A Breakdown of the Top Summer Health Concerns and When to Seek Medical Aid

Did you know that ER visits increase by 15 to 17% in the summer? 

This fact isn’t shared to scare you, but rather to encourage you to stay informed about the additional complications that summer can bring. As well, it’s a great reminder for you to stay alert during these hotter, busier months; especially when you and your family are spending a lot of time outside. 

As a concierge ER in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, we treat all manner of heat, burn, and dehydration cases. To help you stay on top of your health this summer and be prepared in case medical attention is required, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about summer health concerns: 

All About Sunburn (Symptoms + Treatments) 

Technically, a sunburn is skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is why some days you burn more easily than others and why you can also burn on cloudy days. 

As a precautionary step, we recommend that you always check the current UV Index in your area. If it is extremely high, be aware of how much time you spend under the sun and take necessary measures (regularly re-apply sunscreen, wear a hat, stay hydrated, etc.). 

To help you interpret the UV Index, here is a quick breakdown of the number system in regards to sun exposure risk: 

  • 1-2 is low
  • 3-5 is moderate
  • 6-7 is high
  • 8-10 is very high
  • 11+ is extreme

It is no surprise that the average UV Index for Southern California, Texas, and Florida is 11. When the UV Index is this high, it is recommended you don’t spend too much time outside for three hours before and after 12:00 p.m.. This time period is when the UV rays are the most harmful.

How to Recognize Mild Sunburn

It is well known that the first sign of sunburn is the reddening of the skin, especially in areas that get hit with the most direct sunlight. Your chest, shoulders, and face are statistically the areas with the highest risk, making them the places to focus your attention on. 

Beyond the reddening of the skin, you can also experience more internal symptoms such as fatigue and blisters. When experienced at a low level, these are symptoms that you can easily treat at home and will pass quickly. 

For more in-depth information on how to protect yourself from the sun, read our blog on staying hydrated and protected while under the sun.

Ways to Treat Mild Sunburn at Home

Most mild sunburns clear up within a week! If you’re looking to take care of your skin while it heals, here are some easy at-home sunburn treatments: 

  • Stay hydrated and drink lots of water
  • Apply topical treatments like honey and aloe vera 
  • Use body moisturizer or lotion
  • Avoid popping blisters and picking at peeling skin 
  • Take an oatmeal bath
  • Take cool showers

Signs of Severe Sunburn

As your days under the sun continue, you might be wondering what the signs of severe sunburn are. While fainting is often an immediate indicator that you require medical attention, sometimes the signs aren’t as obvious. After a long day of fun, it’s often difficult to tell if you’re simply worn out or if it’s something more serious. 

Here are the main signs and symptoms of severe sunburn: 

  • Blisters
  • Hives or rash
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Pain and tingling
  • Vision problems

Please note that blisters, hives, headaches, and fatigue are also symptoms of mild sunburn. This is why you must be aware of the dangers of the summer sun and pay attention to how your body is feeling during and after exposure. If you feel like your symptoms are inhibiting normal daily functions or are verging past a normal level, don’t hesitate to visit your local ER Near Me in Plano, Richardson, Addison, or Hulen  

Is Sun Poisoning Different Than a Sunburn?

Although this is not a medical term, sun poisoning is often a phrase that people use for severe cases of sunburn paired with the symptoms listed above. Another term that is used interchangeably is sun allergy. This is often associated with hives or rash that appears following a severe sunburn.  

When to Seek Medical Attention for Sunburn

While each individual alone can determine how their your body is feeling, we encourage you to seek immediate medical attention at your local ER Near Me if you have:

  • Sunburn that covers large areas of your body
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache, confusion, or faintness
  • Upset stomach
  • Facial swelling

We have convenient locations in Addison, Hulen, Richardson, and Plano!

Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration (Signs + Steps) 

Often with severe sunburn cases, heat exhaustion and dehydration go hand-in-hand. That being said, you can also experience these two severe conditions and need medical attention without being sunburned. This is why we advocate for increased awareness of the main summer health concerns. 

When it comes to dehydration, it’s less about being under that sun and more about how much water you drank before, during, and after sun exposure. For heat exhaustion, it can easily be caused by any extended time in a hot or humid environment. 

Most of the time, heat exhaustion and dehydration are cases that require immediate medical attention due to their severe nature. If unchecked, heat exhaustion can sometimes lead to a heatstroke which can be life-threatening. If you feel faint or have lost consciousness, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you experience nausea, muscle cramps, dizziness, or vomiting, visit your local ER Near Me as soon as possible. 

With heat exhaustion and extreme dehydration, you do not want to take a “wait and see” approach. For your safety and health, it’s always better to seek medical help to receive a reliable diagnosis and treatment. 

Want a quick sheet that you can tape to your fridge or keep in your car that lists the main signs of heat-related conditions and provides preventative steps? Download our checklist.

When to Visit an ER in the SummerWhen to Visit an ER in the Summer