Even though the sun is over 93 million miles away, it can still cause major damage to our bodies. In addition to sunburn, sun spots and cancer, sun exposure can also cause an allergic reaction. Below we review the signs of a sun allergy, the difference between a sunburn and a sun allergy and how to find relief.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Sun Allergy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a sun allergy may include:
- Itching or pain
- Tiny bumps that may merge into raised patches
- Scaling, crusting or bleeding
- Blisters or hives
These symptoms may show up minutes to hours after sun exposure.
Sunburn Vs. Sun Allergy
The main difference between a sunburn and sun allergy is that a sunburn results from overexposure to radiation from UV light, while a sun allergy is an immunological response; in other words, the body sees the sun-altered skin as a threat and tries to fight against it.
A dermatologist can determine whether irritation and inflammation post-sun exposure is a sunburn or sun allergy.
How to Find Relief from a Sun Allergy
Sun allergies usually clear up within about 10 days. During this time, you can find relief by applying an over-the-counter anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone or taking an oral antihistamine.
The best way to deal with allergies to the sun is to prevent a reaction in the first place. To do this, you can:
- Minimize the amount of time you spend outside between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., which is when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, even on cloudy days. Reapply frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
- Cover your skin by wearing a hat with a wide brim or a shirt with long sleeves. Be mindful about whether your clothing is thin or has a loose weave.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Sit in the shade as much as possible. Use an umbrella to create your own shade at Freedom Park if necessary.
- Install UV-blocking films on windows in your home and car.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call ENT of Georgia North today.