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Sun Poisoning

Other Types of Sun Poisoning continued...

An inherited form of PMLE occurs in Native Americans. It can last from spring until fall. Symptoms at first include redness, burning, and itching, which usually last two or three days but can persist for weeks. Other symptoms may begin within a few hours of sun exposure but go away in a few hours. They include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Treatment for PMLE depends on its severity. Other than staying out of the sun and protecting yourself when you are in the sun, you may not need treatment. The rash can clear by itself within seven to 10 days.

Solar urticaria. Symptoms may develop within minutes of exposure to sun. If large areas of skin are involved, symptoms may include:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Raised areas on the skin (wheals) or blisters
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

Although the blisters usually go away within hours, you may experience the reaction off and on throughout the years. Antihistamines can treat some cases, but see your doctor for advice.

Other treatment or prevention for PMLE or solar urticaria may include:

  • Steroids that go on your skin
  • Sunscreen that says "broad-spectrum" on the label, which means it protects against the sun's UVA and UVB radiation
  • Phototherapy with psoralen UV light (PUVA) to desensitize skin to UV light

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Norman Levine, MD on August 02, 2012

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