We’ve all been there: spend a little too long out in the sun, and before you know it, you’ve turned bright red. Usually, you can chalk it up to a rookie error and vow to lie in the shade in future. Or at least promise to use more sunscreen. Occasionally, though, the end result isn’t mere sunburn. No, it can actually be something far more serious: sun poisoning. And in rare cases, recognizing its warning signs can be the difference between living and dying.
There’s no denying that it’s great to be out in the sun. You only need look to the very existence of seasonal affective disorder (or “SAD”) for the proof. Indeed, many people find themselves feeling more depressed in the winter months, which may be connected to a relative lack of sunlight. That’s because sunlight increases your level of serotonin. Without it, you’ll experience a drop, which can cause depression.
Of course, there are also the more basic benefits of increased sunlight. Topping up on vitamin D keeps your bones healthy. And moderate exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also decrease your risk of certain cancers, including prostate and pancreatic. The World Health Organization also maintains that sunlight can help treat skin problems including acne and eczema.