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Photodermatitis: Wikis


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Classification and external resources

An image of a patch of sun poisoning on the left forearm.
ICD-10 L57.8
ICD-9 692.79
DiseasesDB 24609
MeSH D010787

Photoallergy is a form of allergic contact dermatitis in which the allergen must be activated by light to sensitize the allergic response, and to cause a rash or other systemic effects on subsequent exposure. The second and subsequent exposures produce photoallergic skin conditions which are often eczematous.



Many medications and conditions can cause sun sensitivity, including:

Photodermatitis can also be caused by plants. This is called phytophotodermatitis.

  • Lime Oil
  • Lemon Oil
  • Orange Oil


May result in swelling, a burning sensation, a red itchy rash sometimes resembling small blisters, and peeling of the skin. Nausea may also occur. There may also be blotches of large to small areas where the itching may persist for long periods of time. In these areas an unsightly orange to brown tint may form, usually near or on the face.


Prevention includes avoiding exposure to the sun:

  • Stay inside during the brightest hours of the day, from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Cover up: wear long sleeves, slacks, and a wide-brimmed hat whenever harsh exposure is probable. Remember that cloud cover does not provide protection from UV rays.
  • Avoid chemicals that may trigger a reaction (do not, however, stop taking medication without consulting a doctor).
  • Wear sunscreen[1] at least factor 30 with a high UVA protection level.

Foods and treatment

The following foods or treatment may also help:


  1. ^ AAD - The Sun and Your Skin, "Allergic Reactions" section

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