An allergic reaction to the sun can take on several forms, depending upon the type of sun allergy present. Chronic actinic dermatitis causes patches of inflamed, dry, itchy skin and mimics another skin condition known as contact dermatitis. Polymorphic light eruption is a type of allergic reaction to sunlight which causes small itchy bumps to develop on exposed areas of skin. Solar urticaria can cause blisters and hives to form, even on areas of skin covered by clothing. Another type of allergic reaction is called actinic prurigo and fluid-filled bumps to develop, mostly affecting children and young adults.
A type of allergic reaction to the sun known as chronic actinic dermatitis normally presents in a similar fashion as contact dermatitis, a skin condition which develops as a result of coming into direct contact with an allergen. Symptoms may include various patches of inflamed and thickened skin which may be dry and itchy. If large areas of skin are affected, there may be smaller areas of skin within the larger area which appear to be unaffected.
Polymorphic light eruption, also known as PMLE, is the name given to a specific type of allergic reaction to the sun. Within minutes to hours of sun exposure, the skin may begin to itch and form small white or yellow bumps, usually on top of a patch of reddened skin. This condition is frequently referred to as sun poisoning and is the most common type of sun allergy.
Solar urticaria, another type of allergic reaction to the sun, cause symptoms to develop within a matter of minutes following sun exposure. Symptoms typically include itchy skin, the development of hives, and painful blisters. Unlike other sun allergy types, solar urticaria can affect exposed areas of skin as well as those which are covered by clothing. The symptoms associated with this type of sun allergy usually go away within an hour of ending exposure to the sun.
Actinic prurigo is a type of sun allergy which is most commonly found among children and young adults. In this condition, the affected areas of skin become red, raised, and itchy. Blisters may form on any area of the body, including areas which have not been in direct contact with the sun. The blisters associated with this type of allergic reaction to the sun may break open, and in severe cases, permanent scars may develop.