What is Photodermatitis?
Photodermatitis is an allergic reaction which occurs only when the allergen is activated after an exposure to sunlight. It occurs when certain chemicals are applied to the skin and then the person is exposed to sunlight.
On subsequent exposure to sunlight, the allergic response takes place and the person comes up with rash or other systemic illnesses.
Symptoms of Photodermatitis
The signs and symptoms of photodermatitis differ depending upon the chemical agent that is causing the reaction.
The rash appears like that of eczema or dermatitis and is present in the areas which are in contact with the chemical that the person is allergic to and also the areas which are exposed to sunlight.
There may be reddish to brownish discoloration of the affected skin with itching and burning.
Pain, swelling which may be followed by blisters on the affected areas.
Long term effects are scarring and thickening of the skin which can lead to skin cancers if the cause of the disease is genetic.
Causes of Photodermatitis
Photodermatitis is caused due to an interaction between UV radiations and one or more of the products given below:
- Some sunscreens, e.g. oxybenzone or cinnamates and others
- Coal tar products
- Fragrances, e.g. musk
- Insecticides and disinfectants
These products contain drugs or chemicals that are photosensitizing agents.
There can be genetic or metabolic factors that can cause the disease. (inherited diseases like pellagra caused due to vitamin deficiency)
The reaction can be phototoxic and/or photoallergic.
- Phototoxic reactions result from direct damage to tissue caused by light activation of the photosensitizing agent.
- A photoallergic reaction is a response of the immune system in which the antigen is the light-activated photosensitizing agent.
Diagnosis of Photodermatitis
The diagnosis can be made by asking for the history of exposure to certain chemicals or drugs and to the sunlight or UV rays.
An allergy test can help to determine what is causing the allergy.
Certain blood tests can also be done rule out other diseases that can cause similar signs and symptoms.
- Avoid or limit the sun exposure, especially during the afternoon time.
- Use sunscreens which do not contain any harmful chemicals or drugs while going out in sunlight.
- Cover up the body as much as possible while moving out in the sun.
- Avoid using any products that are known to cause sun sensitivity.
Homoeopathic Management of Photodermatitis
Homeopathic reduce the sensitivity of skin to sun exposure and reduction in darkening of the skin. and hyper pigmentation
- The Hot weather worsens the skin ailments and complaints.
- Acne, popular & pustular eruptions
- Ulcers with punched out edges with the tendency to penetrate and tenacious exudation.
- A valuable remedy for Burns & Scalds.
- Burns with Rawness and smarting relieved by cold application, followed by inflammation.
- Severe Sun Burns. Dermatitis with bleb formation.
- Erysipelas vesicular.
- Skin eruptions after Exposure to Sun Light.
- Skin is greasy oily.
- Eczema, red inflamed worse by Eating Salt.
- Emaciated over neck, loses weight even after eating well
- Suppressed menstruation
- Skin rash from exposure to Sun comes in Spring.
- Summer Cutaneous Disorders.
- Dermatitis from Sun. Sun Burns.
- worse from Exposure to Sun.
- Spasms, Stiffness, Faintness, Prostration,
- A headache after Sun.
- Worse from Sunrise to Sunset.