Sun Allergy: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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Pollen, mold, pet dander, latex, peanuts, shellfish — we all know that these things and many others can cause allergies in some. Did you know that it’s also possible a person to develop an allergic reaction to the sun?

If you suspect that you are suffering from sun allergy, keep on reading. This article will discuss some of the most important things about it such as its symptoms, treatment and preventive measures.

Overview

Just like what the name says, sun allergy is allergy to the sun. There are actually a handful of forms of it, and dermatologists confirm that the most common of the bunch is what’s referred to as polymorphic light eruption — sun poisoning.

Some people with this sun allergy are born with it, which means that it is something that can run in families. But then there are also individuals who can wind up with it only when the condition is triggered by another factor such as the administration of certain medications, coming into contact with some types of plants or having another skin condition.

The signs and symptoms of mild sun allergy tend to go away on their own. Severe sun allergy, however, requires treatment. It’s important for anyone who has the skin problem to take certain preventive measures in order to keep a bout of allergic reaction from striking.

Signs and Symptoms

Areas of the body exposed to the sun are the only ones that tend to exhibit the various signs and symptoms of sun allergy, which tend to vary from one person to the other.

However, a lot of those who are suffering from sun allergy usually encounter some or all of the following:

  • Redness
  • Pain or itching
  • Raised patches
  • Blisters
  • Scaling or crusting

The signs and symptoms tend to show up within a few minutes or hours after getting into contact with direct sunlight.

Sometimes the signs and symptoms are mild only and tend to go away on their own after a while. There are cases, too, in which the signs and symptoms are so severe that treatment is warranted.

Treatment

As mentioned earlier in this article, there are various types of sun allergy and that’s why the signs and symptoms may vary from one case to another. Needless to say, treatment for sun allergy can vary, too.

Mild cases of sun allergy do not usually require any treatment as the problem tends to resolve on its own, although steering clear of the sun for a few days is usually warranted. Just in case the signs and symptoms are severe enough as to meddle with the person’s everyday living, topically-applied or sometimes orally-taken steroids may be recommended by a dermatologist.

Therapy is another treatment option, and it entails using a special type of lamp in a clinical setting in order to gradually get the skin used to UV rays being given off by the sun.

Prevention

Just like many other forms of allergy, sun allergy entails steering clear of the causative factor (the sun) in order to keep a flare-up from coming into being.

Some of the preventive steps that may be taken by someone who is suffering from sun allergy include:

Use sunscreen

It’s not just individuals who wish to avoid premature skin aging and skin cancer that could benefit a lot from using sunscreen daily, but also those who have sun allergy.

Wear protective clothing

The various signs and symptoms of sun allergy tend to appear on areas that can come into contact with direct sunlight, and that’s why putting on protective clothing that offers maximum coverage is a great idea.

Go for the right accessories

Beauty-conscious individuals with sun allergy may count on stylish sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, scarves and umbrellas in order to keep a flare-up at bay.

Stay indoors during peak hours

It is recommended to remain inside the home or office between 10 AM and 4 PM to spare the skin from coming into contact with intense sunlight.

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