What is a sun allergic reaction? (Image credit: Tim Robberts through Getty Images)
Indulging in the sun can trigger a variety of health conditions, from sunburn to skin cancer. Can you be allergic to the sun, too?
The brief response is, yes, you can have an allergy to ultraviolet light from the sun. A sun allergic reaction produces a scratchy rash that might provide as red bumps, red spots, blisters or hives on the sun-exposed locations of the skin, Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified skin doctor based in New York and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, informed Live Science.
The term “sun allergic reaction” is an umbrella term that incorporates a number of immune actions to ultraviolet light. Some sun allergic reactions might be connected to an individual’s heredity, while others can establish in action to specific chemicals from medications or cosmetics, according to Harvard Health.
Related: What triggers allergic reactions?
A rash like this one, here revealed on reasonable skin, might appear about 2 hours after sun direct exposure in individuals with “polymorphic light eruption.” (Image credit: DermNetNZ by means of Wikimedia Commons)
Polymorphic light eruption (PMLE) is among the most typical kinds of sun allergic reaction. PMLE might impact 1 in 10 individuals worldwide, however it tends to be more widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a 2022 meta-analysis released in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & & Venereology. PMLE typically manifests as a rash that appears within 2 hours of sun direct exposure. This condition generally impacts more ladies than males, and its signs frequently start in early their adult years. Researchers do not understand what triggers PMLE, according to the medical resource StatPearls.
In uncommon cases, PMLE might be genetic. This type of sun allergic reaction, called Actinic prurigo, primarily impacts Native American populations in the northern, southern and main U.S. The signs of Actinic prurigo typically start previously– and are more serious– than in common PMLE, Harvard Health kept in mind.
Another typical kind of sun allergic reaction is photoallergic eruption, a skin response activated by an interaction in between sunshine and chemicals either consumed or used to the skin. This blistery rash might take one to 2 days to establish and can infect locations of the skin that were not exposed to the sun, according to Harvard Health. Photoallergic eruption “can take place in individuals of all skin types, however light-skinned people who are more conscious the sun are most likely to get the signs,” Jaliman stated.
Photoallergic eruption is typically triggered by artificial chemicals discovered in topical cosmetics, consisting of musk scents and benzophenones, a component in some mineral sun blocks. Natural compounds, such as lime juice, can activate it too, she stated. A variety of prescription medications, consisting of “specific prescription antibiotics, such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin; sulfur-based drugs, like hydrochlorothiazide [a diuretic]; and isotretinoin, a medication utilized to deal with acne,” can likewise trigger photoallergic eruption, Jaliman kept in mind.