Skin allergy is a not a common problem. There are many treatments for sun allergy, but the best treatment for this problem is avoiding exposure to sun light. The rays of the sun cause changes in the cells of the skin initiating an allergic response. The immune system then begins to treat the skin as if it were something 'foreign' and tries to defend it. Here are some tips for prevention if you have sun allergy or an increased sensitivity to the sun.
Protect against sun exposure: Prevention of exposure to sun is the best measure to prevent sun allergy. People with sun allergy need protection from sun exposure not just during summer or at the beach, but throughout the year. The time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is the most hazardous time for the skin because that is when the sun shines the most in most parts of the world.
Some easy measures to protect against sun exposure include the following.
- Stay in shade: Prefer to stay in shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (the time when the sun is brightest) and do not expose yourself to lots of sunlight suddenly. Experts say that many people develop symptoms of sun allergy during spring or summer when they suddenly increase their time in the sun. It is advisable to gradually increase the amount of sunlight exposure as this gives your skin cells time to adapt to sunlight.
- Wear protective clothing: Protect exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved clothes (full-sleeved tops or shirts and long pants). Do not wear clothes made of fabrics that are thin or have a loose weave as these allow the UV rays of the sun to pass through them into the skin. Dark colored clothes probably give more protection than lighter colors. Clothes specifically designed to block the UV rays are available at certain sporting goods stores. Consider buying these clothes if you have bothersome sun allergy.
- Wear hat: Use a hat with a wide brim to protect the face, head, ears and neck. Hats made from tightly woven fabric, such as canvas offer better protection than straw hats with holes that let sunlight pass through.
- Use sunglasses: Prefer sunglasses that wrap around and block almost 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. These glasses are effective in protecting the delicate skin around your eyes from sun exposure.
- Use Sunscreen: The UVA and UVB rays of the sun can cause damage to your skin even after exposure for only a little time (as little as 15 minutes). The sunscreen acts by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. The chemicals in sunscreen interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. Use of sunscreen is advised before you go outside (even if for a short period of time). Apply the lotion on all parts of exposed skin. Use a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and preferably 30 or higher on exposed skin. The higher the number, the higher is the protection. It is advised to reapply sunscreen if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours after you swim or sweat.
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