Sun Allergy: The A-Z Of A Summertime Culprit
You have been out in the sun for a few hours and your chest, arms and legs have broken out in itchy, red spots – you are suffering from a sun allergy, known as benign summer light eruption. These rashes are not harmful but can spoil any holiday, as they will reappear after each exposure until the skin is sufficiently tanned.
A sudden and intense exposure to UV rays causes the skin's immune system to go into overdrive. This results in skin rashes, usually in the form of small red pimples and visible blemishes on exposed parts of the body. Thankfully, most of the time the face is spared. Even though it is not something that can be cured as such, here are some ways in which you can reduce the symptoms.
1. Avoid The Sun
The easiest way to prevent an outbreak of a sun allergy is to limit your exposure to the sun. Reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun, especially when you have an active allergic reaction. Stay indoors, away from the harmful rays of the sun till your skin has calmed down.
2. Use A Sunscreen If You Have To Go Out
If you must go out, make sure to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to all exposed parts of your skin. A broad-spectrum sunscreen like the L’Oréal Paris UV Perfect Matte and Fresh shields your skin from UVA and UVB rays. The Mexoryl and UVA filters in the UV Perfect Matte and Fresh help reduce skin darkening, dark spots, and premature skin ageing.
3. Look For Topical Treatments
Your doctor can prescribe you a topical treatment containing cortisone as well as antihistamine pills. You can also buy soothing aloe vera or cooling gels to calm your skin and reduce the itchiness or redness caused by the sun allergy.
4. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drinking sufficient amounts of water throughout the day not only keeps your organs functioning smoothly but also does wonders for your skin. Well-hydrated skin helps soothe rashes, diminish the effects of a sun allergy, and is also effective in reducing the itchiness of your skin.
5. Opt For Anti-allergens
There are preventative anti-allergen treatments you can start taking a couple of weeks before you plan to go on a beach vacation or a summer trip. Or you can also try Psoralen and Ultraviolet Therapy (PUVA). This treatment involves combining a photosensitising drug (psoralen) with UVA radiation, all undertaken in a controlled environment.
Sun allergies affect nearly 10% of adults. Fair skins are more prone but, contrary to belief, darker skins can also be affected. They are most common in women aged between 15 and 40. Follow these simple steps to protect your skin from the sun and reduce the risk of your skin breaking out with a sun allergy.