With summer finally here, nothing sounds better to most people than a nice day out in the sun. However, not everyone has the same blissful summer experience.
About 15% of people suffer from polymorphic light eruption (PMLE) or sun allergy. This disorder causes tiny, itchy bumps that can appear on any part of the body. PMLE primarily affects women with light skin around their teens and twenties. The bumps are exacerbated if the women live in Northern regions and have a family history of the condition.
Just because you have bumps or itching doesn’t mean you have PMLE, though. The diagnosis is dependent on the timing of the bump outbreak.
With PMLE, your skin will begin to swell within four to six hours after being exposed to the sun. Then your body will gradually develop bumps and begin to itch for the next two to three days. After these few days, the skin will return to normal until the next extended period in the sun.
Fortunately, there are some ways to counteract the effects of PMLE. Many people with the condition use topical corticosteroids (anti-itch cream) or special sun allergy creams.
Another option is downloading an app which tracks your UV exposure.
Wearing long-sleeve shirts and using an umbrella are also options that help.
Fortunately, the condition is almost never lifelong. It typically subsides after menopause and is not linked to any other diagnoses like cancer or infections.
Look after your skin this summer and take any necessary steps to treat sun allergy!