Everyone likes to spend a bit of time in the sun. On a warm day, there are few things nicer than enjoying the outdoor heat and soaking up some rays. While the long-term effects of excessive sun exposure are widely known nowadays, you can still enjoy some short periods of sunbathing as long as you're sensible and take all the right precautions.
Unfortunately, there are sometimes short-term health effects of spending too long in the sun, too. This can happen because you accidentally fell asleep, you didn't realise how long you'd been out, or you thought you'd be fine without sun cream just this once. While the effects – sunburn, for example – are usually more unpleasant than dangerous as a one-off, there are a few situations where you should see a doctor quickly.
As the sun's ultraviolet rays actually burn the skin, your sunburn might be accompanied by the odd small blister. This shouldn't be anything to worry about, as long as you keep the skin cool and moisturised, but watch out for more extensive blistering.
Blistering over a wide area of the body should be checked by a doctor as soon as possible. You might be suffering from more serious skin damage that needs medical treatment.
A high fever is a typical sign of sunstroke, a potentially serious condition that can get worse quite quickly. If the fever is high and doesn't seem to be responding to home remedies like taking ibuprofen and drinking a lot of water, you should see a doctor.
It's also important to get medical attention if the fever is accompanied by other symptoms like slurring of the speech, or confusion. Remember – you can get sunstroke without sunburn, so be alert on hot days.
Sometimes, hot weather can make people feel nauseous. This usually passes when they cool down, as long as they're drinking plenty of fluids. Ongoing nausea and vomiting after sun exposure should be treated by a doctor, however, as it could be a sign of sunstroke.
Feeling faint or actually passing out are signs that something serious could be going on. They're both indicative of sunstroke and dehydration, so sip plenty of water and get to a medical centre.
Long-lasting mild symptoms
When the symptoms don't seem particularly severe, they're not usually anything to worry about. However, watch out for any symptoms that don't appear to be getting better, as this is cause for concern. If the initial problems don't improve after 24 hours, you should be checked by a doctor.
For more information, contact a medical centre.