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Sun Rash

A sun rash is a dermatologic condition that occurs due to an increased sensitivity to the sun’s rays. An abnormally heightened inflammatory response to being exposed to direct sunlight can be brought about by many causes, including medications, exposure to certain chemicals, and a natural sensitivity to sunlight during sudden changes in climate. Sun rashes are self-limiting and are not a serious condition; however, infections are a potential complication that should be avoided especially if the patient persistently scratches and could injure the affected skin.


  • Symptoms of sun rashes are the following:
  • Presence of small red blisters on the skin
  • Can be itchy
  • Rashes can also be flat and large spots
  • Rashes tend to appear on areas exposed to sunlight
  • Rashes emerge within minutes or hours after being exposed to the sun’s rays


Sun rashes come about as a response to the ultraviolet rays that the sun gives off. Some people have a condition called photosensitivity which makes them react more aggressively to sun exposure. The rashes occur as the body responds to the proteins and compounds found in ultraviolet rays, but over time, the body gradually adapts to the sunlight and adjusts itself to the new environment, reducing the reactions produced.

Certain chemicals or medications can also cause photosensitivity. For instance, some perfumes contain chemicals that cause the sensitivity while in the case of medications, drugs like sulfonamides and tetracycline increase the tendency for inflammatory responses to occur upon exposing the skin to sunlight.


Treatment for sun rashes is similar to those for most types of skin allergies. Cold compresses and calamine lotions are useful for mild reactions. For more severe cases, antihistamines can be taken to take care of itching and redness.

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Sun Rash
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