Sun allergy is commonly used to describe a series of conditions in which a red rash occurs on the skin that is often accompanied by itching or stinging due to exposure to sunlight.
There are different forms of sun allergy, the most common being the polymorphic light rash. Other people have a hereditary type of sun allergy, and still, others are triggered by a combination of factors, such as a drug, a perfume, or skin exposure to a plant.
When there is a mild case of sun allergy, it can disappear without the need for treatment. A Dermatologist can prescribe creams or medicines for treatment in stronger cases, and in cases of severe sun allergy, preventive measures must be taken.
Sun allergy is a reaction of the immune system. The most common places where this reaction becomes visible include the "V" of the neck, the back of the hands, the outer surface of the arms and the lower legs.
Symptoms of Sun Allergy:
There are many variations in how the skin is affected by a sun allergy looks; however, some signs and symptoms may include
Itching or pain
Blisters or hives
Scales, scabs, or bleeding
Tiny lumps that can merge and form larger patches
Signs and symptoms usually occur on skin that has been exposed to the sun and develops within minutes and hours after exposure to the sun.
The causes why some people develop sun allergy, and others are not yet known for sure; however, in many cases, hereditary traits may play a role. In other cases, certain chemicals, medications, and underlying diseases can cause increased sensitivity of the skin to the sun.
Race: Sun allergies are more common in fair-skinned people. However, anyone can suffer from sun allergy
Skin diseases: suffering from skin disease such as dermatitis, increases the risk of sun allergy
Hereditary Factor-People with blood relatives who have a sun allergy are more likely to develop a sun allergy
Medications: Taking some medications speeds up the sunburn process on the skin
Substances such as perfumes, disinfectants-some of the symptoms of sun allergy develop when the skin is in contact with this substance and then in sunlight
When to consult a doctor?
Don't hesitate to consult your Dermatologist if after exposure to the sun you experience skin reactions that are unusual, uncomfortable or affect your quality of life.
The Dermatologist will make an exam of your skin and a medical and family history to reach a diagnosis. There are some cases in which the Dermatologist requests additional tests such as blood tests, skin biopsy, or photographic tests to rule out other skin problems such as Eczema and Lupus.
Living with a Sun Allergy:
If you already have a sun allergy, take the following steps to prevent the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.
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