Claiming that sun allergy is a skin disease that progresses with the development of redness, edema, itching and rash after the skin is exposed to sunlight, Uzm. Dr Tokmak said: “This situation, which is often confused with sunburn, is different from sunburn. Sunburn is usually seen in fair-skinned people as pain, redness and blistering of the skin within 12-48 hours after prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays, while even a short exposure of 1-2 minutes to the sun’s rays may be sufficient in sun allergy.
“There may be itching and redness”
Referring to the symptoms of sun allergy, Dr. Dr Tokmak said: “In sun allergy, itching, redness, edema and a burning and stinging sensation develop within minutes, hours or days on skin that is directly exposed to the sun’s rays. Although it is usually in the areas where the sun’s rays come into contact, it can sometimes be seen in other areas as well.
“It’s seen more in women”
Underlining that while sun allergy affects all ages, genders and races, it is more common in women than in men. Dr Tokmak said: “The risk of sun allergy is higher, particularly in those with a family history of sun allergy, those with eczema on their skin, those taking allergy-inducing drugs and those using chemical products that can trigger allergies, such as perfumes and disinfectants for a long time.” Saying that the cause of sun allergy is not yet known, Uzm Dr. Tokmak stated that allergy starts with the production of antibodies against the antigen or chemical that the immune system reacts to sun rays.
“Onset of complaints in a short time can speed up diagnosis”
Speaking of the diagnosis process, Dr. Dr. Tokmak shared the following information: “It is an important criterion for patients presenting with complaints of redness, edema, itching and rashes arising after sun exposure that their complaints begin within 1-2 minutes, especially after sun exposure. Since the medications used by the person may be causing this, the use of medications in the patient’s history should also be questioned. Phototest also aids in diagnosis.
“Sunscreens may be preferable”
Dr. Dr. Tokmak said: “First of all, it is necessary to be protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Therefore, avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., especially in summer. The use of hats, sunglasses and umbrellas also provides protection from the sun. Despite clothing and accessories, sun protection products are required for exposed areas. Sunscreens should protect against both UVA and UVB. Especially in summer, sunscreen should be changed every 2-3 hours outside.
“Yogurt and toothpaste should not be applied to the skin”
Emphasizing that substances such as yoghurt, toothpaste and honey should not be applied to the skin as they are good for sun allergies, Uzm. Dr Tokmak said: “Such substances can aggravate the allergy. It is even good for allergies to identify the factor that can trigger allergies and provide the highest level of protection from the sun.
“Sun protection is the most important form of treatment”
Explaining the ways of treatment, Dr. Dr Tokmak said: “Sun allergy treatment is planned based on the type, severity and symptoms of the allergy. First of all, sun protection is the most important treatment step. Some creams and medicines can be given to relieve the itching sensation. In addition, in severe cases, with the application of phototherapy, ultraviolet light is given to the parts of the body exposed to the sun, and the skin is used to this light.