sunburnt arm

When is Sunburn a Medical Emergency?

Sunburn vs. Sun Poisoning: When to Seek Care

The sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays hit their peak during the summer here in Texas, just as we’re spending more time outdoors. However, if we forget to reapply sunscreen or to use it at all, our skin risks developing sunburn. In some cases, this skin ailment can be very serious.

Learn when to seek care if you get burned this summer:

Sunburn Symptoms

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a sunburn is your body’s natural inflammatory response when your skin’s outer layer is damaged from the sun's UV rays. If your skin is exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight, especially over the summer when the UV index is higher, you’re more at risk for this damage.

Symptoms of a mild case of sunburn typically include:

  • Redness or hotness on skin
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Peeling skin

Sun Poisoning Symptoms

Sun poisoning is also known as polymorphous light eruption, and is actually a severe case of sunburn. Sun poisoning can happen if you have been exposed to the sun's UV rays for an extremely long time, or have sensitive skin and are therefore more sensitive to extreme damage.

Doctors and researchers actually believe that sun poisoning is classified as a sun allergy, and is delayed allergic reaction to the sun's rays causing such a severe response.

Symptoms of sun poisoning typically include:

  • Severe redness and inflammation
  • Aching pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness

When to Seek Treatment

For severe cases of sunburn or sun poisoning, at-home treatments will not be enough to ease your symptoms. A severe sunburn can be truly dangerous, especially if one or more of the following symptoms is present:

  • Widespread blistering
  • Burn accompanied by high fever
  • Extreme, almost unbearable pain
  • Burn accompanied by headache, confusion, and vision problems
  • Nausea and chills
  • Severe dehydration (fluid loss)

If you experience these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Severe Sunburn Treatment in Paris, TX

Your risk of developing deadly melanoma doubles when you’ve had a history of 5 or more sunburns, so remember to always protect your skin outdoors.

If your symptoms persist or become more severe and you believe you should seek immediate care, our team at Quality Care ER is here to help. Visit our emergency room for treatment, or contact us with any questions: (903) 417-0886