Also indexed as:Light Sensitivity, Sensitivity to Light
A red rash that breaks out on your body during sun exposure may mean you’re “allergic” to light. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
People with photosensitivity have an immunological response to light, usually sunlight. They typically
break out in a rash when exposed to sunlight; how much exposure it takes to cause a reaction varies from
person to person. Several conditions, such as erythropoietic protoporphyria and polymorphous light eruption,
share the common symptom of hypersensitivity to light—also typically sunlight.
People taking certain prescription drugs (sulfonamides, tetracycline, and thiazide
diuretics) or herbs (St. John’s wort, for example) and
those with systemic lupus erythematosus have increased susceptibility to
adverse effects from sun exposure.
Symptoms may include a pink or red skin rash with blotchy blisters, scaly patches, or raised spots on areas directly exposed to the sun. The affected area may itch or burn, and the rash may last for several days. In some people, the reaction to sunlight gradually becomes less with subsequent exposures.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
People with photosensitivity need to protect themselves from the sun by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts), and avoiding excess exposure to the sun.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.