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The Grooming Manual

What Is Sun Poisoning and How to Prevent It

What Is Sun Poisoning and How to Prevent It

Summer is here. Time to get out in the sun and enjoy the season. Safely.

Men’s skin care has two main enemies: aging and the sun. You have less control over the first one (due to genetics) but a little prevention can go a long way for sun damage.

This is especially true for sun poisoning - the nasty cousin of your typical sunburn.

Here’s the low-down on sun poisoning, plus how to prevent it.

What is Sun Poisoning?

Sun poisoning is an extreme sunburn caused by prolonged sun exposure. When your skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays - sometimes just for 15 minutes - you can develop a burn. But any longer than that and you risk getting sun poisoning.

What’s the difference between a sunburn and sun poisoning? The most notable difference is a rash. Some of the classic symptoms that a burn has turned into a case of poisoning are:

-- large blisters

-- fever

-- headache

-- nausea

-- dizziness

-- nausea

-- dehydration

-- swelling

It’s not a pleasant experience.

Am I at Risk?

You are most at risk for sun poisoning during the summer months. In sunny, tropical areas where the sun’s rays are especially intense and you can’t avoid being exposed throughout the day, cases are more frequent.

People with light skin tones and red heads have the most trouble with sun poisoning.

Preventing Sun Poisoning

No matter what, you need to use SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every time you are exposed to the sun for 30 minutes or longer. Always.

Make this a long term men's grooming habit and you’ll see the benefits. Your skin will stay healthier and youthful for much longer. And you will greatly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. That’s win-win.

Heading to the beach? You are in the sun poisoning danger zone. Go prepared and you can have a great day without the nasty effects of a severe sunburn. Here are some smart skin care for men tips for staying healthy at the beach this summer:

— Apply SPF 15 or higher 15 minutes before sun exposure. Do this before you leave the house or hotel room to make sure you don't forget. 

— Even waterproof sunscreen needs to be reapplied. Sweat-proof and waterproof sunscreens are best for the beach. But don’t be fooled into thinking one application is enough. Reapply every couple hours - especially if you’ve been swimming or playing in the sun.

— Stay hydrated. Make sure you have plenty of cool water with you. Pack a cooler and make life easy.

— Wear protective clothing. Your swimsuit is not enough. Bring along a shady hat and protective sunglasses.

-- Bring an umbrella. This is a must. Don't have one? Most beaches have rentals available. The few bucks you spend will be well worth it.

Many guys are concerned about the possible dangers of using sunscreen. It’s true - some of their chemical ingredients are less than ideal. But the dangers of direct exposure to the sun are very real. To avoid complications later in life from your sunscreen, wash it off when you come inside.

Treating Sun Poisoning

What if - despite your best efforts - you still managed to get an intense case of sun poisoning? Take it seriously and care for your skin right way.

— Get out of the sun. Further exposure will only worsen your condition.

— Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. This will help your skin recover faster.

— Apply ice. The cold will soothe your skin and keep your discomfort to a minimum.

— Use aloe. Cool, refreshing aloe vera gel will calm the pain of sun poisoning and moisturize your skin.

— Take a cool bath. Cool (not cold) water is best.

— See a doctor. If you have symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, or high fever you need to take them seriously.

Enjoy the Summer - Free of Sun Poisoning

Getting sun poisoning a painful, miserable experience. But it’s also 100% preventable. Take smart steps this summer to keep your sun exposure to a minimum. And when you do get outside - or hit the beach - make prevention a priority.

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