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When Sunlight Causes a Skin Rash


Most of us expect to burn or tan when we expose our skin to the sun’s rays. Regular use of sunscreen is extremely important to prevent sunburn and the possible development of skin cancer. Dermatologists recommend daily use of broad spectrum sunscreen that protects from both UVA And UVB rays.

But when sunlight causes a skin rash in addition to sunburn, that condition is known as photosensitivity. The rash can appear after only a short sun exposure and be itchy, with hives and/or blisters. The symptoms usually develop within 24 hours of sun exposure.

Photosensitivity can be caused by medications or can be an indicator of a medical condition such as lupus or other autoimmune diseases. Medications that can cause sun sensitivity can include: antibiotics, diuretics, cardiac medications, and even some over-the-counter pain relievers such as naproxen and ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to learn if any of your medications are on the list. If you experience a reaction to sunlight, see our Board-certified dermatologist in Emerson, call: 201.599.1336. In Paramus, call: 201.986.1881.

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