In summer, when we go to make the pancake in the sun, it is often to come back to work with a professional tan. But what should we do when after a few hours our skin reacts badly to this intense exposure to UVA …?
1. Sun allergy: the different forms
When we speak of allergy to the sun, we often do so in the singular; but in reality, there are different types of sun allergies:
- Summer lucitis , which is the most common sun allergy. It usually occurs in summer, after more intense exposure to UV rays. In the event of summer lucitis, 2 or 3 days after the tanning session, the skin will be covered with patches and / or small red spots, which can cause severe itching. The areas affected by pimples are those that have been exposed to sunlight (arms, torsos, legs, shoulders), except the face which is often spared.
- Polymorphic lucitis results in the same symptoms as summer lucitis, but can occur after little exposure to the sun (not necessarily in summer therefore), and also affects the face.
- Solar urticaria is quite rare, but very annoying: at the slightest sun exposure, red patches appear on the skin … then disappear as soon as you take the shade for ten minutes.
2. Solar allergy: who is affected?
Benign summer lucitis is a pathology that affects around 1 in 10 people in France. These are generally:
- women (85% of cases).
- of young adults (the majority of people affected by sun allergies are between 15 and 25 years); cases of summer lucitis in children also exist, but they are rarer.
3. How to react in case of allergy to the sun?
In the event of a summer lucite-type solar allergy, to see the patches and red spots that have appeared on the body disappear, there is no question of treating the evil with the evil! It is indeed important to immediately stop exposing yourself to the sun, and this for a few days minimum.
The rash should then gradually dissipate in less than 15 days.
4. Watch out for drugs and cosmetics!
Certain drugs (drugs known as photosensitizers, but also certain antibiotics, antidiabetics, antidepressants, etc.) and cosmetics (in particular perfumes, but also certain creams) can increase the sensitivity of the skin to UV rays, or even cause allergic reactions.
To avoid any problem, it is important to take advice from your doctor or pharmacist before going on vacation to find out if our treatments and medications are compatible with sun exposure.
For cosmetics, it is preferable to skip the perfume before making the pancake by the pool, and to test our creams on a small part of the body before going to tan!
5. How to prevent a sun allergy?
To avoid any risk of skin rash due to UV rays this summer, there are some things you can do to help us. For example :
- Protect yourself well with a high protection sun filter when you bask on our deckchair.
- Repeat the application of cream every 2 hours, taking care to avoid the 12-16h time slot because the UV rays are formidable there!
- Gradually expose yourself and regularly go to the shade for the first few days.
- It is also possible to undergo preventive treatment (beta-carotene supplements, vitamin A cure, etc.) which will be established by a dermatologist.
- Certain foods naturally rich in beta-carotene (carrot, tomato, watermelon, mango, melon, sweet potato, pepper, green leafy vegetables …) can help our skin to prepare for the sun: do not hesitate to consume it before going on vacation!