How to Stop Itching From Sun Poisoning


Sun poisoning is a relatively common skin disorder caused by short exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation but can also be induced by use of tanning beds and sun lamps. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that around 10 percent of the population suffer from sun poisoning, also known as polymorphous light eruption. The itchy red rash from sun poisoning typically affects the neck and chest, but can also be found on the arms and legs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most cases of sun poisoning resolve on their own within a matter of days without the need for prescription medications.

Things You'll Need

  • Aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory creams
  • Cool compresses, such as a damp towel
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory cream (if recommended by your doctor)

Sun Poisoning Basics

  • Apply an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory topical cream to the sun poison rash to help with itching. The Mayo Clinic advises using a cream with 1 percent hydrocortisone.

  • Take aspirin or ibuprofen. The Mayo Clinic notes that these nonprescription oral medications can help reduce discomfort associated with inflammation.

  • Put a cool compress on the rash, such as a damp washcloth. Alternately, the Mayo Clinic suggests taking cool baths.

  • Consult your doctor if sun poisoning itching doesn't resolve after home treatment. The Mayo Clinic notes that sometimes prescription topical creams, such as corticosteroid creams, may be appropriate.

Tips & Warnings

  • To reduce the chance of future skin poisoning rashes, the Mayo Clinic advises limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun and always wearing protective clothing and sunscreen.

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