Dermatology Specialist Dr. Instructor Member Oya Yeşim Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan gave information about sun allergy. Dr. Instructor Member Oya Yeşim Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan said, “People who have this problem, which can affect individuals of all ages, should avoid exposure to sunlight as much as possible and use sunscreens with high protection factor when going out to the open air.”
GENETIC SUITABILITY, THE MOST IMPORTANT KNOWN RISK FACTOR
Stating that sun allergy, just like other types of allergies, arises from an immune reaction that triggers the production of proteins that cause an allergic reaction on the skin, Dr. Instructor Member Oya Yeşim Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan said:
“The trigger factor in sun allergy is sun rays and the body creates an immune response in response to this allergen. As a result, allergic lesions in the form of redness, itching and inflammation, called hives (urticaria), are seen on the skin. Many reasons such as some drugs used, sensitive skin, dermatitis, cosmetic products and chemicals are among the factors that can trigger and worsen sun allergy. Genetic predisposition is the most important known risk factor in these allergic reactions, the cause of which is unknown. We see that many of the patients with sun allergies also have different types of allergic reactions, such as spring allergies, allergies to dust and pet hair.”
Dr. Instructor Member Oya Yeşim Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan said, “The most basic symptom of sun allergy, hives; It appears as red spots, stripes, or bumps on the skin. Allergic reactions are more common in parts of the body that are less frequently exposed to the sun than parts of the body that are constantly in contact with the sun, such as hands and face. With the spread of hives over a wide area, we can see problems such as nausea, low blood pressure, low back pain and difficulty in breathing. In these cases, since the risk of allergic shock may occur, it is necessary to apply to health institutions without losing time.
PATIENT’S HISTORY AND SYMPTOMS DEFINE TREATMENT
Stating that although sun allergy is actually rare, it draws attention as an important discomfort among skin diseases. Instructor Member Oya Yeşim Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan said:
“It is possible to make a preliminary diagnosis of sun allergy by listening to the patient’s history, the appearance of the urticaria during the allergic reaction, and the duration of stay in the body. Allergy tests can also be used with this. For people with sun allergy, treatment is planned based on the severity and frequency of symptoms. In some people, sun allergy may disappear on its own or may be so mild that it does not require any treatment. In some types of sun allergies, the reaction may occur in the months of May-June, when the sun shows itself, and may regress after the middle of summer when the skin develops tolerance to the sun after a while.”
A PROTECTIVE TREATMENT CAN BE TAKEN
Advising our patients with allergies to avoid direct exposure to sun rays and to use high factor sunscreen products regularly to protect them from sun urticaria, Dr. Instructor Member Oya Yeşim Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan said, “In patients who are significantly affected by allergic reactions in the summer months, a treatment plan should be initiated considering the severity of symptoms with antihistamine drugs, corticosteroids, some lotions and natural products such as aloe vera. Since these methods suppress the production of proteins that cause the body’s allergic response to sun rays, they enable us to prevent hives to a large extent. With this, in some patients, a protective treatment can be performed by preparing the skin for the sun before the spring and summer months with applications such as phototherapy.
“DRUGS MUST BE USED REGULARLY”
Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan said, “Which or which of all these treatment options should be applied should be decided by dermatologists and allergy specialists in line with the patient’s history and the severity of the symptoms.”
Underlining that urticaria due to sun allergy requires examination and follow-up, Hacımustafaoğlu Utkan recommends staying away from the sun as much as possible, using physical protectors such as hats and glasses, and using medications recommended by the physician regularly in order to prevent unwanted problems such as permanent stains in obvious allergy lesions.