Self-care measures that may lessen itching related to polymorphous light eruption include:
- Using cold compresses. Apply a towel dampened with cool tap water to the affected skin, or take a cool bath.
- Leaving blisters alone. To speed healing and avoid infection, leave blisters intact. If needed, you can lightly cover blisters with gauze.
To lessen the likelihood of recurring episodes of polymorphous light eruption, take the following precautions:
April 10, 2014
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Because the sun's rays are most intense during this time, try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day.
- Use sunscreen. Fifteen to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, one that provides protection from both UVA and UVB light. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring. If you're using a spray sunscreen, be sure to cover the entire area completely.
- Cover up. For protection from the sun, wear tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than does a baseball cap or golf visor. You might also consider wearing clothing designed to provide sun protection. An ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40 to 50 provides the best protection. Follow care instructions on the label of UV-blocking clothes to maintain their protective feature.
- Elmets CA. Polymorphous light eruption. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 6, 2013.
- Photosensitivity. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/reactions_to_sunlight/photosensitivity.html#v961913. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Honigsmann H. Polymorphous light eruption. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 2008;24:155.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Nov. 6, 2013.
- Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Bissonnette R, et al. Influence of the quantity of sunscreen applied on the ability to protect against ultraviolet-induced polymorphous light eruption. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 2012;28:240.
- Sun protective clothing. American Melanoma Foundation. http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/clothing.htm. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.