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Photosensitivity - Causes - Symptoms - Treatment - Risk Factors

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Updated June 04, 2014

Photosensitivity - Causes - Symptoms - Treatment - Risk Factors
Photosensitivity causes, symptoms, treatment and risk factors. Photosensitivity is a skin reaction (i.e. rash) that occurs after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or an artificial light source.

Photosensitivity can be caused by various agents, including perfume, cosmetics, certain medications, and even the sunscreen that is meant to protect your skin. How do certain medications react with the sun and is the reaction photosensitive, phototoxic, or photoallergic?

What measures can you take to prevent sun sensitivity reactions? What should you be doing? Is there more that you can do besides avoiding sun exposure?

Contact Dermatitis

According to A.D.A.M, "contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance (irritant or allergen) vary in the same individual over time. A history of any type of allergies increases the risk for this condition."

A.D.A.M reports, common allergens associated with contact dermatitis include:

  • Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and other plants
  • Nickel or other metals
  • Some medications
  • Rubber
  • Cosmetics
  • Fabrics and clothing
  • Detergents
  • Solvents and adhesives
  • Fragrances, perfumes
  • Other chemicals and substances
  • Contact Dermatitis: Overview, Symptoms, Treatment

Photosensitivity and Lupus

Many people with lupus are photosensitive. Skin rashes often first develop or worsen after sun exposure. Photosensitivity can be a feature of both systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE).

Related Resources - Lupus

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