Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Itchy Skin Rash from the Sun: Polymorphous Light Eruption

Q. I get an itchy rash on my thigh when I go in the sun. It is not all over. It is just one spot. Could it be my sunscreen? I've tried different kinds. Someone told me it was a sun allergy.
Polymorphous Light Eruption
A. Some people develop a sensitivity to the UV rays from the sun and get a super itchy rash of red tiny bumps and raised patches of skin when exposed to the sun. It is both itchy and sore. It is called Polymorphous Light Eruption. 
The rash occurs on areas of the body that are usually covered most of the year but are exposed in the summer. The rash is less likely to occur as the summer goes on because you become less sensitized through repeated sun exposure.

The rash will take some time to go away. No remedy seems to work quickly. Try treating the rash with over the counter hydrocortisone and cold compresses.

Keep the rashy area out of the sun! It will just get worse when exposed to more sun. Keep the area covered with sunscreen and clothing or a towel.


Avoid getting the rash by protecting the area that gets the rash with a chemical UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 50 then, apply a physical titanium dioxide or zinc oxide sunscreen on top of the chemical sunscreen. Reapply frequently. 

There is also a condition called Solar Urticaria which is a sun induced allergic reaction. It produces hives after a few minutes of sun exposure.  The skin cells produce histamines when exposed to light. This is a chronic condition the can last for years. Follow the same preventative sunscreen recommendation. Take an antihistamine to calm the hives.



Have a Beautiful, Sun Safe Day!





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