Sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption) – what to do?

21 October 2017

© Jupiter Images / iStockphoto

The sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption) occurs in Germany due to climate change mainly from March to June on. When traveling in sunny regions, they can form at any time by contrast. Those affected can spoil the pleasure of sun pretty. But who heeded a few tips that can prevent successful the symptoms of sun allergy!

With sun allergy is usually the polymorphic light eruption (Or photodermatosis. Greek photo = light) meant. this is a pathological reaction of the skin, the sensitive people to unusually high UV radiation created - for example, after an extensive sunbathing.

Facts about sun allergy

Sometimes the skin reacts to unusually high UV-A and / or UV-B radiation with a sun allergy.

(UV) light may cause various diseases of the skin, can be summed up as photodermatoses or photodermatoses. The sun allergy is the common Photodermatosis: About 20 percent of Germans have a polymorphic light eruption, with women being more frequently affected.

A woman basks in a deck chair on the beach. © Jupiterimages / Brand X Pictures

UV radiation can cause a sun allergy - especially on vacation, when solar radiation is stronger than usual.

For exact mechanism of development of sun allergy there different explanations: For example, some scientists make the immune system responsible for the polymorphic light eruption, while other causes in a Imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants suspect.

With the sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption) occur associated symptoms with delay on: After the causal sunlight a few hours can take up days until the skin reacts to the UV light. first signs for pathological skin reaction are:

In the further course arise as a result of sun allergies skin lesions. These symptoms can range from person to person differently look - so the sun allergy is also polymorphous Light Eruption (Greek. Polymorphous = multiform).

Depending on how the triggered by the sun allergy symptoms on the skin look, distinguished physicians three skin types polymorphic light eruption of:

Suspicion of sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption), the physician first questions on the process of skin lesions and the appearance of symptoms (for example, on holiday): This so-called Anamnesis It provides valuable information for diagnosis.

To diagnose a sun allergy, it is also important other causes to skin Symptoms excluded. Because: A polymorphic light eruption may be accompanied by very diverse skin lesions may resemble other skin diseases. Thus, for example, insect bites, put a photo allergic eczema or other skin reactions to UV light behind the complaints.

To determine the sun allergy sure the doctor specifically an area of ​​skin can (for example, the upper arm) irradiated with ultraviolet light: If a polymorphic light eruption is present, the UV irradiation triggers the typical symptoms. This process is called photoprovocation.

For a sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption), various measures are treatment available that two different goals follow:

Accelerate can the healing of sun allergy by a topical treatment with a cream or lotion that corticoids (E.g. hydrocortisone) contains. The itching caused by the polymorphic light eruption, you can relieve with antihistamines.

A woman at the beach putting cream on. © Jupiterimages / Purestock

Both acute symptoms of a sun allergy and preventive action is the most important: adequate sun protection!

To treat the sun allergy preventive, it is imperative that you adequately suncream use: Make sure that your sunscreen a UV-A and UV-B filter contains, and choose a possible high SPF (30 to 50). Also skin-covering clothes is important to prevent the polymorphic light eruption. These measures protecting against sunburn.

Sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption) - what to do?

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Another useful agents against sun allergy is the antioxidant AGR (Alpha-glucosylrutin) - additionally applied to the skin or included in sunscreen: AGR can support the preventive effect of the sunscreen against the polymorphic light eruption.

For example, in the winter when you are planning a vacation in a sunny region, it may be Not possible to slowly get used to natural UV light before. In this case, one has phototherapy in order to prevent the sun allergy. Here, the whole body is repeatedly exposed to UVA and / or UVB light - the ultraviolet light is usually initially low dose and the dose then gradually increases: this is how your skin used to advance to the stronger sunlight - and have a good chance that the polymorphic light eruption does not break out.

Alternatively, you can also a so-called photochemotherapy (PUVA) subject to reduce the risk of sun allergies: Here, the physician first administered a substance that softens the skin for light sensitive, and then irradiates the skin with UV-A light.

To the UV exposure in the familiarization phase as low as possible to keep, it is advisable not to solarium to go, but at a consultant, offering of phototherapy for the prevention of sun allergy.

Help for sun allergy also promise Omega-3 fatty acids: Their intake can contribute under certain circumstances, that the polymorphic light eruption less fails. Although often recommended as a remedy for sun allergy, show calcium and vitamin B3, however, no preventive effect. And antioxidants (such as beta carotene or vitamin E) in the form of dietary supplements appear to be ineffective against the sun allergy.

Overall, the sun allergy runs however chronic: Anyone who has had a polymorphic light eruption can be expected that they in the subsequent sunny seasons or holidays again and again again breaks - mostly for decades. The first time the sun allergy occurs mainly in children or young adults.

A woman sitting with a laptop in a hammock. © Jupiterimages / Goodshoot

If the skin is not used to strong sunlight, it can
a sun allergy come.

If you want to prevent sun allergy (polymorphic light eruption), which means above all: Leave sufficient sunscreen! Suitable for this purpose are for example:

Preventing a sun allergy also means the skin gradually get used to the sunlight and increase sunbathing slow in their strength. also for sensitive people, it is recommended sunbathing possible to perfumes, cosmetics and deodorants to renounce, since they can facilitate a polymorphic light eruption.

Especially when called Mallorca acne special form of sun allergy, it is advisable preventative, a few days before an increased sunlight - for example, before a holiday - the entire care cosmetics on fat and emulsifier-free personal care products convert.
The UV index of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection is in the summer months to the current UV exposure in Germany and worldwide.


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