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While rare, a severe sunburn can be life-threatening if it is not treated properly.
It is important to know the symptoms and indications of a severe sunburn so you are able to seek medical attention immediately.
"Most sunburns can be cared for at home, but in some cases it is best to see your doctor. If you experience severe pain, blisters or fever it is best to see a board certified dermatologist," Dr. Shari Lipner, assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology of the Weill Cornell Medicine College, said.
Sun poisoning, which is a burn that causes inflammation of the skin, is a serious condition.
"Sun poisoning is an allergic reaction with bumps on the skin. Other symptoms are pain, itching, fever, chills, nausea and dizziness," Lipner said.
According to Dr. Ranella Hirsh, dermatologist with the Academy of Dermatology, that include blistering of the skin, large volume fluid loss, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Dizziness and vomiting are among other symptoms that could signal sun poisoning.
Risks of sun poisoning include infection and shock, which can be life-threatening.
It is crucial to see a doctor while experiencing these symptoms because home remedies and over-the-counter medications aren't powerful enough to heal a serious sunburn.
"A serious sunburn with large blisters and secondary infection may require topical or systemic steroids and oral antibiotics," Lipner said.
It is always best to avoid sunburn in the first place because it may lead to skin cancer and premature skin aging.
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A suntan is the body's way of using melanin to block out the sun's harmful UV rays to prevent sunburn and other skin damage. However, the protection only goes so far.
"Avoid the sun when possible and, if you are exposed to the sun, do your best to cover up with clothing, such as sunglasses and a hat, apply sunscreen, and seek shade," Lipner said.
Avoid going outside between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun's rays are most intense.
For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.
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