What is a Sun Allergy Rash?
A sun allergy rash is the skin condition that results due to a hypersensitivity to the hot rays of the sun. This reaction is also known as a Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE). The rash most commonly appears during the season of spring when the skin is still in the process of adapting to the change in temperature and heat. The rashes appear within hours after prolonged exposure to sunlight and is only limited to areas of the body which were left uncovered. The rash is self-limiting and gradually improves and eventually disappears once the skin has grown accustomed to the heat of the new season.
Sun Allergy Rash Symptoms
- Rashes are initially burning and itchy immediately after exposure.
- Rashes are localized in regions exposed to sunlight, usually on the neck, arms and legs, and upper area of the chest.
- Rashes may be accompanied by head aches, nausea, and malaise, and chills.
Sun Allergy Rash Causes
People who develop sun rash allergies have innate antibodies that are triggered when the skin comes into contact with sunlight. The skin contains proteins which react and change once they are exposed to sunlight and the natural antibodies respond to the presence of these evolved proteins and treat them as foreign bodies. Unable to recognize these proteins, the antibodies stimulate the immune response thus resulting in the allergic reaction and rashes.
Sun Allergy Rash Treatment
Symptoms are treated through antihistamines to control the inflammation and itching. Hydrocortisone, a topical steroid cream, can also be used. Oral steroids such as prednisone are also used in treating the condition especially if the symptoms are severe.
Alternatively, the rash can be reduced through desensitization of the skin with medical-grade ultraviolet light. This allows the skin to get used to the sun’s rays and eventually reduce or completely halt the allergic responses during succeeding exposures.
Sun Allergy Rash Pictures
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