When summer is in full swing, someone is in a hurry on vacation, and someone is just enjoying the sun on the beach. But for some, the sun's rays are a potential hazard. It's all about the allergic reaction to the sun, which manifests itself in the form of red skin rashes.
Sometimes it may even appear swelling, which causes physical and psychological discomfort. Usually, these symptoms appear after a few minutes of active sun exposure, but can also appear within a few hours. Until now, scientists can not give an accurate explanation of why some people can sunbathe for a long time without any problems, while others are prone to this disease.
People with fair skin, mostly women, as well as children with weak immunity, suffer from sun allergy to a greater extent. Some doctors claim that the disease is inherited.
Allergy to the sun: symptoms
First of all, an allergy to the sun is recognized by external symptoms, that is, you need to pay attention to your skin. Solar allergy is also called photodermatosis differently. There are several types of photodermatosis.
- Sunburn, accompanied by an allergic reaction. This phototraumatic symptom passes with skin inflammation and quite often becomes the cause of skin cancer.
- Continuous ultraviolet irradiation provokes gerodermia. According to external signs, it does not resemble a classic allergy, however, the processes that occur in the body are very similar to the typical immune response to the penetration of an allergen. Photoaging of the skin often leads to excessive pigmentation, reduced skin elasticity and other unpleasant phenomena.
- There is a type of photodermatosis - meadow photodermatitis. It occurs on contact with phototoxic plants that contain coumarins and salicylates.
- A common type of solar allergy is solar pruritus and eczema. The latter is characterized by weeping blisters and swelling of the affected area.
- Allergy can be expressed in the form of light-dependent rash - polymorphic dermatosis.
Types of allergies to the sun
It should be understood that photodermatosis and photodermatitis are two different things. The term with the ending "it" is the meaning of a transient, rapidly developing symptom, and the ending "oz" characterizes a longer process.
- Photodermatitis is accompanied by rashes on those parts of the body that have been exposed to solar radiation, blisters form at these places, which gradually burst, and pigmentation appears on the skin.
- Photodermatosis passes with symptoms of peeling, sagging of the skin. It becomes dry, flabby, in some places the blood vessels burst, after which enhanced pigmentation develops.
- Photofitrodermatitis is a strong reddening of the skin, the formation of blisters of unusual shape, the body itches and itches. Pigmentation is not located in one place, but resembles vague spots.
- Regular photoallergic dermatitis looks like a lot of small blisters that resemble a rash, which is accompanied by itching and scabies. Pigmentation is rare, but redness of the skin is almost always the case. Also, solar allergies can manifest themselves as merging blisters on the face; they gradually move to the neck and down over the whole body. Skin rashes often pass with fever, conjunctivitis and headache.
Allergy to the sun in a child
Sun allergy in a baby is hard not to notice. If a few hours after contact with ultraviolet rays, the child’s skin begins to tingle and itch, small red rashes form on it, then most likely it is this particular disease. However, it is sometimes very easy to confuse allergies to drugs and food preparations with the sun.
To ensure the correct diagnosis, you need to pay attention to the place of concentration of the rash. With photodermatosis, eruptions usually appear on the face, sometimes on the body, and very rarely affect the hands and feet. Moreover, the rash affects only open places - the chin, forehead, auricles, and the places under the chin, upper eyelids and the places behind the ears almost always remain intact. Especially often allergies develop in hot countries with an unusual climate for us.
Most often, allergy to the sun in children provokes any allergenic substance that accumulates on the baby’s skin and under the action of the sun’s rays, causing irritation of exposed skin. The provocative factors include some substances that are found in meadow plants; it is enough for this to be in a green meadow with such herbs.
Also, allergies can provoke sunblock: some creams contain ingredients that trigger the development of such symptoms, such as para-aminobenzoic acid. Here the main method of control is the careful selection of cosmetics for the child and the study of their composition.
Much less often photodermatosis develops against the background of internal factors, for example, malfunction of the immune system, in the presence of chronic diseases, metabolic disorders. That is why it is necessary to show the baby not only a pediatrician, but also an allergist, a dermatologist and an immunologist. This will eliminate the risk of serious complications.
Solar allergy: how to treat?
The most effective treatment is the proper prevention. By following the tips below, you will minimize the development of solar allergies.
- 20 minutes before sunbathing, apply UV-protected cream on the open areas of the skin.
- After the stay of the sea or another pond, do not rub hard with a towel. This will remove the protective layer of cream, and will have to be rubbed again. It is better to just blot the skin with a soft towel.
- Being in the warm countries, try whenever possible not to use decorative cosmetics, gels, creams, perfumes with fragrance.
- If you are the owner of sensitive skin, then you should completely give up sunburn during the period of the greatest solar activity. You can achieve a pleasant color in the morning as well as in the afternoon.
- You can use the sun allergy ointment in advance. The drugs must include substances such as dexamethasone and betamethasone, and cream with zinc, lanolin and metarulacil will eliminate itching and burning.
- The cause of skin inflammation may be an excess of toxic substances. To get rid of them, drink about two liters of pure water every day.
Occasionally, some vacationers in Turkey or Egypt are allergic to dust, its symptoms are very similar to those of sun dermatitis. In this case, you should contact your local doctor, and he will prescribe an individual treatment for you.
If after sunbathing you notice signs of an allergic reaction, you do not need to panic. Immediately step back into the shade and use antiallergic preparations as soon as possible. In most cases, an allergy to the sun passes successfully, leaving no unpleasant consequences.