Managing Your Sun Allergies

Sun can cause allergiesSun allergies can be confused with many things both relatively ranging from benign to actual life changing diseases.  When most people get a rash after being out in the sun they think that maybe they have a sun burn.  Even if they only spent a little time in the sun they may make that assumption.  Sun allergies can also cause hives and more scary looking rashes so in that case one might confuse them with actual sun poisoning.  The truth is though that sun allergies do exist so if you seem to be getting rashes after exposure to the sun you need to investigate if you actually have them.

Sun allergies come in different forms and are sometimes called photosensitivity.  They are classified based on whether they are hereditary or not, what may cause the actual reaction and the severity of the sun allergy symptoms themselves.  Polymorphous Light Eruption or PMLE occurs mostly in women and is associated with an annual rash that occurs in the spring when the sun allergy sufferer first spends time out in the sun.  Actinic Prurigo is the hereditary form of PMLE.  Photoallergic Eruption is the one associated with chemicals on the skin being exposed to the sun and lastly Solar Urticaria is the one with more severe reactions like hives. As you can see sun allergy symptoms can range from mild itchy red rashes to intense rashes like hives.

Sun allergies are usually treated with topical creams like Benadryl but some severe cases require prescriptions so it may require a visit to the dermatologist or allergist.  Keep in mind that scratching your rashes will only make it worse and can possibly cause scars.  Depending on how severe your case your primary care doctor would refer you to one of these specialists.  They will also advise you on how to manage your sun allergies.  Avoiding the sun whenever possible is of course obvious and using sun block and protective clothes when you need to be in the sun are also helpful.

Proper diagnosis is also very important because some people with photosensitivity can have other conditions that are causing them.  A good example of that is the disease lupus which has symptoms that include rashes after sun exposure.

With the increase in skin cancer sun worshipping has definitely decreased yet tanning beds have actually increased in popularity.  If you have a sun allergy odds are you will have a tanning bed allergy as well.  Both are caused by photosensitivity and are treated the same way.  Most cases of sun allergies last only a short time after stopping your exposure to the sun so if that is not the case you definitely should consult a doctor.

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