There’s Actually a Sun Allergy—Here’s How You Can Find Out If You Suffer From It Too

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It is also known as polymorphic light eruption and it spoils the heat very quickly. Here are some symptoms that indicate a sun allergy. © Danr13 / Getty Images

A few years ago, I received a diagnosis that must have made my former goth self-obsessed: I’m allergic to the sun.

It’s actually more a sensitivity type than an allergic reaction (we’ll get to that in a moment), but it manifests in my skin developing small, unsightly, itchy bumps every summer.

This is called polymorphic light rash and presents as a rash that develops when the skin is exposed to the sun. And although the skin can be allergic to the sun for a variety of reasons, photodermatosis is the most common type of photosensitivity. And that’s incredibly annoying.

It usually starts with the back of the hand and then gradually moves up the arm. Scratching makes it worse, but it is so itchy that I wake up in the middle of the night and scratch my hands. Plus, it doesn’t look pretty at all – some idiot once made a comment about my “zombie” hands at a party.

At first, I received several false eczema diagnoses before realizing that it was the annual sun rash, which is not uncommon. In fact, it affects 15 percent of all people and usually affects fair-skinned women in their teens and 20s, who are more likely to live in the North and who have a history of cases in their families. .

Sun allergy: Some people are especially prone to itchy rash

I asked the dermatologist to give me all the information about sun allergies.

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So first of all, it’s not the same thing as an allergy at all. “I don’t think you can think of it as an allergy,” Dr. Whitney High, chief of dermatopathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

However, it is understandable why it is often referred to as a “sun allergy.” Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to proteins in food, pollen, or animal food. Polymorphic light eruption, on the other hand, is photosensitivity, or the body’s response to UV light.

Doctors don’t yet know exactly why, in people with photodermatosis, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light causes an immune response that causes swelling, inflammation, itching, and a variety of rashes, including small blisters and swellings. The skin is covered, it looks like it is a layer.

One hand is covered with a small swelling caused by an allergy to the sun.
One hand is covered with a small swelling from a sun allergy. © Daniel Bruno / Getty Images

“Even now, when it’s really common, we still don’t know why people suffer from it,” High continues.

But with the passage of time gives information. How the rash develops over time is an important indicator that it is photodermatosis and not another skin disease.

“Typically, puffiness and redness appear 4 to 6 hours after the skin is exposed to the sun,” Hai says. “The rash, redness, swelling, itching and similar symptoms last for 2 to 3 days. Then the immune system slowly stops responding and the skin returns to normal.”

This usually happens in early summer, when our skin is exposed to more sunlight. For me, the rash usually appears in June, then gets progressively worse until it starts to clear up again in mid-summer. This is quite typical, as the longer the skin is exposed to sunlight, the less symptoms will be.

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There is no cure for hemp allergy, but the symptoms can be treated.

But dermatosis doesn’t just happen in summer. If I am vacationing in a warm place in winter, I am sure it will be fine within 24 hours. not funny.

There is no cure, but dermatitis can be treated. Instead of waiting for the rash to go away on its own, you can force your body to deal with the problem. High says he once had an intern with polymorphic photodermatosis who used UV lights to force the reaction to proceed rapidly. (Although you should keep in mind that tanning beds are suspected to promote skin cancer. While UV lamps are used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, you should first read about using one for photodermatosis. You should consult your doctor.)

Otherwise corticosteroids are recommended for external use. From personal experience I can say that ointments to relieve itching are also a boon.

Prevention is also important, which means wearing long sleeves and a big hat. And you might think sunscreen is helpful, but it can do very little. It takes very little sun to trigger the reaction, says Hai, so sunscreen has little effect. is usually No need for sunscreen, as these 19 chilling photos show (Which, however, are not meant to be taken seriously).

But the good news is that dermatosis does not damage the skin in the long run. “He’s not dangerous at all,” High confirms. “It does not cause cancer or infection, and it is not contagious.”

Her worst thing is her looks, but the positive is that you always have an excuse to go out with an umbrella. And the risk decreases with menopause: Some studies indicate that the skin disease is related to the female hormone estrogen.

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This article first appeared on English,

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