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When the sunlight i.e. ultraviolet rays cause allergic skin reactions, then this condition is called as sun allergy. Some symptoms of sun allergy could be rashes, itching and in severe cases hives, blisters may occur. There are many types of sun allergy. They are polymorphic light eruption, solar urticaria, actinic prurigo and chronic actinic dermatitis.

Symptoms of Sun Allergy

Some symptoms are mild whereas others are severe. They are as follows:

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  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin and irritation
  • Hives
  • Red patches and bumps
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Blisters

The symptoms of sun allergy disappear after a period of time when precautions are taken to protect the affected area. But in severe cases it may leave pitted marks.

Types of Sun Allergy

Types of sun allergy are as follows:

  • Chronic actinic dermatitis: It causes thick small areas of dry and itchy skin. It also causes inflammation of skin on scalp, neck, face, upper chest and arms. It may also happen that a major part of the skin is affected and in that a small portion is not affected. In few cases symptoms it may appear on the palms and bottom of feet.
  • Polymorphic light eruption: Its symptoms may appear fast or may take time. Allergic reactions could be small white or yellow bump with a red background or inflammation of skin or flat bumps could also develop. It can affect the neck, face, arms and hands. It is a common type of sun allergy.
  • Solar urticaria: This type of sun allergy usually affects the older people. Some of its symptoms are blister, hives and itchy feeling. It can affect both open and covered areas.
  • Actinic prurigo:  Actinic prurigo affects both children and young adult. Its symptoms are red patches on skin, itching, bumps and it may spread to other areas as well. Bumps filled with fluid could form and then break up. It usually causes split lip and affects the cheek, arms, neck, ears and hands. It may also leaves marks on the skin.

Treatment of Sun Allergy

If the symptoms are mild a physician can be consulted but if the symptoms are severe then it is advisable to see an experienced dermatologist. Treatment is done on the basis of the type of sun allergy. Some are as follows:

  • Corticosteroid creams: Corticosteroid creams are accessible over-the-counter.
  • Oral corticosteroids: When the allergy is severe one can take oral corticosteroids for a short time. However it is not advised for long term as it has serious side effects.
  • Oral antihistamines: Oral antihistamines block histamines that cause allergic reactions.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy: It is also known as phototherapy. A specialized lamp is used to shine ultraviolet light on the affected areas. Usually it is carried out a few times a week for a period of time. It is done in specialized clinics only.
  • Other medications: In few allergies, medicines that are used for treating other allergies are used to treat sun allergies.

Sun Allergy Rash Pictures


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