It's August, and temperatures are still sky-high. Watch out for sun poisoning.
Sun poisoning is a layman's term for the symptoms that can accompany severe sunburn, such as nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and headache. It should not be confused with sunstroke (also referred to as heatstroke), a medical emergency that occurs when the body overheats to the point that it can no longer regulate its internal temperature.
You can help prevent sun poisoning by remaining indoors during peak daylight hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer months), wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. If you do get sun poisoning, stay out of the sun and try the following to help alleviate the symptoms:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Take a cool bath and pat dry - don’t rub your skin, which can cause further irritation
- Apply a cold washcloth or ice to areas that are swollen or itching
- Take an aspirin or other NSAID to help reduce swelling and inflammation
- Apply aloe to any affected areas, but avoid oils or anything that contains potential irritants such as fragrances and exfoliants
- Be aware that you should seek immediate medical attention if your temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or if you experience vomiting or extreme pain
More about the difference between sun poisoning and sun stroke.