Photosensitivity is excessive sensitivity to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun or other sources of light. Most are at risk for ending up with sunburn during prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Remember that exposure to the UV rays can also result to skin damage and even skin cancer. Those who are photosensitive might end up with skin rashes or burn, even after brief exposure to the sun.
What are the types?
- Phototoxic – this is triggered if a new chemical in the body interacts with the UV rays from the sun. Certain drugs such as tetracycline and doxycycline are the usual culprits for this reaction.
- Photoallergic – this oftentimes arises as a side effect of some drugs. It can also be triggered by chemicals present in sunscreen and beauty products
What are the signs?
The signs of photosensitivity range from minor to severe. The usual sign is an amplified skin rash or sunburn. The rashes may or may not result to itchiness. In some cases, a sunburn can be severe that blisters might form. In severe cases, weeping of the skin along with peeling can also occur.
Management of photosensitivity
Once a skin reaction occurs, treatment can help lessen the achiness and skin inflammation. Over-the-counter pain medications are given to reduce the pain. A corticosteroid cream might be prescribed to reduce the inflammation.
Remember that some chemicals can trigger photosensitivity and must be avoided, especially those in certain drugs and products.