Sun allergy : What to do?

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  1. Sun allergy
  2. Definition of a sun allergy
  3. Types of sun allergy
    1. Chemical photosensitization
  4. Symptoms and location of allergy
  5. Causes
  6. People at risk
  7. Treatments: what to do in case of sun allergy?
  8. Sun allergy in children and babies
  9. How can I make you feel better?
  10. Avoiding sun allergy
  11. You may be interested:

Sun allergy

Lucidity, solar hives and photosensitization are manifestations of sun allergy.

It is always the result of a reaction of the skin (face, hand, legs, arms...) to UV rays. What can be done about it? Answers from experts.

Sun allergy

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Definition of a sun allergy

This skin manifestation is a reaction of the immune system to exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This term includes different types of reactions to the sun.

Medications may be recommended as a preventive measure, including carotenoids, para-aminobenzoic acid, vitamin PP, synthetic antimalarials, and antihistamines.

Puvatherapy is a treatment that can also be offered. Sometimes corticosteroid ointments are also recommended when rashes occur.

Types of sun allergy

The term sun allergy refers to several types of symptoms: lucitis, solar hives and photosensitization.

  • Benign summer lucite or polymorphic lucite
  • Solar Urticaria

Allergy to the sun or solar hives is the result of photosensitivity. It most often affects women between the ages of 20 and 40, It remains rare (less than 0.4% of hives).

It is manifested by a local swelling of the skin that occurs in the first minutes after exposure to the sun and a severe itching in areas that are usually covered the rest of the year as the trunk, arms and feet.

The person may feel a tingling and/or burning sensation before the symptoms appear.

Other symptoms may appear later, such as headaches, a feeling of discomfort, a high heart rate or low blood pressure. Treatments are symptomatic.

Chemical photosensitization

It is the result of the encounter between the sun's rays and a chemical such as a drug.

Drugs can cause abnormal skin reactions when all or part of the body is exposed to UV radiation. These drugs are called photosensitizers when they cause the skin to change color or appearance.

Sun allergy is characterized by the appearance of small red pimples that itch in the neckline, arms, legs, etc.

Symptoms and location of allergy

Depending on the type of solar allergy, symptoms vary in intensity and speed of onset.

Summer Lucitis appears several hours after exposure to the sun. It usually affects the neckline, arms, shoulders, feet, hands, legs, etc. in the form of small red pimples.

"Polymorphic lucite also appears several hours after exposure in the form of blisters that appear in the exposed areas.

It can also appear with a little sun," reports dermatologist Dr. Michael Naouri. This skin reaction causes intense itching. The solar urticaria appears just after the beginning of the exposure to the sun. Those who suffer it feel itching.


Sun allergy is the result of the skin's reaction to UV rays. While most sunscreens can protect the skin against UVB rays, they only partially protect against UVA rays.

People at risk

  • Light-skinned people
  • The Elderly
  • Children
  • In general, women are at greater risk of suffering from a sun allergy than men.
  • Pregnant women are likely to suffer from a pregnancy mask.

Treatments: what to do in case of sun allergy?

To avoid allergy to the sun, "the most important thing is to apply a sunscreen that protects from UVA and UVB rays," recommends the dermatologist.

Carotenoid medications can be an important aid for people who are bothered by the sun. They should be taken 1 to 2 weeks before and during exposure. They are sold in pharmacies without a prescription: however, a doctor's opinion is still advisable.

→ Para-amino benzoic acid is recommended for the prevention of benign summer lucite.

The treatment should start 15 days before the beginning of the exposure to the sun and continue during the time that the exposure lasts. Vitamin PP is also sometimes recommended to relieve sun allergy.

→ "Synthetic antimalarial drugs are the standard treatment for the prevention of lucidity.

Treatment should be started 7 days before the beginning of the exposure and continue for the duration of the exposure," said Dr. Naouri. An ophthalmologic checkup is necessary before starting to take the drug.

Antihistamine drugs are useful for the prevention of the symptoms of solar urticaria or benign lucitis, but also for alleviating the effects of skin manifestations.

Antihistamine drugs counteract the effects of the inflammatory substance histamine released during the allergic reaction.

Caution: Antihistamines can cause side effects, the best known of which is drowsiness.

Although second-generation antihistamines cause fewer side effects, some people with allergies still report these effects.

Some antihistamines are contraindicated during certain periods of pregnancy. Cortisone creams may help relieve itching and reduce the intensity of the rash.

Sun allergy in children and babies

Like adults, children can suffer from a sun allergy. With very sensitive skin, they should be protected with an effective sunscreen and exposed to the sun very gradually.

How can I make you feel better?

The first thing to do if you develop an allergy is to get out of the shade and stay out of the sun. If the itching is severe, the doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream and antihistamines to soothe the skin. There are also herbal creams that can relieve itching (for example, calendula or aloe vera).

Sunscreen, get in the shade and wear a T-shirt.

Avoiding sun allergy

To avoid sun allergy, you should cover your skin so that it is not exposed: wear a T-shirt that protects your arms and neckline, and use a wide-brimmed hat for your face.

You should also protect your legs and feet and always have a suitable sunscreen (minimum index 50 for fair skin and children).

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