Senitivity to Sunlight — Stuff You Must Know

Sun allergy is common in summer. For those who suffer from it, here are some key points help you to know, prevent and treat about your sun allergy.

What Is It?

A sun allergy, put simply, is a kind of immune system reaction to sunlight, typically causing an itchy red rash and showing in the “V” of the neck, the back of the hands, the outside surface of the arms and the lower legs.


Sun allergies happen only to certain sensitive people. The reason here is not clear and for someone, it is inherited.


Common types of sun allergy

Sun allergy often occurs in the following four types:

Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE):
an itchy rash on sun-exposed skin;
more in women;
usually disappears within two to three days.

Actinic prurigo (hereditary PMLE):
more intense symptoms than those of classic PMLE.
In temperate climates, it follows a seasonal pattern that is similar to classic PMLE;
In tropical climates, it may persist all year round.

Photoallergic eruption:
an itchy red rash or tiny blisters;
often triggered by antibiotics (especially tetracyclines and sulfonamides), phenothiazines used to treat psychiatric illness, diuretics for high blood pressure and heart failure, and certain oral contraceptives.
the duration is unpredictable.

Solar urticaria: 
hives (large, itchy, red bumps) on sun-exposed skin;
typically fade within 30 minutes to two hours.



Prevention here is simple: get focused on the  exposure to sunlight. Here are some common steps you can take:

1. Apply a sunscreen and limit your time outdoors, especially avoid the time period from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2. Wear sunglasses, long pants, a hat and whatever can stop you from the sunshine.
3. Be aware of skin care products and medicines that may trigger a photoallergic eruption, such as certain antibiotics and oral birth control pills, as well as prescription medicines that are used to treat psychiatric illness, high blood pressure and heart failure.



For the specific treatment, doctor’s advice would be the best. However, if your symptoms are mild, you should simply avoid the sun for a few days and stop using any chemical products.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.