Dermatologist Questions Sun Exposure

Skin is itchy after sun exposure, what can I do?

My skin (especially my face) becomes itchy and sensitive even after just moderate exposure to the sun. What does this mean and what can I do?

16 Answers

This means that you are having a photosensitive skin reaction and need to see a dermatologist to review your meds and take a complete medical history. In the meantime, take all sun precautions and use sunscreen.
Apply sunscreens with very high SPF values and broad spectrum. Wear very broad brimmed hats.
This could be due an process which is exacerbated by the sun or an allergic type of reaction to the sun. You need to see a dermatologist to differentiate between these two things.
Your picture looks like you might have lupus, an autoimmune disorder that often involves extreme sensitivity to the sun. You could also be reacting to a medication. You should protect yourself from sun exposure, including applying sunscreen every day, avoiding peak UV hours, and wearing a large-brimmed hat to shelter your face, neck, chest areas. Also, wear protective clothing over your body to prevent exposure. See a doctor about this because other organs can be affected by lupus.
Such signs/symptoms may be due to contact dermatitis from something like sunscreen or it may be due to something called solar urticaria or less likely sun sensitive dermatosis such as lupus. It would be prudent to see a dermatologist for evaluation and possible testing for the above.
Scabies or Demodex especially if itchy when feeling hot or mainly in the evening.
Some people have light sensitivity
Can be cause by Medecine that you're taking
It can also be familial
I recommend that you see a dermatologist as soon
as possible to evaluate your condition. A blood test can be performed to rule out a potentially serious condition called lupus.
Your rash could also be caused by rosacea, photo contact dermatitis, or polymorphous light eruption.
It may be a sunscreen allergy or a sun allergy. She can use OTC
hydrocortisone twice daily for 3 days after the rash appears to treat it.
If it does not subside she should go see a local dermatologist or come see
Multiple possibilities ranging from medications that cause light sensitivity, to a sunlight allergy, to a number of metabolic diseases. Suggest a referral to a dermatologist.

Good morning,
Itchy skin after sun exposure can be caused by a number of different conditions. The most common is a disorder called polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), although there are also autoimmune diseases such as lupus, dermatomyositis that can cause this, along with allergies that arise only when exposed to sun. I would suggest evaluation by a dermatologist to eliminate worrisome causes. You may also read an article published this past month in the Anacortes American newspaper, where I answered questions on this very subject. The link is here. Thanks for the question.
First, always wear sunscreen when sitting outside no matter how light your skin is, also, its important to know that with some creams on your face like tretinoin cream, you need to wear sunscreen for sure as your more likely to get sun burned, Alot of patients with Rosacea get that red cheeky looking skin after sun exposure, but always go see a dermatologist if something doesn't feel right.
Hello there!

Sorry, about a delayed response - unfortunately, I didn't realize you had reached out to me. It seems that your symptoms are consistent with hypersensitivity type reaction to UV exposure. Basically, your immune systtem can mount an inflammatory response in the skin, when exposed to UV radiation in sun light.

Recommendations to prevent or decrease this type of reaction are to use sunscreens strictly, during the day time. The sunscreens with Zinc or Titanium (physical block) are better than chemical sunscreens alone. Sunscreens should be at least SPF 30. Sunscreens should be used throughout the year, even during winter months.

If you experience a reaction, in spite of using sunscreens, you can improve the symptoms by using 1% Hydrocortisone cream three times a day x 1-2 days as needed (available over the counter).

Hope this helps address your question.
This could be either solar urticaria (hives caused by UV rays) or other type of photosensitivity that can be seen with some autoimmune disorders like lupus. You could also be having a sun-induced reaction to something you are putting on your face. I would recommend seeing a dermatologist to help you identify the cause of your issue.
It could be Polymorphous Light Eruption.
There are several reasons that can cause itch after sun exposure. Very often it can be due to the sunblock you are using. Make sure that it is zinc based. It's the best. It also can be due to other creams or medications being used and then getting sensitized due to the sun. Examples of this would be in the retinol or retinoids family. Certain antibiotics can make you more sunburn prone as well. Stopping them may be necessary upon prolonged exposure or even one time.

Next, an autoimmune condition can exist. This would be something like lupus. Some people are initially sensitive to the sun, known as polymorphous light eruption. Generally after repeated exposure the body hardens to this. Antihistamines help as well.

Since there are so many possible reasons, seeing your board certified dermatologist would be best. They can help treat you so that you can enjoy being outdoors.

Suzanne Sirota Rozenberg, DO, FAOCD
Past President, AOCD
Dermatology Program Director, St. John's Episcopal Hospital