Could Your Sunburn Actually Be Sun Poisoning?

If you’ve done a silly thing and stayed out too long in the sunshine without adequate protection, you’ll be well equated with the painful repercussions. The scorched, blistering rawness of overly-sunned skin is a real summer buzzkill, and for an unlucky few, it might even spell sun poisoning—a rare condition that shares similar symptoms to sunburn.

Loved by over 40s

Sun poisoning, or photodermatitis, is a misleading name because the condition is actually an allergic reaction to strong UV light. It feels a lot like severe, long-lasting sunburn—in fact, the two can occur simultaneously—with the charming addition of itchy, eczema-like bumps, blisters, swelling, and hyperpigmentation caused by increased melanin (the brown pigment that works to protect the skin from UV rays).

Bad news if you’re a woman of around 30 years old—although doctors aren’t sure why, this is the most common age to develop the allergy. Individuals with pale skin, light hair and blue or green eyes are also more at risk, as they’re typically more sensitive to the sun. Thankfully, though, it’s fairly easy to treat—some cool, damp dressings and time in the shade should aid the healing process and have you feeling right as rain within one to two weeks.

If you find the aesthetic allure of tanned skin too tempting to follow prevention advice (reduce sun exposure and use a high factor sunscreen when outdoors) then you’re in luck, because there’s a miraculous solution in the works.

Scientists have developed a drug that darkens the skin naturally by boosting melanin, without the need for UV exposure. It hasn’t hit store shelves just yet, but if clinical trials go well it could eliminate the need for lengthy sun-bathing sessions, thereby reducing your chances of sunburn, sun poisoning, and even skin cancer. Watch this space.

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Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


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2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.