionals that can get you diagnosed and treated for sun poisoning fast. This means feeling better more quickly and minimizing the risk of more serious consequences. Treatment may include IV fluids to prevent dehydration or oral steroids to reduce pain and inflammation. Topical ointments may be necessary for areas of blistering or extreme redness.

Fast, effective treatment is available at any of our conveniently located clinics in Texas and Florida. You never need an appointment at our walk-in clinics for sun poisoning treatment or any other non-life-threatening illness or injury.

Sun Poisoning Prevention Tips 

At Physician Partners of America, our goal is to be there when you need us, but our hope is that you always stay healthy and well. We urge you to take precautions against sun poisoning by wearing sunscreen, layering your clothing, staying hydrated, and knowing when to spot the symptoms of sun overexposure in yourself and others. Certain medications can drastically increase your sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to review the side effects of any medication you are taking and reduce your sun exposure accordingly.


Maria Del Rosario Gomez, MD

4726 Habana Ave Tampa, FL 33614
Primary Care
Moved by the desire to truly make a difference in peoples’ lives, Dr. Maria Del Rosario Gomez is a primary care physician with the Florida Primary Care Group.

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