Can Sun Poisoning Cause Flu-Like Symptoms?

This summer, it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sun poisoning. Read more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of sun poisoning on the HealthPlus Urgent Care blog! For same-day care, visit the walk-in clinic in Wilmington & Middleton, MA.
Sun flu

Contact HealthPlus Urgent Care

Find your nearest urgent care center and walk-in clinic

Sun poisoning, sometimes called photodermatitis, is a condition that occurs when the skin is exposed to too much sunlight. Sun poisoning can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild to severe. It’s common for those affected by sun poisoning to mistake the symptoms for influenza, or the flu. In this blog post, we’ll explore the symptoms of sun poisoning and when to seek proper medical care.

For same-day sun poisoning treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at HealthPlus Urgent Care. Our team of medical providers specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of acute conditions. Simply walk into the clinic! If you wish to plan your visit in advance, you can schedule an appointment online below.


What Is Sun Poisoning?

It’s important to understand what sun poisoning is and how it affects the skin. Sun poisoning is a type of allergic reaction that occurs when the skin is exposed to consistent UV rays. It can happen to anyone, but some groups of people are at greater risk. High-risk groups include those with fair skin, those with a history of having adverse reactions to the sun, and those who take certain medications that can cause hyper-sensitivity to sunlight.

Sun Poisoning Symptoms: Similar To The Flu?

The symptoms of sun poisoning can vary from person to person depending on several factors. The symptoms typically become noticeable after a few hours of sun exposure and can last for several days. It’s common for people who have sun poisoning to experience flu-like symptoms. Both sun poisoning and the flu affect the immune system. When the skin is exposed to UV rays, it triggers an immune response that causes inflammation and redness. This response will generally affect the whole body, leading to symptoms like fever and fatigue.

Sun poisoning can cause moderate to high levels of dehydration, which can also worsen flu-like symptoms. When the body loses too many fluids (from sweating via sun exposure), there is a greater risk of dehydration, dizziness, headache, and nausea.

Common symptoms of sun poisoning include:

  • Redness & inflammation of the skin
  • Itching, burning, or stinging sensation
  • Swelling & blisters
  • Pain & tenderness
  • Fever, chills, & headache
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Dehydration

When To Seek Medical Attention For Sun Poisoning

It’s important to note that not everyone with sun poisoning will experience flu-like symptoms. Some people may only have mild symptoms that can be treated at home. However, if you’re experiencing severe symptoms, like blisters or a fever, it’s important to seek professional care from a healthcare provider. Your provider can examine the condition of your skin and any flu-like symptoms you’re experiencing for an accurate diagnosis. They may prescribe the appropriate medications to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms to aid your recovery. It’s important to discuss with your provider about any underlying conditions that could cause sun sensitivity to prevent future illness.

If you suspect that you may have sun poisoning, visit the walk-in clinic at HealthPlus Urgent Care. Severe sun poisoning can lead to more serious complications if left untreated. At HealthPlus, a provider can assess the severity of your condition and provide the appropriate treatment. The center is open seven days a week with extended weekend hours. We accept most major health insurance plans and offer low-cost care for any self-paying patient. Just walk-in today! If you have further questions about sun poisoning, please call us directly at (978) 905-6231.