Can a Sunburn Cause a Fever?

May 18, 2023

Summer is quickly approaching, and with the warmer temperatures and sunny days, many of us are looking forward to days lounging at the beach or pool. While soaking up some sun and enjoying the great outdoors is fun, it’s crucial to prioritize skin protection. Sunburns are a common result of too much sun exposure, and they can also lead to a range of illness symptoms, including fever. In this blog, we’ll explore the relationship between sunburn and fever, and explain when it might be necessary to seek medical care.

For same-day treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Burlington. Our team of licensed medical providers can examine your condition and make the best recommendations for care. Just walk-in today!

How Can a Sunburn Cause a Fever?

Before we explain how a fever can develop, it’s important to understand how a sunburn occurs. Sunburns are caused by an overexposure to the sun’s UV rays, or from artificial sources like tanning beds. The skin turns red in color, and can become inflamed and warm to the touch. Sunburns can vary in severity, even causing skin to peel and blister. When the skin is exposed to excessive UV radiation, it triggers an inflammatory response in the body. This is your body’s natural response

So, can a sunburn cause a fever? When you're sunburned, your body may respond to it similar to an infection. This means a fever is an indirect possibility. Additionally, being out in the sun can cause dehydration without proper fluid intake. Dehydration can cause illness symptoms as well. Essentially, when you damage your skin, it’s likely that your body will naturally respond by increasing your internal temperature– causing a fever.

Sunburn Prevention and Treatment Tips

When it comes to protecting your skin, the most important thing is to prevent sunburn. Be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, including the neck, ears, and hands, at least 15 minutes before heading out the door. Also, it’s important to limit your time in the sun– especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Consider wearing protective clothing, always staying hydrated, and using extra precaution near reflective areas like sand and water.

If you do end up with a sunburn, you can alleviate any inflammation and pain by cooling off the skin and staying out of the sun. Make sure to moisturize the skin and take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce swelling. In some cases, sunburns call for medical care– especially if you’re experiencing a high-grade fever that isn’t subsiding. This could be an indication of something more serious, like sun poisoning or heat exhaustion.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention for a Sunburn?

If your sunburn is severe and covers a large area of your body, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate evaluation and treatment. Additionally, if you’re experiencing a fever, chills, or other signs of infection, seek medical care. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and speak to a professional so you can minimize the risk of sunburn-related complications and long-term skin damage.

Make sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to prevent a sunburn. If you do experience any illness symptoms, it’s recommended to seek professional care. BFor same-day care, visit AFC Urgent Care Burlington. The clinic is open seven days a week and provides all patients in the area with preventative and immediate care. Just walk in! If you have any further questions about sunburns or the services we provide, please contact us directly at (781) 270-4700.

Blog Categories


Recent Blogs

About Our Services:

Call (781) 270-4700 for more information about our Burlington urgent care services.