Treatment depends on the particular type of sun allergy you have. For mild cases, simply avoiding the sun for a few days may be enough to resolve the signs and symptoms.
Creams containing corticosteroids are available over-the-counter and in stronger prescription form. For a severe allergic skin reaction, your doctor might prescribe a short course of corticosteroid pills, such as prednisone.
The malaria medication hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) may ease symptoms of some types of sun allergies.
If you have a severe sun allergy, your doctor might suggest gradually getting your skin used to sunlight each spring. In phototherapy, a special lamp is used to shine ultraviolet light on areas of your body that are often exposed to the sun. It's generally done a few times a week over a period of several weeks.
Aug. 28, 2012
- Elmets CA. Photosensitivity disorders (photodermatoses): Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 29, 2012.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed June 29, 2012.
- Auerbach PS. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1678-8..00014-3--s0235&isbn=978-1-4377-1678-8&sid=1328139176&uniqId=343465713-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1678-8..00014-3--s0240. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- Elmets CA. Polymorphous light eruption. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- Elmets CA. Overview of cutaneous photosensitivity: Photobiology, patient evaluation and photoprotection. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 2, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.