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Avoid Sun Poisoning

When you're out in the sun, which is bound to happen with all this gorgeous warm weather we're having, you've got to be careful not to get sun poisoning, or Photodermatitis, as it is scientifically called. Sun poisoning is a condition that develops when your skin over reacts to UV rays from the sun.

What causes it? Sometimes certain medications like antibiotics, certain skin products such as soap, sunscreens containing PABA, or certain fragrances may cause photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to UV rays). You should also be aware that just plain ol' overexposure to the sun is one of the main causes, so avoid staying out in the sun all day.


Symptoms of sun poisoning are fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, chills, headache, swelling, a burning sensation, a red itchy rash, small blisters, or peeling of the skin. When you're out in the sun for a long time, keep an eye out for these symptoms.

To avoid a skin reaction, stay out of the sun during the brightest sun hours, from noon to 3pm. Remember that just because it's cloudy, doesn't mean you are protected - so always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when you are outdoors. Apply it to cool, dry skin 20-30 minutes before you go outside, and reapply it every 2 hours.

If you can stand being hot, you could also wear lightweight long sleeves, pants, and a hat to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Definitely avoid any chemicals that may trigger your reaction.

Fit's Tips: If you think you may have sun poisoning, definitely consult your doctor. If you know you have it, a cool shower or bath can help relieve symptoms. When you get out, lube yourself up with some aloe (I like to keep mine in the fridge for more of a cooling effect). Taking an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin may also reduce swelling, and help with nausea or headache.

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