How Long Does Sun Poisoning Last?|Symptoms, Treatment of Sun Poisoning

What is Sun Poisoning?

Sun Poisoning can be said as an advanced form of sunburn but they have some clinical differences too. In Sun Poisoning the affected person would have itchy bumps. According to the medical practitioners, this is an allergic reaction that an affected person may get due to their sensitivity to the sunrays. Sun poisoning is detected in higher numbers during the summer months. Individuals with lighter skin tone normally get this problem of sun poisoning if their skin is sensitive or the melanin density is low.

Melanin creates a guard against UV rays. In absence of sufficient melanin, the skin is always susceptible to sun poisoning. The symptoms of sun poisoning are more or less similar to sunburn but the former’s ill-effects are hundred times higher than that of the latter. So, people need to have a clear understanding in this matter.

What is Sun Poisoning?

How Long Does Sun Poisoning Last?

The sustenance of sun poisoning depends on how promptly the patient has been taken care of and medication started as per the symptoms. Let’s look at the following aspects to understand how long it takes to reduce the symptoms of sun poisoning completely:

  • Swellings may take a few hours to a few days to cure completely. With the right application of pain-relieving tablets, the pain symptoms associated with sun poisoning normally disappears within 2-3 days.
  • If rashes have formed as a result of sun poisoning, it takes 2-3 days to relieve, but cool compression and application of Aloe Vera gel are important in this matter.
  • Fever and other internal symptoms like nausea or dizziness may go away with the use of other remedies as stated above. In case of sudden increase in fever, the patient suffering from sun poisoning may need to take remedial medicines. Fever normally doesn’t last more than 2 days.

Types of Sun Poisoning

There are two types of sun poisoning recognized in medical science:

Polymorphous Light Eruption: This type of sun poisoning generally occurs to the people who are not habituated to face intense daytime heat outside during the summer season or in tropical weather. The rashes and swellings associated with this type of sun poisoning occur for a short span of time. Such swelling may form in hives. Other physical symptoms as depicted below may also occur.

Solar Urticaria: This type of sun poisoning may occur at any time to anybody, especially in summer. Solar Urticaria occurs within minutes of exposure to intense sunlight. Along with the other symptoms, here redness and itchiness are quite common.

Symptoms of Sun Poisoning

Individuals who spend hours under the scorching heat during the daytime can get sun poisoning if they have a sensitive skin. So, if the risk of sun poisoning increases if it is summer, the skin is a lighter one, and the concerned individual has not taken any protection to shield the skin from direct sun rays.

Some obvious symptoms of sun poisoning are as follows:

  • Part of the skin looks reddish and then a burning sensation may occur
  • Swelling on the affected part with blistering
  • Fever may occur after some hours along with dizziness, nausea, and breathing problem
  • Dehydration and fainting.

Sun poisoning is the cause of the direct effect of UV rays. So, it can’t be taken lightly. If sun burning is in the early stage of Sun Poisoning, the severe attack of sun poisoning may lead to Skin Cancer.

Treatment for Sun Poisoning

There is no common treatment for sun poisoning. Everything depends on the symptoms and severity. If the poisoned part is itching, the patient needs to take cool compression 4-5 times a day as long as the rashes are not disappearing. If fever is not there, the patient may take cool shower 2-3 times a day. Doctors ask to take plenty of fluid and rest for some days. They may also ask to keep the affected parts open as much as possible. Pain relieving tablets may be needed for some days if the swellings or rashes are paining. To ease the burning sensation associated with sun poisoning, doctors normally advise using Aloe Vera gels. Three things are important in this treatment:

  • Cool compression is important if the possible cool shower.
  • Better to stay at home and keep the affected parts open as long as some relief is not realized. While going outside the body should be properly covered.
  • Immediate medical attention from a dermatologist is required if the swellings or rashes caused as a result of sun poisoning are not relieved within 2-3 days.

Prevention of Sun Poisoning

Following three steps are important in the prevention of sun poisoning:

  • Use of sunscreen lotion while going outside during daytime.
  • Covering the body with proper clothing, guarding the head is also important.
  • Taking plenty of water before going outside and while staying there.


Plenty of remedies are available in sun poisoning but the initial phase of the disease is quite annoying. So, to avoid this discomfort, it is better to adopt preventive steps as stated above. The symptoms of sun poisoning don’t last long. Cool compression if applied immediately, the primary swelling, rashes, and itchiness caused due to sun poisoning disappear within a short period. People moving to any tropical region must take precautions if they are not habituated to that weather condition. Others should avoid long exposure to intense sunlight.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 5, 2021

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