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Recurring sunburn since first outbreak, swollen glands, dizziness. Major concern?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3041 Questions
Ten years ago on my honeymoon in Hawaii I got a very bad sunburn. A welt appeared on the right side of my forehead about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, and the glands around my ear and along my jaw and neck were swollen too. This made me feel really run down and sick. Since then I have had several recurrences of this when exposed to the sun.
Last weekend I was outside at a ball game and now I have the knot on my head, the swollen glands, and the run down feeling. I even feel a little dizzy. Is this of major concern? Is there a home treatment or should I see a doctor? Is there something that I should do to prevent this from happening? Thanks
Posted Sun, 19 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

What you describe for sure are sun burns. Some people are generally more liable to be affected by others, depending on the nature of the skin and the genetics. The intensity of the sun and duration of exposure are also important risk factors.

Swollen glands and dizziness is an issue of concern. Most of the time this should be a viral infection. Exposure to unprotected sex lately is an important consideration to be taken into consideration.
Common viruses like HIV; EBV for infectious mononucleosis should be screened for.

A complete blood count is very necessary to ascertain differential increases in blood cell levels, especially the white blood cells, which could give an orientation whether it’s a bacterial or viral infection.

The symptoms you are experiencing now, in my humble opinion, might really have nothing to do with the sun burns. I advice simple analgesics in case of pain or fever. If not, it is imperative for you to book an appointment with your proper clinical evaluation. Avoid exposure of parts of your skin to harsh sun intensities, or for a long time.

Thanks and hope this helps as I wish you the best of health.

Best regards,
Dr Luchuo, MD.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Recurring sunburn since first outbreak, swollen glands, dizziness. Major concern? 5 hours later
unprotected sex is not an issue, and i tend to think that the symptoms are directly related to the sunburn just because each occurrence has been exactly the same, with the possible exception of the dizziness, which i don't remember if i had before or not. is it possible that the sun triggers a virus of some sort? i am going to see if i can get into a doctor tomorrow. if this continues to be a problem, is there some sort of specialist that i could see to investigate further? thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 5 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,
Thanks for the precision. I suggest you XXXXXXX your primary care physician, and possibly book an appointment with a dermatologist. He shall really be of much help. However, associating sunburns to swollen glands could really be difficult to make, this could also be some coincidence, but still deserves a critical review, both clinically and some laboratory tests might helps too.
I suggest you book an appointment with a dermatologist and your family care physician for proper management.
I shall be honored knowing how you are faring after these meetings. Should you have any further questions you think I might be of help, do not hesitate.
Wishing you the best of health and best regards,
Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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