Polymorphous light eruption, also known as polymorphic light eruption, is a rash caused by sun exposure in people who have developed sensitivity to sunlight. The rash usually appears as red, tiny bumps or slightly raised patches of skin.

Polymorphous light eruption occurs most often during spring and early summer when a person's exposure to sunlight increases. Repeat episodes are less likely as the summer progresses. But the rash often recurs each year after the first incident.

Polymorphous light eruption usually goes away on its own without scarring within 10 days. People with severe or persistent rashes may need treatment with medication.

Aug. 03, 2017
  1. Elmets CA. Polymorphous light eruption. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 4, 2016.
  2. Photosensitivity. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/reactions_to_sunlight/photosensitivity.html#v961913. Accessed Nov. 4, 2016.
  3. Honigsmann H. Polymorphous light eruption. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 2008;24:155.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm. Accessed Nov. 4, 2016.
  6. 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.
  7. Sun protective clothing. American Melanoma Foundation. http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/clothing.htm. Accessed Nov. 4, 2016.
  8. Sunscreen and sun protection. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/understandingover-the-countermedicines/ucm239463.htm. Accessed Nov. 7, 2016.
  9. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 16, 2016.
  10. Feldman SR. Targeted phototherapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 8, 2016.
  11. Murphy F, et al. Treatment for burn blisters: Debride or leave intact? Emergency Nurse. 2014;22:24.
  12. Sunscreens. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens#.UbdQaJzm9lP. Accessed Nov. 8, 2016.