Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Red Bumps after skin exposure
avatar
eightysix posted:
Hi All,

I'm 28 years old, and for the last three years or so, I've been getting red bumps on my skin in the late Spring/early Summer after my skin gets exposed to the sun for the first time. The bumps occur on my forearms and the middle of my leg. They start as clear bumps, turn red and and become more prominent. They eventually disappear, but I'm not quite sure what the timeline is. They itch, but not overwhelmingly, and when some bumps are popped, there's a water-like fluid inside.

Thing is, when I search online, the only thing I see is prickly heat. Prickly heat is described as a heat rash, which sounds like mine, but they say it's caused on areas COVERED BY CLOTHING. Nowhere does it say that it can be caused by sun exposure.

Anyone experience the same thing? I've been washing the affected areas with Cetaphil, a mild cleanser. I don't feel at risk, it's just annoying and a bit embarrassing.

Thanks for your help...
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi there,

If you think that the red, itchy bumps are caused by sun exposure then you may want to see your doctor or a dermatologist for help. Are you taking any medications? Some medications don't mix with sun exposure so if you are taking medications please click on the Drugs & Treatments link at the top of the page.

You may want to use the Symptom Checker tool which is linked at the bottom of the page to pull up more articles that may be related to your questions about itchy skin and sun exposure.

- Annie
 
avatar
lucious48193 responded:
Hello I've never had these bumps before this year and it sounds like what you have. Is yours soothed by very warm water? It seems like all lotions make them itch. Does it do the same to you.

Thank you
 
avatar
EmPhoneHome responded:
I am 31 and have exactly the same thing. In fact I found this thread while trying to figure out what they are. I have a dr's appt on Monday anyway and will ask her about it when I go. If I find anything out, I'll post.

Same thing...not too pleasant looking, a bit embarrassing, but not painful or even that itchy. Weird, huh?
 
avatar
EmPhoneHome responded:
Just found this!!! It looks like what I get, and sounds like the same MO...goes away after repeated exposure etc. Something called PLME Polymorphic Light Eruption. The pics they show look like super severe cases, but thought you might be interested...

dermnetnz.org/reactions/pmle.html

Definitely going to ask the MD about this!
 
avatar
nicolehssd responded:
My husband has this also, except his hard hard bumps almost like acne, but they are not. and they itch him terribly. he gets them every year on his arms or back if exposed to the sun and they do not go away until fall or winter.
 
avatar
carpediem02009 responded:
Hello, I'm 49 Y.O. and i've had this problem for about 10 years now. I always have this problem every spring and summer when my skin is beginning to tan from sun exposure and it occurs at least 1 to 4 times per year. It especially occurs for example: Memorial day weekend, 4th of July weekend, when sun exposure is many hours from boating and fishing. I've used different high SPF levels of suntan lotions, but nothing really works. I live in Texas and I have mistaken these bumps for many years as chigger bites, but that isn't the case. It's caused from sun exposure. It always starts as hard clear red bumps, I'll scratch these, then they sometimes scab and clear up within a week. I got it all over my body this Memorial weekend and especially bad on the tops of my feet. So here I am doing a search on the internet. I have read about possible supplements for this condition today. 1) Beta Carotene ( I would NOT reccomend this because there is known cases of lung cancer from this) 2) Polypodium leucotomos ( supposidly maintains the skin's tolerance to the sun) Heliocare makes this product . The active ingredients are: polypodium leucotomos, cornstarch, gelatin, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, and FD&C yellow #6. 3) A Dermotoligist can prescribe steroids. Has anyone tried Heliocare and does this product work?
 
avatar
carpediem02009 responded:
I went to a dermatologist a few years ago and he told me to use anti itch cream. Benzocaine is the active ingredient and it just treats the bumps but I really needed to find a prevention. He recommended taking Benadryl during sun exposure and the day after. This doesn't help me, but I have read where it helps some people. So I'm really looking for a supplement to take along with good SPF sun screen.
 
avatar
shgift replied to carpediem02009's response:
I know this is old, but yes! I use Heliocare because it works!
I'm 34 and I've had this problem for about 10 years. When it started my dermatologist sent me to NYU, to the Skin and Cancer Center. After intensive Light testing, they told me that I had PMLE and recommended that I use a "broad-spectrum sunscreen" thatpretects against UVA and UVB rays. A friend with a photosensitive daughter told me that her doctor recommends Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 60 (made by La Roche-Posay). I also take Heliocare capsules once a day. It has REALLY lessened the severity of my PMLE. When I take the pills and use the sunscreen, I only have breakouts after being in the sun for a LONG time, like a few hours.
My problem with using sunscreen alone was that aside from having a "greased" look all day, it also wore off after a couple of hours and I was always forgetting to reapply. So I take the heliocare before I go to bed, and apply sunscreen in the morning.
Great combination, very few rashes
 
avatar
fixme83 replied to shgift's response:
hi everyone,
I am gald i found this page. Like u all i have the same problem. When i am exposed to sun in the spring and early summer i develop this red bumps in areas that are constantly exposed to sun, this being my forearm and back of my neck. I have had this conditon for about 5 years and it sucks. Doesnt really itch or hurt just looks wierd. Fortunately last year while complaining about my condition to a customer, she mentioned to me that her husband had the same issue and they spent years and thousands of dollars going to dermatologists and the conclusion at the end of it all was Lumbriderm. Which is a product you can buy at cvs or giant, pretty much any store that has a pharmacy section. Now this stuff works like a champ, apply it in the morning and i have no problems throughout the whole day pretty much, a couple of times i had to reapply a little more in the afternoon because i guess the lotion does wear off after a while. But it really is great. what i really like about it is that your skin absorbs it after a couple of minutes of being applied. Now one more important thing that i believe this has something to do with my conditon. This skin condition started happening immediatly after i had unprotected sex with some random girl at a party. I mean like next week this condition started happending and it has not stopped since then. I hope this helped and if someone figures out a permenant solution for this skin problem i would greatly appreciate it if you shared it with me.
thanks
 
avatar
chaosloc responded:
Sounds like PMLE. I developed this sometime after returning from Iraq. After I was indoors more than outdoors every time I go into the sun for >10 minutes my arms get tiny red spots (not raised, not itchy, no burning, etc) all over them. They come as fast as they seem to go, and once I begin to tan my skin I don't have the problem anymore for about a month. Then the process starts all over again.

Originally I thought it was just heat rash or some type of other dermatology type thing, but upon researching PMLE I'm convinced that is all it is. It doesn't cause me any discomfort whatsoever, but it is definitely an annoying sight!

Hope this helps you.

PS: I never experienced this issue prior to about 27 years of age, so it seems to happen at middle age.
 
avatar
WickettWI responded:
I have had this same issue for years and am getting really annoyed with it!!! I have seen several dermatologists, only to be first told it was PLME, and then put on several meds that didn't help and then did a biopsy and found it was fungal and ginven creams, but still, no relief, just these nasty little red bumps every spring and summer! I am so frustrated with them!!! They are so embarrassing and I don't want to wear tank tops or dresses because I get them on my chest and neck the worst, and then on my back. I do wear sunscreen, and I have tried just about everything, including natural products. I am going to see yet another dermatologist in a few weeks to hopefully get some answers!..PLEASE HELP!!!
 
avatar
labolli responded:
I am 32 & I have had this problem since I was 8 or 9. I normally get it on the backs of my hands, but i have had it other places too. It always starts in the spring, & gets worse with Sun exposure. The only medication that helps is a momestone furoate cream such as elocon. Hope this helps someone.
 
avatar
lonniebon responded:
I am 22 and have been having the same problem since I was 17. I am excited to try the heliocare/sunscreen combination to prevent the bumps. Does anyone have a solution to speed up the treatment of the red bumps and make them go away after I do get them?
 
avatar
WickettWI replied to lonniebon's response:
I have been using Lamasil (Equate brand from Walmart actually, it's cheaper and you get more for your $) for about a few days now, and I have noticed that they have not been as bad, and seemed to have actually faded away. I read a post on here from a while back about the same issues we are having, and someone said that worked for them, so I decided to try it as a last resort since I was told from the last dermatologist (from my biopsy) that it was a fungal issue. I have also been using the Equate brand of Selsun Blue with a bath brush and scrubbing the areas daily, and I plan to do this two weeks on, and two weeks off. Changed from washing clothes in cold water to hot as well to kill off and fungus or bacteria. Hope this helps and good luck!


Featuring Experts

Mohiba K Tareen, MD is a board certified dermatologist who has an innovative practice in Roseville, Minnesota. Tareen Dermatology ( www.TareenDermato...More

Helpful Tips

Eczema - Part IExpert
Dear Readers, Of all the skin conditions I see, the most frustrating for both me and my patients has to be eczema. The most common form ... More
Was this Helpful?
23 of 30 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.