Photodermatosis is a form of skin reaction to the sun that is not connected with sunscreens and other external factors. People who suffer from photodermatosis tend to develop skin rashes on exposure to the sun where polymorphous light eruption is the most common form of photodermatosis.
Polymorphous light eruption may be induced by the abnormal immune system reaction to the sun and occurs in about 10 to 20% of healthy individuals. This shows that these allergic reactions to sun are a relatively common condition.
There also is a group of people who think that they have a sun allergy because of medications they have ingested or because of applying sunscreen and other similar agents. These people tend to develop an irritating reaction in the body which may be a rash or a tingling and itchy sensation on the skin. However the probability of getting a real allergic reaction to sunscreen is comparatively low.
Allergic reactions to sun develop within a few hours’ of sun exposure where red bumps or blisters develop at the exposed area. These blisters prove to be itchy by developing into a rash that is similar to hives or insect bites. In some cases, there may not be any symptoms; and in some cases, if the reaction is not treated it may last for a few days or weeks and then go away on its own.
Allergic reactions to sun usually start in springtime during temperate climate. With the progress of the season, the person usually becomes less sensitive to the reaction. It is those in their 20s and 30s who are most likely to develop photosensitivity.
Sometimes there exists an association between lupus and thyroid problems with sun allergy; but otherwise, patients of sun allergy are perfectly healthy. It is usually the UVB light, and sometimes the UVA of sunlight that induces allergic reactions to the sun. Even oral medications like some antibiotics and some diuretics tend to make the skin sensitive to sunlight. On testing which medication and form of UV light is the cause for the sun allergy, doctors will be able to give the right treatment for the reaction.
The best treatment for allergic reactions to sun is of course, staying in the shade, using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. If a sunscreen is the cause of sun allergy, you have to try numerous sunscreens to find the perfect sunscreen that does not induce an allergy. You can also consider using sunscreen containing only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as these ingredients don’t induce sun allergy.
Those suffering from polymorphous light eruptions every summer can opt for ultraviolet light treatment to desensitize the skin in the spring. The body system gets used to ultraviolet light after exposing the skin to ultraviolet light. You may need to take 15 treatments to reap the benefits of the treatment.