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Too much sun

the_amaze
5 posts
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Too much sun

I would like to hear your advice. My history with Cancun is below and my questions are at the very end.

Last year ( June of 2007): When I went to Cancun last year, I got really sick. I believe the reason I got sick is becuase I got too much sun (sun poisoning is what I think it is called). I had no engery at least 95 percent of the time, I felt light headed when I stood up for too long, and I felt Nauseous at times (I only vomited 3 times, and that was the the Cancun airport when I was heading home). I did not have a good time becuase I was sick, but looking back, I think I would have had a great time if I did not get sick.

this year: (June of 2008): I did not go to Cancun with my family this year. With me being down on Cancun, it would not be fair to them for me to go this year.

next year: (June of 2009): Becuase I am not being so negative (being scared of getting sick) anymore, I am planning on going to Cancun with my family next year.

What advice would you give me on how not to get too much sun? What type of sun screen would you recommend? What type of sun screen would you not recommend? Can I buy chap stick in Cancun or is that something I should bring from the United States?

Would you recommend me doing something inside (maybe take a nap) doing the hottest hours of the day? If so, what are the hottest hours of day in June?

St. Louis, Missouri
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4,891 posts
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1. Re: Too much sun

You might not have been well hydrated while you were there, or maybe you just reacted to the different types of food.

If I were you I would eat a cup of yogurt everyday for about 2-3 weeks before you go, to build up the good bacteria your intestines need to fight off those nasty bugs. Next, when you're there, start the day off with water and make sure to drink plenty in between alcoholic beverages.

If you can get your skin used to the sun a bit before you go, that may help. Just 15-20 min a day and you'll also get your vitamin D. Sunscreen...if you're fair skinned, take the highest spf possible. We use 70 and reapply every hour or so (we're in the water most of the day). If you feel you need a nap, well its a vacation and more than appropriate, but I would just sit under a palapa to keep the direct sun off of you. You can also bring a small squirt bottle to keep yourself cool if you don't like the water. Just like the US I think the sun in Cancun is the strongest between 10:00 & 3:00. Cancun most like sell cahpstick, but it doesn't weigh that much, why not bring it from home?

BSQ
Charlotte, North...
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2. Re: Too much sun

well, you didn't mention any skin symptoms, which is what I thought sun poising was more about. Sounds more like sunstroke to me, but I'm not a doctor or nurse nor do I play one on TV.

If it was truly sun poisioning my first thought is to change your suntan lotion and check if any medications you are taking (if any) could have side effect from sun exposure.

If the later, drink ALOT of water, gatorade, smartwater , get in the water often, utilize the palapas or umbrellas, and seek Air Conditioning during the high heat of the day. And perhaps think about going during a fall or winter month rather than the summer months which can be brutal. Oh, and make sure you are sweating. if not seek medical attention.

Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Cancun
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11,882 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Too much sun

Let's see.....stay out of the sun between 10 am and 2 pm. Use 45 at least sunscreen (waterproof). Wear a hat. Drink plenty of fluids - water, gatorade, etc. Light on the alcohol - it does dehydrate you rather than quench thirst. Stay away from drinks with coconut milk in them if you have diarrhea as it is a laxative.

During the day, sit on your veranda and read, shop, lounge under a palapa or umbrella, paint ceramics, play pingpong indoors, etc.

This advice works for Florida, Texas, gulf coast, Mexico. Anywhere where the temps are high and the sun really hot.

Cheryl

Calgary
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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4. Re: Too much sun

I'm no medic, but that sounds like sunstroke to me. Given your history, here's what I'd recommend:

1. stay hydrated - this means LOTS of water and NO ALCOHOL (at least during the day) and avoid tea and coffee too. One or two fruity drinks a day are OK but no more than that (some are natural dieuretics). Eat a banana every day to help keep your potassium levels up.

2. NEVER, EVER go into the sun without some kind of hat or head covering

3. Avoid being in the sun as much as possible between the hours of 11 and 3. Shade is good but remember, if you near water (pool or ocean), you're going to get a fair amount of reflected sun.

4. You didn't mention that you sunburned previously but high SPF sunscreens are always a good idea. The sun in Mexico is so much stronger because they're so much further south. Sunscreen will NOT do anything at all to help with sunstroke; it'll just make if harder (but not impossible) for you to burn.

5. Make sure you're staying somewhere air conditioned. Takes lots of dips in the ocean or pool to try to keep cool (remember to reapply your sunscreen, even in you're siting in the shade). If you start feeling uncomfortably hot, beat a hasty retreat to your air-conditioned room and stay there until you feel better. Cool (not cold!) showers can help too.

6. Your siesta idea is great but may play havoc with your sleep patterns. Typicall the hottest time of the day is from about 2 - 5 pm. I don't think you need to avoid being out during this time, just follow the advice in #5 above.

I'd REALLY strongly suggest you talk to you doctor about this. Sunstroke can be a very serious medical condition and taking advice over the internet, no matter how well intentioned is, after all I've said above, probably not the best idea.

Finally, I just Googled "sunstroke" and found this - it's very informative: http://urgencemanif.meagerman.net/heat.html

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Too much sun

I totally agree with BSQ...very important to be sure that any medications you are taking do not react negatively with sun exposure. Also, we are out in the sun in the morning and the shade in the afternoon. By the time we go for lunch, we have had enough sun for the day and hit the shade afterwards.

Oftentimes when you're having drinks (alcohol or otherwise) you forget to drink water...very important to remember to drink bottled water to keep well hydrated. Also alcohol can react negatively with some medications, especially if your drinking more on vacation than usual (that's me!)

I had some intestinal problems the first year I went to Cancun, and ever since then I have been taking Acidophillus capsules a couple weeks before I go, when I'm there, and for awhile when I get home. No problems since then. The yogurt is great for the same benefit (I'm on a low/no-carb diet so don't want the extra carbs from yogurt!)

I'm happy that you're going to give it another try and that you're keeping a positive attitude!

Detroit, Michigan
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374 posts
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6. Re: Too much sun

I don't believe that you had "sun poisoning". Sounds like just too much sun for someone who can't handle it. I know this because my niece is the same way. She gets so sick after a day in the sun and it really does not matter how much water she drinks. She goes back to the room and is just plain miserable. So she has learned that it is not worth it to put herself through it and try to hang with the rest of us. She stays in the shad and gets in the water often but usually in a shaded part of the pool. Like the pool bar.

Some people get very sick when their body heat rises for any length of time. Even a little sun burn can make some people sick when others just deal with it.

If I were you, I would stay in the shade and cool off OFTEN.

When you start thinking "oh my god, this heat is crazy how do these people stand it?" It is time to pack it up and go get a cold shower, A/C, and a little rest.

The sun/heat of Cancun is nothing to play with.

Los Angeles...
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3,858 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Too much sun

Yes, and as Llisa said...I hope you have discussed this reaction to the sun with your doctor!

Colo Spgs
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
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28,762 posts
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8. Re: Too much sun

You don't mention where you are from? You have been given beaucoup answers for dealing with a hot/humid climate.

While sunscreen and chapstick are useful...minimizing sun exposure is far more important. You won't see me spending my time on the beach between dives lying in the sun.

Colo Spgs
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
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9. Re: Too much sun

You really should be upfront and describe what you did on that trip.

Were you out in the sun a lot?

Did you get sunburned?

Did you drink so much water that your urine was clear?

Did you wear a hat when you were out in the sun?

York, Maine
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10. Re: Too much sun

I am someone who always gets sun poisoning AND sun stroke every time I head to a hot, hot climate. I'm in Cancun right now and I can tell you, I'm finding the sun is the absolute hottest between 1-4pm. I've been here 6 days and I've changed some things since my last trip. I started my first few days w/ SPF 50. I don't really recommend the spray on sunscreen unless you don't care about full coverage, I think it makes you blotchy. I've used SPF 30 Tthe rest of the time. When I get too hot, I go to the swim up bar, which is in the shade, or I make sure my entire lounger is under and umbrella. This way I'm still outside enjoying myself, but not directly in the sun. I've worn a hat just about the whole time I've been here, including in the pool - bring a couple of hats that you don't care about getting wet. We planned day trips that didn't put us directly in the sun. We went to Isla Mujeres for the day and rented a golf cart, which is covered, therefore keeping you out of the direct sun. We did a 6 hour deep sea fishing trip this morning and I was out of the sun just about the entire 6 hours, underneath the canopy of the boat. It was a nice break. Also, for your face, use a sunscreen that is specifically made for faces, they are oil free. And, I always get blisters on my lips, so I brought Banana Boat lip balm w/ aloe vera and vitamin E. It's SPF 30 andcomes in a lime green tube w/ blue and yellow writing. It's worked WONDERS for me....

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your next trip!