23 Jun When I’ve been in the sun for a few days, my chest and arms get itchy and break out in red splotches. Am I allergic to sunlight?
The most common is polymorphic light eruption (PMLE), which often shows up – sometimes within minutes – as an itchy red rash on body parts exposed to sunlight, especially the neckline, the backs of the arms, the face and the hands.
You could also simply be extra-sensitive to the sun – medical conditions, such as lupus, can increase your sensitivity, as can medications like Retin-A, sulfa-based drugs (like some antibiotics), and certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor so she can figure out what’s going on. Treatment for a sun allergy typically involves steroid creams or antihistamines.
And, of course, if you’re prone to bad reactions when you bask, be vigilant about using sunblock and covering up.