Allergic reactions to the sun can be quite uncommon. However they can be prevented if you know what symptoms to look for. Sun allergies come in 4 common types, each with their own set of symptoms. Because of this it's best to discuss the symptoms with their respective type.
1) Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE) is the most common and effects 10-15% or the population. It affects women more than men in all races. Symptoms begin showing themselves in early adulthood and include the following: an itchy rash appears on the neck, upper chest, arms and legs within the first 2 hours of exposure and can last up to 2-3 days. Chills, headache and nausea may also be experienced. Treatments include using cool water over the affected area. You can control the itching by using an over-the-counter antihistamine.
2) Actinic Prurigo (hereditary PMLE) is very similar to PMLE however the symptoms are confined to the face, especially the lips. It starts to appear in childhood or during the teenage years. Symptoms are the same as PMLE.
3) Photoallergic eruptions is an effect to a chemical that has been applied to the skin. Examples of things that can trigger it are sunscreen, cosmetic, fragrance or ointment. Symptoms are very similar to PMLE as well; however they tend to show up latter. Rashes may not show themselves for several days after exposure to the sun. It's also possible for the rash to spread to parts of the skin that are covered my clothing and don't get direct sunlight. This may make it difficult to identify exactly which products are triggering the allergy. The treatment is simple. Determine which products are causing the allergy and stop using it.
4) Solar urticaria, which mostly affect women, is the most rare of all the sun allergies. It will produce large, itchy hives on the areas that are exposed to the sun, which appear within minutes of exposure. The last 30 to 120 minutes. You should use the same treatment at PMLE.
The good news is that most sun allergies are preventable. By using sunscreen and limiting the amount of time spend outdoors you should be safe from sun allergies forever.
Don't let sun allergies ruin your summer. One of the best resources available online is Easy Allergy Relief . We're a website that's dedicated to helping allergy suffers deal with symptoms of sun allergy .