What Is Photosensitivity | Cause | Treatment | Skin Solution 1O1

What Is Photosensitivity – Cause And Treatment

What Is Photosensitivity

Photosensitivity, also known as photodermatosis, is a condition where the skin becomes sensitive to sunlight and other forms of light. It can cause a range of symptoms, including redness, itching, rash, and blisters. In some cases, photosensitivity can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

What causes photosensitivity?

Photosensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is exposure to certain medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, and chemotherapy drugs. Some topical medications and herbal remedies can also cause photosensitivity. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as lupus, porphyria, and xeroderma pigmentosum can cause photosensitivity. Photosensitivity is caused by an abnormal reaction of the skin to sunlight. Normally, when sunlight hits the skin, it triggers a series of chemical reactions that lead to the production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. Melanin helps to protect the skin from further sun damage. Other factors that can contribute to photosensitivity include genetics, age, and skin type. Fair-skinned individuals are more susceptible to photosensitivity than those with darker skin tones. Additionally, older adults are more likely to develop photosensitivity due to changes in their skin over time.

Treatment of photosensitivity

The treatment for photosensitivity depends on the underlying cause. If photosensitivity is caused by a medication or topical treatment, discontinuing the use of the offending agent is the first step. In cases where photosensitivity is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment for that condition may help alleviate symptoms. 

The most important step is to avoid exposure to sunlight during peak hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When outdoors, it is important to wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF should be applied regularly for 365 days, and it is important to reapply after 2 hours. 

In some cases, oral or topical medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms of photosensitivity. Corticosteroid creams or ointments can help reduce inflammation and itching, while antihistamines can help alleviate itching and swelling. Remember, this type of medicine should not be applied on the face or without a doctor’s prescription. In severe cases, phototherapy or photochemotherapy may be recommended. 

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