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How to Help Heal Sun Poison

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
How to Help Heal Sun Poison
Excessive exposure to the sun can lead to sun poisoning. Photo Credit: Stefano Lunardi/iStock/Getty Images

Sun poisoning or polymorphous light eruption is a type of rash that results from the skin being exposed to too much sunlight, explains Sun poisoning generally starts off as a really bad sunburn. It is important to always wear sun block or cover sensitive skin areas when outdoors, but if you have been out in the sun and have suffered a severe sunburn or red rash, you need to treat the areas immediately.

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Step 1

Examine your skin for symptoms of sun poisoning. This generally occurs after an over-exposure to the sun with someone who has not been exposed to sun recently. This includes a bright red rash that may or may not have blisters of water, swelling, itching, intense burning, skin peeling, redness, blistering of the skin, chills, skin that is hot to the touch, nausea and general malaise.

Step 2

Remove clothing that is clingy or tight. Open air exposure is the best treatment but if you are in a public place or must wear clothing, choose something that is baggy or loose fitting that won’t irritate the skin. Use a dry bandage if necessary to cover up open blisters or areas where the skin is beginning to peel. This will also help the burned area heal without rubbing up against clothing.

Step 3

Shower in cool water or apply wet towels to the skin to cool it; avoid placing wet towels over open sores or blistering skin areas. Add an ice pack if necessary to help dull the pain. Pat your sensitive skin dry; do not rub or try to scrape away skin or the blisters.

Step 4

Administer pain medication. MedlinePlus explains using ibuprofen to help take the pain away and reduce inflammation. Avoid topical numbing solutions that have a petroleum base.

Step 5

Cover-up and avoid further UV exposure, including includes natural sunlight and the UV rays from a tanning booth or bed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states advises wearing protective clothing when going out in the sun and trying to avoid exposure during the time the sun’s rays are the strongest, which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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