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Sunscreen makes my skin go red. Is it allergy?

Posted by
 Dr Batra’s™  July 7, 2020

If you are going to be in the sun, sunscreen is essential for protecting from sun damage. But if you have sensitive skin finding the right sunscreen can be a challenge. Though sunscreens are said to be a safety measure for our skin it may not suit all of us. For some people, exposure to sunlight could cause the skin to go red, itchy and develop rashes.

The symptoms of sun allergy are:

  • Red, itchy rashes
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Scaling
  • Pain
  • Blisters
  • Raised bumpy areas

There could be two potential types of allergies namely:

  • Contact allergy: In this case there is a reaction on the skin as soon as the sunscreen is applied due to sensitivity to some content in the product. It can happen indoors as well as outdoors.
  • Photo allergy: This happens after the exposure to sunlight which causes redness or irritation to the skin.

Sunscreens Can Be Of Two Types:

Chemical Sunscreen: These types of sunscreens absorb the UV radiation and alter the rays of the sun into less harmful ones. The active ingredients cause a chemical reaction that converts the UV light into heat making it less harmful to the skin.

Physical (Mineral) Sunscreen: These sunscreens block and deflect the rays from the skin. It gives a whitish appearance. It is commonly applied by cricketers on the nose and cheeks.

Contents In The Sunscreen That One May Be Allergic To:

  • One of the most common ingredients in sunscreens is called Oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is an endocrine disrupting chemical which means it is a chemical that disrupts the hormones in your body. It is responsible in clinical trials for increased rates of melonoma. It is also linked to hormone disruption, allergies, cell damage and skin cancer.
  • Avobenzone: It breaks down into free radicals on exposure to sunlight which accumulates in the body. This accelerates the aging process and increases the risk of harmful illnesses such as cancer.
  • Octinoxate: It is readily absorbed by the skin. It is known to cause hormone disruption. It can cause premature aging as it produces free radicals that can damage skin and cells.
  • Retinyl Palmitate: When exposed to suns UV rays, the retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer.
  • Homosalate: It accumulates in our body, becomes toxic and disrupts our hormones.
  • Valates: They are dangerous compounds that affect fertility.
  • Parabens: They are commonly used as preservatives. They can induce allergic reaction, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity.
  • Fragrances: There are various artificial chemical fragrances added to make the sunscreen smell good which may not be beneficial to us.

Some Helpful Tips And Tricks:

- Always do a patch test before using any new sunscreen or product on the skin. If you do not see any allergy symptoms within a day you are not allergic to that sunscreen.

- In case you observe any itchy sensation or redness or rash immediately wash off the product.

- Visit a dermatologist to get a safer alternative that can be used safely on your sensitive skin.

- Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA & UVB) with a minimum SPF30.

- Avoid any known ingredients that you are sensitive to.

- Wear long-sleeved clothing, hat and cover yourself up when in the scorching heat.

- Protect your skin from sun damage by eating right.

Homeopathy To Your Aid!

Some commonly used homeopathic medicines for sunscreen allergy include:

  1. Apis Mellifica: It is one of the most effective remedy for skin in case of an allergy that itches, burns, and stings especially if it is hot. This remedy is perfect for the allergic reactions and hives, which leads to a puffy swelling appearance with redness. One will experience relief when cold water or ice is applied.
  2. Rhus Tox: This remedy is effective in curing skin rashes. The symptoms are excessive itching, tickling, burning, prickling, blisters which are surrounded by red skin, and those blisters consist of fluids that break open leaving small crusty areas. One may feel very restless and irritated. Applying heat may bring some relief but symptoms become worse at night.
  3. Sulphur: It is considered to be one of the most beneficial homeopathic remedies for allergy. Severe sunscreen allergy with violent burning and itching can become worse by bathing and heat; skin and body orifices turn red easily, prone to various skin disorders and multiple allergy; heat intolerance.
  4. Sepia: This homeopathic remedy is best for the rashes with the blisters on skin that has turned yellow or brown. It usually drives on the joints, the area behind your ears, your knees, and your ankles. In the late afternoon and evening the symptoms will becomes worse, and from the exposure to cold weather.
  5. Nat Mur: This homeopathic remedy is good for those people who experience the rashes that occur because of the heat and sun. Sunscreen allergy is worse at the sea side. It can be used in various chronic skin disorders like urticaria, eczema, acne and herpes.
  6. Pulsatilla: Thin mottled skin, sensitive to sunlight and cold - prone to sunburns and sunscreen allergy. There is slow digestion with intolerance to fatty foods.
  7. Belladona: It is used when there is a hot bright red rash. Sunscreen allergy can be accompanied by fever.

Visit a qualified homeopathic physician for allergy treatment as there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration before ascertaining which medicine can be most effective for your specific allergy.