Is This a Sunburn or Sun Poisoning?

Is This a Sunburn or Sun Poisoning? | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale

Is This a Sunburn or Sun Poisoning?

Even the most avid sunscreen user can sometimes feel the burn in the Arizona heat. Spectrum Dermatology is your go-to resource for all things skin-related, including preventing and treating sunburns and sun poisoning with the use of medical-grade products and treatments. But what’s the difference between the two conditions? They’re the same thing, but sun poisoning is a name reserved for severe sunburn. If your skin is beyond rosy and looks very red, or it’s blistering and peeling, you might have sun poisoning.

Symptoms of sun poisoning

Additional symptoms can include feeling light-headed, nauseated, or even suffering from a fever. If this is the case, you need to seek immediate medical attention at an urgent care clinic or ER. Wearing sunscreen is the number-one way to prevent sunburns and sun poisoning, but if you forget to reapply every 90 minutes, the sunscreen quality is subpar, or if it’s expired, you can still be at risk of a severe burn.

When sunburns are severe, it makes it difficult for your body to self-regulate its temperature. A body temperature that’s too high can lead to flu-like symptoms including chills and sweating. Plus, sun poisoning can make your electrolyte balance a little wonky, adding symptoms like muscle cramps or extreme fatigue.

Secondary effects of sun poisoning

It might sound odd, but sun poisoning can also make you more susceptible to infections. If you see blisters or leaking fluid, that might be a sign of additional infection. Medical attention is a must for fast, proper diagnosis and treatment.

In most cases, sunburns will fade on their own. However, sun poisoning can be dangerous. Regardless of the severity of your sunburn, keep in mind that the most dangerous side effect of UV damage takes years to develop—skin cancer. Prevention, such as being vigilant with your sunscreen, and having yearly skin checks are the best way to keep skin cancer at bay.

See Spectrum Dermatology today for help with sunburn

To schedule your annual check or to get help with a sunburn, contact Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400.