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What is the Difference between a Sunburn and Sun Poisoning?

What is the Difference between a Sunburn and Sun Poisoning?

By now everyone is pretty aware that you should avoid getting sunburned as much as possible. Sunburns and excess sun exposure can be harmful to your skin in so many ways. Not only are there risks of cancer to consider but UVA and UVB rays can actually cause more wrinkles than what would naturally occur from aging.

As you age, your body doesn’t produce as much collagen as when you are younger and that makes it hard for your skin to return to its original state after grooves form from different facial expressions. UVA rays can penetrate the deepest layers of your skin and UVB rays actually cause sunburn and both of these things reduce the collagen in your skin even more than just aging. Unless you’ve experienced it, many people don’t know there’s another level that’s worse than just a sunburn and as you can imagine, its effects are much more harmful than just a sunburn.

What is Sun Poisoning?

It’s worth noting that sun poisoning just means the most severe form of a sunburn.

It doesn’t actually mean the sun is poisoning you. The symptoms of sun poisoning can present themselves as flu-like symptoms such as a fever, getting the chills, and experiencing joint pain or muscle aches. It simply means that your body is having an internal reaction to over-exposure to the sun. Sun poisoning does not occur without a sunburn and sometimes the symptoms can be delayed by a few days. Symptoms can include peeling of the skin, severe pain, being dehydrated, nausea, headaches and more.

How can you treat it?

Since symptoms of sun poisoning often mirror flu-like symptoms, treatment can be very similar. IV fluids to deal with dehydration are common as well as steroids for pain and swelling, prescription pain medications, and possibly topical antibiotics. If not treated properly you can experience complications from dehydration and risk for possible infections.

Make sure while you are enjoying the summer weather that you are also being extra cautious about covering up and always wearing and reapplying sunscreen.

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