Sun allergy could be triggered by sun exposure when you are not wearing any sunscreen, sun protective clothing or UV hat.
How Many Types of Sun-Allergy Are There?
Here are the most common types:
Solar urticaria is the type of sun allergy which produces large and itchy red bumps on wherever the skin has been hit by sun exposure. Normally occurs within a few minutes of sun exposure.
Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) is the type that normally appears as a rash which itches or burns on every spot where skin was hit by sun exposure.
Since this eruption is dependent on sun exposure, it's only natural that it pops up more often in the spring and summer time.
Normally occurs within a couple of hours of sun exposure.
Photo allergic eruption is the type that produces little blisters or itchy red rash.
It is mainly caused by a chemical ingredient that was applied to your skin and then exposed to the sun.
This could be in your sunscreen, creams and ointments, or cosmetics and fragrances.
Certain antibiotics taken orally (by mouth), could result in this type of sun allergy too. Normally occurs within a couple of days after sun exposure, if not sooner.
How Does it Start?
When your skin is hit by direct sun exposure, an immune system responds in your body. This causes inflammatory cells in the skin to turn on. Your skin basically reacts to the sun's rays or sunlight.
How Does it Look?
Your skin may get red in the form of a rash, bump or even raised patches and blisters.
How Does it Feel?
Normally causes intense itching, irritation and pain.
Where Does it Occur on Your Skin?
Anywhere which was exposed wide open to sunlight including arms, hands, lower legs and the neck.
My friend's V neck area gets very red every time the sun hits her in that spot.
How Long Does it Last?
It may last anytime from 1 to 7 days.
Who is More at Risk?
If you have sensitive skin or spend lots of time under the sun, you could get a sun allergy .
You are also at risk if you are taking certain medications which make you more photo sensitive. Please read your warning labels and avoid the sun.
I once took an antibiotic which made me very sensitive to the sun or even the cars' headlights. I mean not only my skin but also my eyes and I didn't even know it.
Though, consult with your doctor since the ingredient in some creams or lotions could trigger their own skin reaction or sun sensitivity.
How Can You Reduce the Risk of Your Sun Allergy Reaction?
• Spend as little time as possible in the sun
• Wear sun protection clothing
• Wear a wide brimmed sun protection hat
• Wear UV sunglasses
• Use a Sun Protection Umbrella or UV umbrella
• Test your sunscreen on a small area of your skin first
• Ask your doctor about avoiding certain antibiotics, birth control pills, antidepressants and antihistamines
• Ask your Dermatologist about antihistamine benefits
• If you are outdoors, play at night
• If it's daytime, play inside a gym
• The gym must be a shade structure with no skylights above you