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While sunburns and flu-like symptoms are seemingly unrelated, the two actually go hand in hand. Bad sunburns (often called sun poisoning) don’t just cause painful red skin, they can also make you sick.  Learn more about the symptoms of sun poisoning and how to tell if your flu-like symptoms are due to sunburn or something else.

Sunburn or Sun Poisoning?

We’ve all experienced red, painful sunburns, but how do you know when a normal sunburn has crossed the threshold into sun poisoning?

A regular sunburn will be red, hot, and painful, but the symptoms normally stop there. When you have sun poisoning, you will experience red, painful skin, along with other symptoms, including:

  • Blistersperson with bad blistering sunburn
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tingling
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration


Sun Poisoning Treatment and When to See a Medical Professional

Bad sunburns can typically be treated at home with these easy methods:

  • Stay out of the sun.
  • Apply a cool compress to the area or take a cool shower.
  • Drink extra water.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe.

However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of sun poisoning, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible. They will be able to rule out any other causes, check for infection, and provide you with more treatment options.

Preventing Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning can be easily prevented if you take the proper precautions to avoid getting sunburned. Before you head outside, remember to:

  • Put on sunscreen. You should cover any exposed skin with sunscreen.
  • Cover up. Wear a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Mind your time. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you have to be outside during that time, don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.

FastMed Urgent Care is open 7 days a week to provide you with fast treatment for non life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

At FastMed Urgent Care, our mission is to positively impact the lives of our patients and their families. Find a FastMed near you today.

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About FastMed

FastMed Urgent Care owns and operates nearly 200 centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas that provide a broad range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services 365 days a year. FastMed also provides workers’ compensation and other occupational health services at all its centers, and family and sports medicine services at select locations. FastMed has successfully treated more than six million patients and is the only independent urgent care operator in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas to be awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for quality, safety and infection control in ambulatory healthcare. For more information about locations, services, hours of operation, insurance and prices, visit

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