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Can You Get Sun Poisoning Without A Sunburn?

Can you get sun poisoning without a sunburn? Yes, it’s common for people who enjoy the sun to burn. That often occurs because we get carried away by the sun’s warmth on our skin. The melatonin you get from sun rays can also cause you to sleep while basking, leading to sun poisoning.

You can get sun poisoning if you spend too much time in the sun without sunscreen. Signs of sun poisoning are skin blistering, dehydration, and dizziness. The best way to deal with sun poisoning is by applying healing skin ointment and taking anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases where an individual has lost consciousness, hospitalization is the only option.

Here is some information about sun poisoning.

What Is Sun Poisoning?

You can refer to sun poisoning as an extreme version of sunburn. It is characterized by skin blistering, dehydration, and flu-like symptoms. Unlike sunburns that you can treat with an ointment at home, sun poisoning may lead to hospitalization.

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Sun poisoning occurs when you spend too much time in the sun. It starts with a sunburn and extends to other severe symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. Sun poisoning is often mistaken for the flu or an allergic reaction.

Some factors can increase your chances of suffering from sun poisoning. These are autoimmune diseases such as Psoriasis and having light-colored eyes or a fair complexion. Certain medications such as antibiotics and diabetes medicine may also make you susceptible to sun poisoning.  

Can You Get Sun Poisoning Without A Sunburn?

You can get sun poisoning without getting a sunburn. That’s because it occurs suddenly, primarily if you lie in the sun without sunscreen.

Therefore, sunscreen is a critical factor to consider if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Otherwise, you will develop skin blisters from the sun, especially if you sleep while sunbathing.

Over 33,000 people die in the emergency hospital annually due to sun poisoning. Pain from sun poisoning lasts for 48 hours, while skin issues such as peeling occur after 3 to 8 days. If your skin blisters severely, it may not get back to normal. 

Therefore, sun poisoning can be a very painful experience for you. You could have scars for the rest of your life. Always protect yourself from sunburns and sun poisoning by following the recommended safety measures for sunbathing.

How To Deal With Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning may develop out of the blues, but here are the steps to take once you notice it. Get out of the sun immediately and find a shady spot. 

Ensure you take a cold shower or soak in a cold bath to lower the temperature of your skin. You could also pat any burning or blistering part of your skin with a cold compress.

Apply healing medication or ointment on any burnt or blistered skin. Some great options are Aloe Vera lotions and Hydrocortisone cream

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You may also take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to lower inflammation. Drink lots of water and electrolyte-rich fluids such as Pedialyte to replace the fluids you’ve lost in the sun.

If the victim of sun poisoning is a child, follow the recommendations we’ve given you above. Then ensure you rush them to the hospital for a medical checkup. 

Remember to always watch kids when they are in the sun because sun poisoning often develops like the flu. You may ignore it only for your child to suffer severe symptoms of sun poisoning.


Now you know the answer to “Can you get sun poisoning without sunburn?” You can see that spending too much time in the sun can lead to severe repercussions. Apart from sun poisoning, you may also develop skin cancer.

If you spend lots of time in the sun, take care of your skin by using waterproof SPF 30 sunscreen. Avoid going out in the sun when it’s too hot. The ideal time to bask in the sun is early morning and late afternoon. 

Always wear clothing items covering most of your skin while in the sun. Some examples are a hat, sunglasses, and a cover-up.

Also, watch out for the reflection of sun rays off surfaces such as water as they can burn your skin and eyes. These preventative measures will keep you from suffering from sunburn or sun poisoning.

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