It feels so good to enjoy warm weather and get a little sunshine. But spending too much time in the sun can lead to a condition more serious than a sunburn. Sun poisoning describes a severe sunburn. It doesn't mean the skin has literally been poisoned; rather, experts explain sun poisoning as an allergy-like reaction from overexposure to UV light over a long period. The condition develops when UV radiation affects and inflames the skin, often resulting in a severe rash or blisters.
Everyone is at risk for sun poisoning but people on certain medications such as antibiotics or oral contraceptives must be particularly careful about sun exposure. Fair-skinned people with light hair and those with lupus or eczema have a higher risk of sun poisoning. Other factors include a family history of skin cancer, use of alpha hydroxy peels, living near the equator, using herbal supplements such as St. John Wort, and frequenting areas where the sun's rays are intensified due to reflections off the water or snow.
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