Understanding Sun Rash: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies

Rohit Kushwah

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Spending time in the sun can improve your mental and physical health. But if you’re sensitive to the sun or have a skin reaction to sun disease, spending time outside could have unfavorable side effects, including a sun rash. These skin rash from sun, known as polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), often include raised red bumps and are different from sunburn or heat rash. Luckily, protective clothing and sunscreen can help control the allergic reaction to the sun symptoms so you can live a normal life.
In this blog, we will learn how to avoid allergic reaction to the sun and skin rash from sunlight and know the right home treatment for heat rash.

How Did I Get an Allergic Reaction to Sunlight?

An allergic reaction to sunlight happens when a person develops a sun rash and sometimes other symptoms after exposure to sunlight. The sun allergy rash can range from mild to severe, possibly causing more serious symptoms or limiting everyday activities. Doctors have yet to work out exactly what causes sun rash.
UV radiation from the sun or artificial sources like sunlamps might cause reactions in some people with a sensitivity to this type of light. The resulting immune reaction triggers the sunshine rash.
Sun and rash burn can affect anyone, including all ages, races, and genders/sexes. Certain types are more common among people with lighter or darker skin. You also may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to the sun if it runs in your family.

Symptoms of Allergic Reaction to the Sun

Sun rash typically appears several hours or days after sun exposure. It can develop anywhere on the body that’s exposed to sunlight. Characteristics of the skin rash from sun can vary between people depending on skin type but they can include:

  • Groups of tiny bumps or blisters
  • Itchy red patches
  • Areas of the skin that feel like they’re burning
  • Raised or rough patches of skin

If a person also has a severe sunburn, they might also feel a fever or headache.

When Should You Contact a Doctor?
If you experience a sun rash after being out in the sun, it’s essential to speak with a doctor, such as a dermatologist. Your doctor can also examine the area to see what kind of sun rash it might be.

You should get immediate medical attention if an allergic reaction to the sun becomes widespread and painful or if you also have a fever. Sometimes, rash and sun burn can mimic other, more serious ailments, so it’s best to have a medical professional examine you.


Treatment and Home Remedies for Sun Rash

Healthcare professionals recommend home treatment for skin rash from sun. It can be resolved with home remedies in just a few days. However, whether or not there is serious sun poisoning will depend on the particular rash.

The following home treatment for heat rash can help you manage your comfort while the allergic reaction to sunlight is visible:

  1. Apply anti-itching creams: An over-the-counter (OTC) corticosteroid anti-itch lotion may be useful if your rash is itchy. Oral OTC antihistamines may also be beneficial.
  2. Try cold compresses or a cool bath: These can also provide itch relief.
  3. Avoid scratching at any blisters: If you have any blisters or if the skin allergic to sun is painful,don’t scratch or pop the blisters. Infection may result from this. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever and wrap the blisters in gauze to help protect them.
  4. Apply gentle moisturizers: Light moisturizers can ease dry or irritated skin’s itching until it heals. If these home treatments aren’t having the desired effect, you may need to see a doctor.


Preventing a Sun Rash

Here are some of the ways that can help you evade the problem of sun rash:

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 about half an hour before going out into the sun and reapply every two hours.
  • Protect your skin with long-sleeved shirts and a wide-brim hat.
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – when the sun’s rays are most intense to prevent allergic reaction rash from sun.



A sun rash and allergic reaction to the sun can usually be prevented. However, if you develop an allergy to the sun, it is best to use preventive measures to keep it at bay as much as possible. You must consult your doctor immediately if it is a severe case of sun poisoning.


Rohit Kushwah


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