7 Tips To Cope With Photosensitivity


Photosensitivity is a condition in which the ultraviolet rays from the sun trigger an immune response and cause burns, rashes, hives, fever, fatigue, inflammation, blisters, or joint pain. Sometimes, the reactions can be caused by indoor fluorescent light as well. Symptoms of photosensitivity can occur immediately after exposure to sunlight, a few hours later, or 2 to 3 days later. Aloe vera gel or anti-itch creams can help reduce the discomfort of skin eruptions and the symptoms usually go away a few days later, but if the symptoms persist, medical attention is required.

1. Limit Exposure To Sunlight


If you are photosensitive, the sun is your biggest enemy. You should not step out into the sun for too long. Take frequent shade breaks and avoid exposing yourself to the sun especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the intensity of the

sun is strongest. Sometimes, the symptoms of photosensitivity can appear within a few minutes of sun exposure and sometimes, a few days later.

2. Always Apply Sunscreen


You should make it a habit of applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30 whenever you step out and applying a milder sunscreen when you are indoors. You should try using a broad-spectrum sunscreen as it can protect you against a wide range of sun rays and not just ultraviolet rays. Make sure your sunscreen contains only physical sun blocks such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide instead of UV-absorbing chemicals such as cinnamates, benzophenones, and salicylates. You can even wear broad-rimmed hats and cover yourself with dark thick clothes when you are out in the sun.

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3. Keep A Tab On The Medications You Are Taking


In many cases, photosensitivity can be

caused by photoallergic reactions to medicines that are ingested. Medications such as antibiotics, diuretics, retinoids, hypoglycemics, anticonvulsants, and anti-inflammatory drugs can make your skin more prone to reactions when exposed to sunlight. Photoallergic reactions caused by medicines should subside in a few days but if the symptoms continue, get it checked by a doctor.

4. Discontinue Using Certain Skin Products


Certain creams, ointments, and aftershave lotions can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Reactions caused by using a topical agent and exposing to sunlight are called phototoxic reactions. If you get eruptions on your skin after using a topical agent, you should change the product you are using and switch to something with a different combination of chemicals. A photo-patch test can let you know if the reactions are caused by a skin product.

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5. Increase Your Consumption Of Beta Carotene


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Increase your consumption of foods rich in beta carotene such as carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach. Beta carotene is an antioxidant and will protect you from the damage caused by free radicals formed on your skin due to sun exposure. You can also increase your consumption of citrus fruits which are rich in vitamin C, another antioxidant.

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6. Stay Hydrated And Moisturized


Well-hydrated skin feels less rough and patchy. Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure that your skin heals faster after a reaction. You should not only apply moisturizers but also drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to ensure your skin gets hydration from within.

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7. Get Your Condition Diagnosed


If you experience frequent allergic reactions to the sun, you should get a diagnosis of

your situation. There are many conditions such as lupus, polymorphous light eruption, actinic prurigo, solar urticaria, skin cancer, dermatomyositis, etc. You should know if you are suffering from any disease that is causing you to become sensitive to the sun so that you can take the necessary steps to improve your condition.

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Being sun safe is always a good practice even if you are not photosensitive. The rays of the sun can be damaging to the skin and you should take precautionary measures to protect your skin from such damage.