DESCRIPTIONSun poisoning is a reaction to overexposure to the sun. The skin in areas most exposed to sunlight is involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications (sometimes).
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSRed skin rash, sometimes with small blisters, in areas exposed to sunlight.
Fatigue or dizziness.
Sun poisoning is most likely to occur during hot seasons when ultraviolet light is strongest. It is triggered by exposure to the sun, usually in conjunction with sunburn. It is especially likely in children who take medications that cause photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to ultraviolet light). The most common drugs include tetracycline antibiotics, thiazide diuretics, sulfa drugs, and oral contraceptives. Some cosmetics, including lipstick, perfume, and soaps, can also cause a photosensitive reaction in your child.
RISK FACTORSUnderlying infection.
Previous episodes of sun poisoning.
Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus or thyroid disease.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEYour child should stay out of the sun when possible if there is a history of sun poisoning.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Recurrence of the child's rash and other symptoms when exposed to the sun--even for short periods -- especially in spring and summer.
Symptoms can be controlled with treatment if the child stays out of the sun. Allow up to 1 week for recovery.
Your child should stay out of the sun during the hours of strongest ultraviolet light (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
If your child must go out in the sun, wearing protective clothing and the most protective sun-screen preparation available is beneficial.
MEDICATIONBeta-carotene to reduce discomfort.
Chloroquine prior to sun exposure to prevent a recurrence of symptoms.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your doctor may prescribe:
No restrictions, except for the child to avoid prolonged sun exposure.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet. Your child should drink extra fluids to prevent dehydration.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes. When fever has returned to normal and appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of sun poisoning.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.