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It’s also known as polymorphous light eruption and quickly spoils summer. Here are some symptoms that indicate sun sensitivity.

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A few years ago, I received a diagnosis that would make me cheerful from an ex-goth: I’m allergic to the sun.

It’s actually more of an allergy than an allergic reaction (we’ll get to that in a moment), but it manifests itself on my skin as small, awful, and itchy bumps appear every summer.

This mild eruption is called polymorph and appears as a rash that develops when the skin is exposed to sunlight. And although the skin can be sensitive to the sun for many reasons, photosensitivity is the most common type of photosensitivity. It is very annoying.

It usually starts at the back of the hand and then slowly moves up the arm. Scratching makes it worse, but it itchs so much that I wake up in the middle of the night to scratch my hands. Also, it doesn’t look pretty at all – a idiot once made a comment about my “zombie” hands at a party.

First, I received several misdiagnoses of eczema before I realized it was my annual sun rash, which is a common occurrence. In fact, it affects 15 percent of all people and most commonly affects fair-skinned women in their teens and twenties, who are more likely to live in the North and have a history of the conditions in their family.

Sun sensitivity: Some people are especially prone to itchy rashes

I asked a dermatologist to give me all the information about sun sensitivity.

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First, it’s not exactly the same as sensitivity. Dr. says. Whitney Hay, MD, chief of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

However, it is understandable why it is often referred to as “sun allergy.” Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to proteins in food, pollen, or animal dander. On the other hand, polymorphous light eruption is photosensitivity, or the body’s response to ultraviolet rays.

Doctors don’t yet know the exact cause, but in people with photodermatitis, exposure to the sun’s UV rays triggers an immune response that causes inflammation, swelling, itching, and various types of rashes, including small blisters and swollen skin that looks like it has inflammation. paint.

One hand is covered with small bumps caused by a sun allergy.
Hand covered with small bumps from sun sensitivity. © Daniel Bruno / Getty Images

“Even now, when it’s really common, we still don’t know exactly why people suffer from it,” Hay continues.

But the passage of time gives information. How the rash develops over time is an important indication that it is photodermatitis and not another skin disease.

“Puffiness and redness usually appear 4 to 6 hours after the skin is exposed to the sun,” Hay says. “The rash, redness, swelling, itching, and similar symptoms last for two to three days. Then the immune system slowly stops responding and the skin returns to normal.”

It usually occurs at the beginning of summer, when our skin is most exposed to the sun. For me, the rash usually appears in June, then gets progressively worse until it starts to reappear in the middle of summer. This is rather typical, the longer the skin is exposed to the sun, the less symptoms will be.

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There is no cure for sun allergy, but the symptoms can be treated

But the hangman does not only happen in the summer. If I’m vacationing somewhere warm in the winter, I can be sure it’ll be up and running in 24 hours. not funny.

There is no cure, but the disease can be cured. Instead of waiting for the rash to go away on its own, you can force your body to confront the problem. Hay says she had an intern with polymorphous photodermatosis who used UV lights to force a reaction to make it faster. (Although you should keep in mind that tanning beds are suspected of inducing skin cancer. While UV lamps are used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, you should consult your doctor first about using one for photodermabrasion.)

Otherwise, corticosteroids are recommended for external use. From personal experience, I can say that ointments that relieve itching are also a blessing.

Prevention is also important, which means wearing long sleeves and a large hat. And you might think that sunscreen is helpful, but it doesn’t do much. It only takes a little bit of sunshine to cause a reaction, says Hay, so sunscreen has little effect. generally No need for sunscreen, as these 19 chilling photos show (Which, however, is not to be taken lightly.)

But the good news is that dermatomyositis does not harm the skin in the long run. “It’s not dangerous at all,” Hay confirms. “It does not cause cancer or infection, and it is not contagious.”

The worst thing about her is her looks, but the positive thing is that you have an excuse to always go out with an umbrella. The risk decreases with menopause: some studies suggest that the skin disease is linked to the female hormone estrogen.

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This article first appeared in Einglish.

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