Symptoms of Sun Poisoning And How to Treat Them

Sun Poisoning Symptoms

Table of Contents

What is Sun Poisoning?

Sun poisoning refers to any severe symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight. The results of this condition vary depending on the severity of the exposure. Sunburn is the mildest form of sun poisoning and is the best indicator of when you should retreat to shaded areas.

Sun poisoning isn’t poison, though some suffer from skin conditions that are similar to allergies.

Do I have sun poisoning?

Below are the most common symptoms of sun poisoning, ranging from milder cases to more severe. However, all sun poisoning is more severe than a simple sunburn. If you experience any of the below symptoms, get out of the sun immediately.

Stages of Sun Poisoning Symptoms

Slight Sun Poisoning

  • Sunburn
  • Bumps or hives
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

At this stage, it’s best to leave sunny areas, and start hydrating. Pain can be mitigated with ibuprofen and cool (not cold!) compresses made with water or a blend of milk and water. These will hydrate, moisturize, and soothe skin. Aloe vera gel can also help begin the healing process.


Moderately Severe Sun Poisoning

  • Blisters forming
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Chills
  • Swelling of the skin, especially the face

At this stage, you must avoid sun exposure at all costs. Dehydration has become severe. Swelling in the face indicates UV rays are beginning to affect your body underneath the skin level. Blisters must be tended to stop spreading.


Severe Sun Poisoning

If you experience the symptoms below, you should see a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Blisters covering large areas of skin
  • Fever
  • Stomachaches
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

It’s at this stage that the sun exposure has penetrated beneath your skin level and is affecting crucial systems underneath your skin. Contact a doctor. Meanwhile, hydrate, create compresses from cool (again, not cold) water/milk, and apply them to blistered areas.

What to do if You Have Sun Poisoning

Most cases of sun poisoning can be treated at home. Hydration is key, as well as avoiding additional sun exposure. If you must go outside, cover as much skin as you can with longer sleeves, hats, and long pants.


  • Aloe vera is a natural healing product. In-gel form, it can be spread on the skin to greatly reduce pain, and speed healing.
  • Cool baths can also soothe skin. Immersing burned areas in water also hydrates the skin
  • Ibuprofen can be taken to soothe pain and reduce swelling

If your symptoms are difficult to manage or last longer than a week, call a doctor. Sun poisoning can be very serious, and should not be left untreated for long. Professional medical help might become necessary.

What is a Sun Allergy?

Polymorphous Light Eruption

Polymorphous Light Eruption (or PMLE) is a rare skin condition that is aggravated by solar exposure. Reactions are similar to that of poison ivy or other skin allergies. Common symptoms of this unique condition are:

  • Skin rash
  • Raised bumps on the skin
  • Dense clusters of hive-like rashing
  • Itchy, raised patches of skin

If you’re suffering from symptoms of PMLE, you may have this condition. Typically, treatments are simple.

PMLE Treatment

  • Apply hydrocortisone cream to stop itching
  • Stay hydrated – drink more fluids than you normally do
  • Bathe in cool (not cold) water
  • Take appropriate doses of ibuprofen for pain

A few days after initial exposure, PMLE symptoms should begin to subside. If they continue for an extended period without improving (a week or longer), seek medical attention. Don’t let the fear of sun poisoning ruin your spring-summer fun! One of the easiest ways to avoid overexposure to sunlight is by adding shade to your yard. Contact Superior Sun Solutions today if you’re interested in shade screens, awnings, or other UV-blocking products! Start Shading Your Yard!

Doug Fox

Doug Fox


Order Now & Save $100

Verified by MonsterInsights