Seek care for too much sun

While your doctor may not know everything under the sun, he or she does know what to do when you’ve been too long under the sun.

Summer is a good time to see your doctor about treating the damage that too much sun can cause.

Your skin

Sunburn is the most common way the summer sun affects us. The rule of thumb is to seek medical attention right away if you have a fever with sunburn, as it may be the sign of more serious sun damage to your body.

For extreme cases of sunburn, which may include blistering skin, your doctor may be able to prescribe something for the pain and discomfort. You’ll also get a strong reminder to practice prevention with sunscreen and protective clothing the next time you’re outdoors.

People who work and play long hours outdoors with no sun protection face the risk of skin cancer. Most skin cancers are basal cell cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

During your next check up, ask your doctor to survey your skin. Also let your doctor know of any new or unusual sores or spots on your skin and any moles that are sore or change in size, color, or texture.

Your eyes and lips

The sensitive tissues in the eyes and on the lips are very susceptible to the burning rays of the sun. Use a lip balm with a sun protection factor of at least SPF 15-30 to help block some of the sun’s harm. Also wear sunglasses that are designed to block harmful UV rays. A hat with a wide brim can also help shade your face and head.

See your doctor if you experience blistering around your lips or extreme sensitivity to bright light. Certain medications can cause sensitivity to sunlight. Be sure your doctor is aware of all the prescription and nonprescription remedies you are taking.

Your internal organs

Problems arise with vigorous activity in high temperatures and little or no way for you to be cooled off. Your body has ways of warning you that it’s had enough: profuse sweating, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps.

The most severe form of heat illness, heatstroke, can cause extreme confusion, shallow breathing, weak pulse, and seizures. Seek immediate medical help if someone around you is exhibiting these symptoms.

Last reviewed: 
June 2017

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