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How to tell if you have sun poisoning or sunburn

As the temperature is rising, it becomes very essential to protect yourself from the sun rays. Experts suggest few measures to deal with problems like itching, sun burn and sun poisoning.

With the summer temperature soaring high there are often noticed symptoms such as skin itching, peeling, and others. And the problem definitely increases during the summer months. And, in more than often cases, sun exposure aggravates the problem.
Talking about sunburn and sun poisoningy Dr Dipti Dhillon, Celebrity Dermatologist, Apple Skin Clinic, says, "While people often use the terms 'sunburn' and 'sun poisoning' interchangeably to refer to these conditions but sun poisoning and severe sunburn are actually very different skin conditions".
Sunburn is redness and inflammation of the skin after too much sun exposure, and it can happen to anyone.
On the other hand, sun poisoning is a type of rash that only some people get, due to an abnormal immune reaction to the sun.
Sunburn is an acute skin condition resulting from continuous, prolonged exposure to sun-light without proper protection.
The UV spectrum of rays are the culprit. People who have fair skin are more prone to sunburns. Dr Sumit Gupta, consultant dermatologist, Skinnovation Clinics, Delhi, says, "Sometimes, certain medications, botanical extracts, oils and creams can also cause excessive photosensitivity (vulnerability to UV Rays). Symptoms caused are pain, redness, swelling in the region. In severe cases, blisters can also appear. If properly treated, the damaged skin eventually heals".
He believes that it is important to properly protect yourself from harsh sun rays by using ample UV protective measures like sunscreens, proper clothing and shields.
Some people are also at risk of Polymorphic Light Eruption (PLE) which is a sort of allergy to sun rays, presents on photo-exposed areas (more commonly on forearms) as red, itchy, painful bumps and it is suggested that if you face any of the above symptoms, then you should contact a dermatologist at the earliest for timely treatment and advice on precautions. The term 'sun poisoning' can be a bit misleading, as it presumes you are somehow poisoned because of sun exposure. Dr Gupta adds, "Sun poisoning actually refers to a severe burn from UV-ray exposure. It is often also accompanied by Heat exhaustion or in severe cases heat stroke".
"Along with large body surface area involvement with severe sun-burn (Blisters), there can be fever, stomach-ache, nausea and dizziness, breathlessness and fatigue. This is a medical emergency and the patient should ideally be presented to emergency department of a tertiary level hospital," he added.
Apart from the acute disorders listed above, chronic exposure to solar UV rays can also lead to premature skin ageing and increased risk of skin cancer.
Consult a dermatologist to know the ideal sunscreen suitable for your skin and lifestyle. Along-with that, physical protective measures like hats, caps, umbrellas, scarves, UV-Protective Sun-Glasses are very important.
So, if you have any skin issues pertaining to sun exposure and summer heat, then consult a dermatologist before your problem
aggravates.
Team MP

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