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    Is what I have photosensitivity(Sun Allergy)?
    sallman5294 posted:
    Whenever I am outside I do tend to get sunburned pretty bad. However sometimes, even when I may not get burnt I get tiny red pimple like bumps all over my chest and neck. They usually last for about a week or sometimes a couple days. I've been researching and I think I may have photosensitivity, but am not quite sure. I was just curious as to who else may have this condition and can give me more information about it and what I can do to prevent it, or treat it when I do break out.
    coughy16 responded:
    Ugh, I have it too, & so does my sister & my niece. They are disgusting & uncomfortable, aren't they? I normally get them on the front of my lower arms & my hands first, then on to the upper arms, chest & then the legs. It is worse if there is anything on your skin, because it reacts with the sunlight, so I try to avoid any lotions, etc & if I am swimming in saltwater (that makes it much worse) I rinse off as soon as I get out. I stay in the shade when I can, and when I don't want to do that, I use a sunblock (as opposed to sunscreen which makes it the absolute worst). So far Banana Boat is the only one that has worked ok for me. If I am going someplace hot in the middle of the winter, I sometimes go to the tanning booth to get a base so that I can go out without sunscreen or sunblock.
    sallman5294 replied to coughy16's response:
    Yes I absolutely hate it! I always feel so embarissed when I break out. I usually try to wear t-shirts that cover up my chest instead of a blouse or a lower cut shirt. It sounds like you may have a worse case of it than I do though, because I only break out on my neck and chest. And i never knew there was a difference between sunblock and sunscreen, I'll have to look into that. I usually use spf 60 or higher just because I burn so easily and sometimes even then I still get burnt pretty bad. But anyways thanks for the advice!
    coughy16 replied to sallman5294's response:
    It's interesting but sunscreens block more using chemicals. As soon as I got responsible & started using a higher spf, I started having more & more problems. Because the higher spf the more ingrediants to irritate the skin. Sunblocks are less irritating. I know a few people who have been able to use the banana boat block, that's where I heard about it. Let me know how it works for you
    justcopacetic replied to coughy16's response:
    Hey folks, I am sure glad I found this discussion. I have finally found good, authoritative, trustable info on protecting our skin from the sun~ whether to reduce allergies, burns, cancer, or pre-magure aging. I'd like to give the heads up to a great resource for all of us who've been confused about the healthiest choices we can make for ourselves in this area.

    There is a non-profit organization, Environmental Working Group, that works to protect people from products that can actually be harmful as opposed to helpful or protective. The Environmental Working Group, EWG, does independent research and publishes a number of guides. One is "EWG's Sunscreen Guide," which is the one I wanted to refer everyone to.

    EWG's Sunscreen Guide for 2010 (2011 is not out yet) rates sunscreen products on safety and effectiveness, spells out all the issues to consider, and helps you select the best sunscreen by providing the most solid independently researched info that I have ever seen in one place. This is not an advert~ I have NO connections to EWG!

    So here is a little of what I learned that seems relevant to the discussion:

    There is no such thing as a "Sunblock"~ even if they call it that. All sunscreens come off or breakdown.

    Higher SPF can actually be more dangerous! The higher the SPF the more chemicals are on your skin (and absorbed into your body). SPF over 50 not only does not provide any more protection but fools people into thinking they can stay in the sun longer, increasing exposure to UVA rays that cause cancer and damages skin that shows up later. Just 'cause we aren't burning (UVB) doesn't mean we're not damaging (UVA)!

    Some ingredients should not be used at all. EWG advises:

    "Ingredients matter. Avoid the sunscreen chemical oxybenzone, a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and contaminates the body. Look for active ingredients zinc, titanium, avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. These substances protect skin from harmful UVA radiation and remain on the skin, with little if any penetrating into the body. Also, skip sunscreens with insect repellent — if you need bug spray, buy it separately and apply it first."

    "News about Vitamin A. Eating vitamin A-laden vegetables is good for you, but spreading vitamin A on the skin may not be. New government data show that tumors and lesions develop sooner on skin coated with vitamin A-laced creams. Vitamin A, listed as "retinyl palmitate" on the ingredient label, is in 41 percent of sunscreens. Avoid them."

    EWG also says to use creams, not sprays or powders~ as they can get inhaled into the lungs and cause real damage; Use "Broad-spectrum" protection (which means there is at least some UVA protection, the type of UV light that causes some cancers and premature aging). I never knew that the SPF only refers to the UVB light rays, not both. They advise SPF 30 (but not over 50) near water, e.g., beach and pool, and water-resistant for beach, pool & exercise. More importantly, EWG advises not to rely just on sunscreen, but to do the following first/as well: Don't go out in the hottest part of the day, wear protective clothes and a hat, and find shade.

    For the skin problems mentioned in your posts, it may be a specific ingredient(s) that you are allergic to, or photo-sensitivity brought on by a medication, or a number of things~ I don't know. But regardless, I wouldn't choose to use Banana Boat~ they are in EWG's "Hall of Shame!"

    Another Environmental Working Group guide: "Skin Deep: Cosmetics Safety Reviews ," looks at cosmetics and personal care products. Again, it is all about safety and efficacy. The products, their ingredients, and the companies that make them are rated based on how hazardous they are. EWG lists the kind of danger and healthier alternatives. Dangerous chemicals are not even on the label~ hidden in a loop-hole for "fragrances"~ and according to the EWG, the FDA has no authority to require safety tests!

    I hope this is helpful. Knowledge is Power! May you be well.

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