How Long Can Sun Poisoning Last?

June 22, 2022

Sun poisoning is like a severe sunburn that was left untreated in the sun for too long. It can have serious effects on the body and potential long-term problems without proper treatment. It's more likely to happen in the hot summer months when the sun is the most intense.

AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst provides treatment for sun poisoning and can give recommendations for long-term care. Our center is open seven days a week to help treat your sunburn at any point. We accept all walk-in patients, and you never need an appointment to be seen. Learn more about sun poisoning and its treatment, and visit AFC Lyndhurst for care today. 

What is Sun Poisoning?

As stated previously, sun poisoning is like a severe sunburn that was left untreated in the sun. Medically, it's an itchy rash that develops when the skin has been exposed to the sun's rays for too long. Sun poisoning is more severe than a sunburn, and it requires medical treatment to prevent any long-term complications. Sun poisoning is also rarer than sunburns.

Those with skin sensitivities, light skin, or certain conditions are more likely to get sun poisoning. 

How Do You Know If you Have It?

In addition to an itchy red rash developing and the sunburn itself, there are a few other symptoms most people will have when they have sun poisoning. These include:

  • Blistering of the skin
  • Swelling
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid breathing and rapid heartbeat
  • Fainting

In the beginning, sun poisoning will only feel like a sunburn. However, as time goes on, these flu-like symptoms will develop, and blisters will start to form in the sunburned area. 

How Long Do Symptoms Last?

Depending on how severe the sun poisoning is, symptoms can last between a few days to a few weeks. It only takes 15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure to get a sunburn, so while sun poisoning is rare, it is possible if you aren't careful. 

How Do You Treat Sun Poisoning?

Sun poisoning is a serious condition that needs medical treatment to avoid any long-term damage. As soon as you notice early signs, visit a medical provider.

Normal sunburns can be treated with aloe vera gel, a cool compress, and bathing in cool water. Take ibuprofen for the pain and avoid any additional sun exposure to the area. Take proper precautions in the future, so you don't suffer from sunburn again.

For sun poisoning, a medical diagnosis is required. A doctor may prescribe a steroid cream for blisters. Oral steroids may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. An IV may be used to reduce the impact of dehydration, and an antibiotic may be prescribed to preemptively treat an infection. AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst is able to diagnose and prescribe all of these treatment options. If you begin to suffer from flu-like symptoms along with your severe sunburn, visit our walk-in center today. 

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