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Sun allergies and skin reactions
SunnyOatmeal posted:


I am a healthy eighteen year old woman, new to this site so bear with me.

Last spring I had been out in the sun and immediately reacted with hive like symptoms on the back of my hands and a little on my arms. I went to ER (thinking it was serious) and they just told me it was a reaction to lotion or body spray. I went home with Calamine lotion and it cleared up within a week. I live in Michigan so I have very fair skin from the winter already. I did not want to go to Florida with such pale skin because I would turn into a lobster and become miserable. So two days ago, I went to the tanning salon to get my skin ready for the hot southern sun. As soon as I stepped out of the tanning booth the blistering rash came back on the back of my hands and arms again. I'm really frustrated because I went through all of my lotions and laundry soaps and had been using sensitive brands ever since my last break out and now I'm positive I didn't breakout because of them. I'm worried that it might be a sun allergy, something like Polymorphous Light Eruption? I want to be able to enjoy the beach in a few weeks without worrying about getting another painful rash. I have set-up an appointment with my doctor to see what is going on. I will be more than frustrated if I am told it is an allergic reaction to lotion again. Also, I had Shingles about a year ago, maybe thinking it's an autoimmune disease now? I'm worried that it will never go away, or I'll be stuck wearing sunblock 24/7 unable to leave my house in the daylight. If anyone has had any of these symptoms or has sun allergies, please inform me on what you have done or what I may expect. It is a cluster of small blisters that sting/inch on the back of my hands. Some tiny blisters appeared on my arms, it spreads and becomes painful in the sunlight. Thank you so much. Any info will be useful on treatments, experience, severe cases ECT.
coughy16 responded:
I have the same problem. If I have anything at all on my skin, it interacts with the sun to cause those itchy stingy bumps. For me the best way to at least partially control it is to never have anything on my skin if I am going to be in the sun for awhile. If I sweat, or swim in saltwater, I rinse it off as quickly as possible. I stay in the shade when possible and cover my lower arms when I can. (that's where I get them first and worst). Sometimes I wear a shirt in the water so my arms are covered. Also you can try using a sunblock as opposed to sunscreen, there is a banana boat one that works ok for me. Taking benedryl can help as well.

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