Which are the risk factors for sun allergies?

The sun produces invisible rays called ultraviolet-A (UVA) or ultraviolet-B (UVB) that can damage the skin. Too much sun can cause sunburn, skin texture changes, and skin cancers. Rashes also can be attributed to sunlight. Even on cloudy days, UV radiation reaches the earth and can cause skin damage.

Sun allergy is a term often used to describe a number of conditions in which an itchy red rash occurs on skin that has been exposed to sunlight. The most common form of sun allergy is polymorphic light eruption, also known as sun poisoning.

Some people have a hereditary type of sun allergy, while others develop signs and symptoms only when triggered by another factor — such as certain types of medications or skin exposure to plants such as limes or wild parsnip.

According to Mayo Clinic, the appearance of skin affected by sun allergy can vary. The signs and symptoms usually occur only on skin that has been exposed to the sun and typically develop within minutes to hours after sun exposure. These signs and symptoms of sun allergies may include:

(1) Redness, itching or pain

(2) Scaling, crusting or bleeding

(3) Tiny bumps that may merge into raised patches

(4) Blisters or hives

Risk factors for having an allergic reaction to sunlight depend on your particular condition. These include:

(1) Another skin condition: Having atopic dermatitis or another type of dermatitis increases your risk of having a sun allergy.

(2) Exposure to certain substances: Some skin allergy symptoms are triggered when your skin is exposed to a certain substance and then to sunlight (e.g. fragrances, disinfectants and even certain chemicals used in sunscreens)

(3) Certain medications: A number of medications can make the skin sunburn more quickly (e.g. tetracycline antibiotics, sulfa-based drugs and pain relievers)

(4) Having relatives with a sun allergy. You're more likely to have a sun allergy if you have a sibling or parent with a sun allergy....