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Sunburn (cont.)

Sunburn Symptoms

Other common symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Flulike symptoms
  • Blistering that may range from a very fine blister that is only found when you begin to "peel" to very large water-filled blisters with red, tender, raw skin underneath. When blisters pop, the skin that covered the blisters will slough off.
  • Skin loss (peeling) about 4 to 7 days after exposure

Some individuals experience a sun rash (sometimes called sun poisoning) due to a condition called polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). About 10% of Americans are affected by PMLE, a reaction that does not appear to be linked to drugs or diseases.

Symptoms of PMLE are a mild to severe skin rash, usually appearing within 30 minutes to several hours of sun exposure. The rash may be itchy and have these characteristics:

  • Small bumps all over the body, predominantly in sun-exposed areas
  • Sun rash progresses to dense clumps of bumps
  • Hives, usually on the arms, lower legs, and chest

Sunburn Pictures

Picture of peeling skin from sunburn
Picture of peeling skin from sunburn

Picture of sunburn
Picture of sunburn

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2014

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Sunburn (Sun Poisoning):

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Sunburn »

Sunburn is an acute cutaneous inflammatory reaction that follows excessive exposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiation (UVR).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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