How to Understand Sun Rash?

Buck Goldsmith  2019-09-18 15:54:50

Sun rash, sometimes called heat rash, sun allergy, or sun sensitivity (photosensitivity), is a red, itchy rash that can occur if your skin is exposed to sunlight. The medical terminology for this issues is Polymorphic Light Eruption (PMLE). This issue may be itchy and troublesome, but it does not cause permanent damage to your skin. 

  1. 1Learn about Polymorphic Light Eruption (PMLE). PMLE is an itchy, red skin rash that develops when your skin is exposed to the sun. The term polymorphic indicates that the rash will look different when it develops on different people. This condition is most common in the spring, which is when your skin is exposed to stronger sunlight for the first time after winter. Sun rash is more common in women than in men and it most often occurs in children and adults between 20 and 40 who live in Northern Europe or North America. This is due to the temperate climate in these areas.
    • 2Be aware of why sun rash develops. Sun rash is considered an allergic reaction, but not in the traditional sense. It generally develops because your immune system reacts to exposure to the combination of UV radiation and visible light.
      • 3Recognize the symptoms of sun rash. The main symptom of sun rash is an itchy red rash that develops on the skin with small raised bumps or blisters. This can happen within 20 minutes of sun exposure, but it can also take a few hours. The rash will typically appear on your arms, your chest, or your legs. This is because these areas are generally covered more during the winter months and become desensitized to the sun. Even if you treat the first instance of the rash, it may recur if you go back out into the sun. These recurrences are typically less severe than the first.
        • 4Learn the causes of sun rash. In addition to direct exposure to the sun, you can get a sun rash from exposure to the sun through a window or by exposure to fluorescent lighting. Another form of sun rash can occur as a reaction to chemicals or medications. These two conditions are called photoallergic dermatitis and drug-induced photosensitivity. Certain chemicals in soaps, perfumes, skin lotions, detergents, and makeup can react to sun exposure and cause a sun rash. This can easily be remedied if you stop using the product that causes the reaction.
          • 5See your doctor. If you try home treatments and the rash doesn't go away within 24 hours, call your doctor. You may have a different kind of rash or there may be a larger, more complicated reason for your sun rash. If your sun rash gets worse after any home treatment, you should also see your doctor.