Polymorphic light eruption is a common reaction to sunlight (ultraviolet light) that occurs in light-sensitive individuals.
The cause is unknown. Some experts think it is a type of delayed allergic reaction.
Small red pimples and blisters appear on the skin within 1 - 4 days after exposure to sunlight. The lesions may also appear as scaly skin.
Medium to strong steroid creams or ointments may be prescribed by your doctor. They are used 2 or 3 times a day helps clear the rash. Steroid pills may be used for more severe cases.
Some people benefit from phototherapy. Phototherapy is a medical treatment in which your skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light. This may help your skin become sensitized to the sun.
In many patients, the chances of having this condition after being in sunlight decreases over time.
Polymorphous light eruption
Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009.
Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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