Health Blog


Prolonged Sun Exposure Triggers Hangover

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Summer has already set in and we are suffering blistering heat. Many of us have to go outdoors at least once or even many times during the day. Sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D that our bodies need. However, soaking up too much sunshine is detrimental to health. Even if you use sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated, too much sun exposure is likely to suck all of your energy, leaving you with what can be best termed as a “sun hangover”.

This blog explains the reasons behind it and what preventive measures should be taken.

How Sun Exposure Affects Your Skin

Skin is the largest organ of our body. It is very sensitive. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes irritation to skin and stimulates it to produce an inflammatory response that reverberates throughout the body. If your sunburn is accompanied by inflammation, it indicates that your body is trying to heal itself. Skin covers almost the entire body. If the skin is damaged, it triggers the immune system for self-healing.

Even if you have faith in sunscreen lotion and keep yourself hydrated as long as you are outdoors, the immune system will always respond to heavy sun exposure. If you ever experience “under the weather” feelings, aching or lethargy following sun exposure, blame it on your immune system. The body develops these symptoms because it is fighting a severe infection.

The immune system will continue being in an ‘activated’ stage after extended sun exposure or when you develop sunburns.

Preventive Care

It’s true that most people don’t drink enough water during the summer days even if they are out for a long time in the sum. Your choice of beverage may also contribute to the problem of dehydration. Alcohol consumption or soda intake accelerates the dehydration process and worsens symptoms. That is why fluid intake is so important to hydrate your body and replenish the loss of water.

According to the experts at the IVs in the Keys, one should drink a half to one liter of water every hour to keep the body properly dehydrated.

You should use sunscreen before going outdoors as it prevents you from experiencing any ‘sun sickness’ type of feelings. The experts recommend using 30 SPF for UVA/UVB protection. Make it a point to stay in shade from 10 am to 4 pm. Also, use a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. Wear appropriate clothing for long-time sun exposure. Light and long sleeves are best, especially if you have to stay outdoors for a long time.

Wearing breathable fabrics will keep you cool and comfortable during the scorching summer days.

Certain medicines make your skin more sensitive, thereby increasing the chance of feeling dehydrated after a prolonged day out in the sun. Some antibiotics make the skin more prone to sunburns. Anti-inflammatory medications may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sun exposure but these cases are rare.

Treatment for Sun Hangover

  • Drink plenty of fluids and take anti-inflammatory medicines to treat mild symptoms of sun hangover.
  • Keep yourself re-hydrated during your outdoor activities.
  • Take a bath and/or apply pure aloe vera gel on your sunburned spots.

Blisters and sunburns are the burns of the second degree. If it occurs, you should see a medical professional.