Itchy bumps after sunburn: The request could not be satisfied
Photosensitivity, Light Eruption, Tips, Sunscreen
The sun produces invisible rays called ultraviolet-A (UVA) or ultraviolet-B (UVB) that can damage the skin. Too much sun can cause sunburn, skin texture changes, and skin cancers. Rashes also can be attributed to sunlight. Even on cloudy days, UV radiation reaches the earth and can cause skin damage.
Sunburn and Your Skin
Sunburn is a condition that occurs when the amount of exposure to the sun or another ultraviolet light source exceeds the ability of the body’s protective pigment (melanin) to protect the skin.
Symptoms of sunburn include painful, reddened skin; however, sunburn may not be immediately apparent. By the time the skin starts to become painful and red, the damage has been done. Severe sunburn may result in swelling and blisters. People who are severely sunburned may develop a fever, chills, and/or weakness. In rare cases, people with sunburn can go into shock.
Several days after sunburn, people with naturally fair skin may have peeling in the burned areas. Some itching may occur, and the peeled areas are even more sensitive to sunburn for several weeks. The sunburned areas are more susceptible to premature aging and skin cancer down the road.
Susceptibility to sunburns is increased in people with:
- Fair skin
- Light-colored hair
- People using certain medications that increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunburn, such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen and naproxen, for example), antibiotics (like quinolones, tetracyclines and sulfonamides), antimalarials (like Chloroquine), amiodarone, griseofluvin, psoralens, thiazides (furosemide), and phenothiazines (antipsychotic medications).
To treat — or ease the discomfort of — sunburn:
- Apply a cold compress to the affected area(s).
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) immediately after exposure to the sun to relieve sunburn discomfort and inflammation.
- Apply a cooling gel or ointment containing aloe vera to the sunburned area or areas.
- Avoid further sun exposure until the discomfort resolves.
In cases of severe sunburn or sunstroke, see your doctor immediately.
Most people’s skin will burn if there is enough exposure to ultraviolet radiation. However, some people burn particularly easily or develop exaggerated skin reactions to sunlight. This condition is called photosensitivity. People often call this a sun allergy.
People with photosensitivity have an immunological response to light — most often sunlight. They can break out in a rash when exposed to sunlight. The amount of exposure required to cause a reaction varies from person to person. Some people with photosensitivity are also affected by indoor fluorescent lighting.
Photosensitivity has been linked to:
Symptoms of photosensitivity
Symptoms of photosensitivity may include a pink or red skin rash with blotchy blisters, scaly patches, or raised spots on areas directly exposed to the sun. Itching and burning may occur and the rash may last for several days. In some people, the reaction to sunlight gradually becomes less with subsequent exposures.
Some types of photosensitivity may respond to specific treatments such as oral beta-carotene, steroids, or other medications.
Polymorphous Light Eruption
Polymorphic light eruption (PMLE) is a condition in which skin rashes can develop after fairly limited sun exposure. PMLE usually affects females between ages 20 and 40. The condition also can affect children and less commonly, men.
Symptoms of PMLE
The term ‘polymorphic’ refers to the fact that the rash can take many forms. A common kind of PMLE resembles groups of pink or red raised spots on the arms. Other areas, including the legs and chest, also may be affected. Sometimes the rash has blisters and larger dry, red spots. The rash is accompanied by burning or itching that can last for several days.
In severe cases, a doctor may recommend oral steroids to treat PMLE. Hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat skin conditions, sometimes is recommended.
Skin Care Tips
To protect your skin from the sun, consider these tips:
- Avoid the sun during peak UVB hours (usually 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
- Dress sensibly. The tighter the weave and darker the colors of the fabric, the more sun protection it will offer. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Avoid deliberate sunbathing, including tanning beds.
- Use a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF with a physical blocker such as zinc oxide every day, even on cloudy days. Sunscreens should be applied about 20 minutes before going outdoors. Even water-resistant sunscreens should be reapplied about every 80 minutes, after swimming, or after strenuous activity.
Choosing a Sunscreen
Different sunscreens are appropriate for different people. For children under 6 months old, the best option is to keep them out of the sun, if possible. If sun exposure is unavoidable, put a little bit of sunscreen with zinc oxide and a SPF of at least 30 on small areas such as the cheeks and back of the hands, after testing to see if the baby is sensitive by first trying a small amount on the baby’s wrist. The fewer number of ingredients in the sunscreen, the less likely the sunscreen is to cause an irritating skin reaction.
Even people with dark skin benefit from zinc oxide sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen and sun avoidance decrease the incidence of cancer and unevenness of pigmentation in people of all skin colors. Many zinc oxide physical blocker sunscreens are easy to rub in, unlike the zinc oxide products of just a few years ago.
What the Heck Is Hell’s Itch? – Cleveland Clinic
Sunburns are common and so is the mild itching and pain that may accompany them. But for certain people, a healing sunburn can turn into a temporarily unrelenting nightmare that’s appropriately nicknamed “hell’s itch. ” Though it may seem like a comical name, the symptoms it causes are anything but funny.
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So what the heck is it? “Hell’s itch is this deep, painful, almost throbbing, itch that happens one to three days after a sunburn, often on the upper back and shoulders,” says dermatologist Melissa Piliang, MD. Online sufferers have described their experiences as feeling “like fire ants are biting you under your skin,” “wanting to rip your skin off,” or “an uncontrollable itch that, when scratched, causes stabbing pain.” The symptoms seem to come in waves and typically relent within 48 hours.
Hell’s itch appears to only affect a small percentage of people. “Anyone who has a sunburn could get it, but it seems to be more common in fair-skinned people and people who have been at higher altitudes where the sun is more intense, like in the mountains,” Dr. Piliang says.
It’s unclear exactly why hell’s itch happens, but it may be due to damage in the nerve endings at the site of your burn, triggering an overreaction. It seems to happen more often with severe sunburns.
Cooling the fires of hell’s itch
Most cases of hell’s itch can be treated at home, but “if you have blisters over a large area of your body, fever, chills, dizziness or confusion, you should see a doctor,” Dr. Piliang says.
She suggests these at-home remedies to relieve your symptoms:
- Use ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen for pain and inflammation.
- Take an antihistamine like diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) or fexofenadine (Allegra®) to reduce itching.
- Wet a towel or washcloth in cool water and place it on your burn to help pain and itching. Repeat as desired.
- Apply one percent hydrocortisone cream for itching. Avoid ointments as these seal in heat.
- Try soaking in an oatmeal bath to soothe itchy skin.
- Keep yourself well hydrated since sunburns leach fluid from the rest of your body. Water is best, but an electrolyte-replenishing sports drink may be helpful too.
- “Be really careful not to scratch the itch because it doesn’t relieve it at all and often makes it worse,” says Dr. Piliang. “You can also create tears in your skin that can be a portal of entry for bacteria and could lead to infection.”
How to prevent it in the first place
If you develop hell’s itch once, you can get it again simply because it’s a risk for anyone with a sunburn. The only way to prevent it is avoid getting a sunburn. Here are Dr. Piliang’s sunscreen tips:
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever you’re outdoors for any length of time. “Broad-spectrum means it protects against UVA and UVB rays,” says Dr. Piliang.
- Look for water-resistant sunscreens. “This means it’s less likely to come off if it gets wet in water or from sweating,” she says. Water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof; you still need to reapply as the label directs.
- Whether you use a cream, gel, spray, stick or lotion is up to you. “Whichever one you’ll use is the right choice,” says Dr. Piliang.
- Look into sun protection clothing. “It can protect even better than sunscreen because you don’t have to reapply it,” she says. Keep in mind that you’ll still need sunscreen on exposed areas of skin.
- Get in the habit of putting sunscreen on every day. This can be as simple as a light moisturizer with added SPF applied to your face, the backs of your hands and your chest, places that are regularly exposed to sun. Use it in the winter too because ultraviolet light is still plentiful, plus you can be exposed to small amounts indoors as well. Not only does using a daily broad-spectrum SPF moisturizer protect you from sun damage, it may have the added benefit of making you look younger by reversing existing sun damage according to one study, says Dr. Piliang.
- Don’t let cloudy days fool you. “Clouds aren’t great ultraviolet light filters,” notes Dr. Piliang. “I’ve seen people with terrible blistering sunburns that they got on a cloudy day.”
Sun rash develops much more quickly than sunburn
You can avoid sun rash altogether, and you should!
Sun rash (solar dermatitis) is a form of allergic reaction to the sun that causes itching or a rash after sunbathing. Sun rash develops much more quickly than sunburn.
Blisters and swellings
Solar dermatitis can manifest as red areas with small swellings and blisters, or just as itching. It occurs immediately or a few hours after exposure to the sun.
The skin will gradually tolerate more of the sun after acclimatising with shorter periods of exposure and using sunscreen with a higher SPF. This is why many people often experience sun rash in the early part of the summer.
The problem occurs most often in young people but may also appear for the first time in older people.
Redness, swelling, blisters and itching are the most characteristic symptoms of sun rash. However, there is wide variation in how sun rash manifests in different people.
Last up to a week
Once you have had sun rash, the next outbreak will look the same. It is likely to last for up to a week and will go away of its own accord if you stay out of the sun.
It does not tend to affect the face, but usually the V-area of the chest, arms, legs and neck – in other words, areas exposed to the sun.
Sun rash can be seen as an allergy to sunlight, and in that case it is important to give the skin chance to rest so it can recover. Use a high-SPF sunscreen, wear clothing that covers the affected area and avoid the sun when it is strongest.
Once the rash has cleared, you can gradually start to expose your skin to the sun again so that in time it becomes more tolerant.
Hydrocortisone cream will reduce eczema, and is often used together with Antihistamines to reduce the itching as much as possible. These preparations can be bought without a prescription at a pharmacy.
Aloe vera and cooling creams can also be good alternatives to alleviate skin discomfort.
If the rash does not improve, contact a doctor to find out if there could be another cause for the rash.
Facts about solar dermatitis
- Sun rash occurs immediately or a few hours after exposure to the sun.
- It is a form of allergy to the sun, and can be avoided by protecting the skin from strong sunlight.
- It can manifest as red areas with small swellings and blisters, or just as itching.
- It is possible to accustom the skin to gradually tolerate more sun.
- A high SPF will also provide protection
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Sun Allergies and Polymorphous Light Eruption in Philadelphia & Chestnut Hill
Allergies to the Sun and Sunscreen Can Put a Damper on Summer Activities
By Dr. Manav Segal, Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist
Summer is around the corner, temps are rising, days are longer, and getting out to enjoy sunshine and fresh air is one of the simple pleasures we can still look forward to in 2020.
Or is it?
Exposure to sunlight can carry unpleasant consequences for anyone allergic to the sun or sunscreen.
At this time of year, people may notice a rash, ranging from minor red bumps, to more prominent patches and possibly including blisters on various areas of the body, including arms, legs, chest, hands and feet, but usually not the face. Called PMLE, or polymorphous light eruption, the rash is a reaction to UV light, usually from the sun, but it can also happen after using a tanning bed. Itching can be significant and is usually treated with topical anti-inflammatory steroids.
Symptoms of sun allergy (sometimes referred to as “sun poisoning”), which can also include a headache, fever or nausea, tend to begin in early spring and diminish as the weeks progress due to what is called “skin hardening.”
“Skin” hardening describes the fact that people who experience PMLE appear to be able to tolerate sun exposure better as we move from spring to summer. Their skin becomes “hardened” to the UV light and they no longer experience the bumpy, itchy rashes. The skin does not actually become hard.
Another type of allergic response to the sun is solar urticaria, a rare variant of chronic hives. Hives develop within 5-10 minutes of sun exposure. They are red, raised, and itchy areas that resolve within 24 hours. The hives are triggered by exposure to UV or visible light.
Treatment includes antihistamines to prevent or treat the hives. Light therapy can be helpful in some cases. Omalizumab (Xolair), a neutralizing antibody to the protein responsible for allergic reactions, is also effective.
A sun allergy is not the same as sunburn. Sunburn results from overexposure of the skin to sunlight and typically manifests as reddened skin developing three to five hours after exposure, is often painful for a day or so, and usually improves after three or four days. More severe sunburns may result in peeling of damaged skin.
Here’s how to tell the difference between PMLE and sunburn:
- PMLE is itchy with a bumpy rash that may include blisters
- Sunburn is smooth, tight-feeling skin that is painful at onset and may be warm to the touch
Although PMLE is benign, there is the slight potential for permanent discoloration of the skin or minor scarring. It’s more likely that patients will experience depression or anxiety as a result of not being able to participate in favorite activities.
As with other allergies, sun allergy can be treated by therapy to start building “skin hardening” tolerance. Patients who wish to avoid the symptoms can start light therapy earlier in the year; treatment is typically two to three times a week for a four-to-six week period.
Another factor that may interfere with summer fun is an allergy to sunscreen.
Some people have a reaction when they use sunscreens with certain ingredients. The combination of those ingredients and sun exposure leads to contact dermatitis symptoms such as itchy bumps, swelling and pain, similar to the symptoms of sun allergy. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, oxybenzone is the ingredient most likely to cause a reaction to sunscreen. Other ingredients to avoid include benzophenones, cinnamates, and dibenzoylmethanes. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide effective protection with low risk of reaction. Those who are sensitive to sunscreen should also avoid products that contain PABA or added fragrance.
Here are simple strategies to help reduce or avoid symptoms from sun or sunscreen allergies:
- Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. whenever possible
- Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants with SPF
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF frequently and generously
- Use sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that offer the greatest range of UV protection.
“Red itchy bumps from wearing sunscreen outside?”, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Dr. Manav Segal is a leading Philadelphia-area allergist and immunologist who treats asthma and allergies in children and adults and provides breakthrough Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) to treat severe food allergies. Dr. Segal is Board certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Board of Internal Medicine and is Chief of Allergy & Immunology at Chestnut Hill Hospital. https://www.philadelphia-allergy.com/
7 Ways to Soothe Your Skin
Spending too much time in the sun without protective clothing or sunscreen can lead to a red, prickling sunburn that leaves you scratching at your skin.
That itchiness is likely due to the fact that you’ve damaged the top layer of your skin, the epidermis, which contains many sensitive nerve endings.
A rare form of sunburn itch is hell’s itch, also called “suicide itch”, which is an unbearable case of itching. Hell’s itch can be triggered by showers or lotions, so stay away from these if your skin feels like its on fire.
But luckily, most cases of itchy sunburn are not as severe as hell’s itch and can be treated with a few simple remedies. Here are 7 easy ways to get relief from sunburn itch.
1. Use a cool compress
As with any burn, it is helpful to cool down sunburned skin as soon as possible to help reduce inflammation. Itching usually sets in between one and three days after you’ve been burnt, so treating it early could help keep inflammation symptoms like itching at bay.
You can make a cool compress by putting a few ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapping it in a soft cloth, and holding it to the sunburned area.
Make sure to avoid putting ice directly on your skin. Because if the skin becomes too cold, it can actually freeze the water in your skin, forming small crystals that can cut into nearby skin cells, causing more pain and damage.
2. Take a cool shower
You can also take a cool shower or bath to cool down your skin, but make sure not to stay in the water for too long, as this can dry it out. This is because the water can remove the protective oils on your skin’s surface that help to trap moisture.
In the shower, be sure to avoid harsh, oil-stripping soaps, as these can cause more skin irritation. Instead, try shower products made with oatmeal, which can help soothe itching.
3. Use moisturizer
One important step to soothing sunburned, itchy skin is to keep it moisturized since dry skin can increase itchiness. Moisturizer even “brings down inflammation and helps skin repair” says Gary Goldenberg, MD, a dermatologist with a private practice. Make certain to use a fragrance-free moisturizer.
The best time to use moisturizer is right after showering or bathing, while your skin is still damp and pores are open, so you can lock in moisture.
Gentle moisturizers like Cetaphil or CeraVe are good options for sunburn treatment, says Goldberg.
Be sure to stay away from numbing products with benzocaine like Orajel, as this can irritate your skin, making pain and itching worse.
Best body moisturizer
4. Use Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a potent moisturizer and anti-inflammatory treatment. The gel also contains magnesium lactate, which prevents the production of histamines that can lead to itchy skin.
In addition, aloe has been shown to help treat sunburn by soothing hot skin, stimulating collagen production, and giving your body the vitamins it needs to heal.
The best way to apply aloe is to squeeze the gel straight from the plant and rub it on your sunburn. But if you don’t have access to an aloe plant, look for a bottle that is as close to 100% aloe vera as possible.
Best Aloe vera
5. Apply steroid cream
If moisturizers aren’t providing enough relief for your sunburn symptoms, you may want to try using an over-the-counter steroid cream with 1 percent cortisone.
Cortisone cream improves inflammation symptoms like itching, redness, and swelling by blocking the chemicals that trigger your immune system’s inflammatory response.
Experts advise that you should not use cortisone cream for more than a week without talking to a doctor, and pregnant women and children under 10 should avoid it altogether.
6. Take anti-inflammatory medications
Another way to reduce inflammatory sunburn symptoms like pain and itching is to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
NSAID medications like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin relieve pain and have been shown to reduce the inflammation that causes itching in sunburned skin.
Another way to calm your symptoms is to take antihistamines, which reduce itching by blocking the release of chemicals that increase your immune system’s inflammatory response.
7. Protect your skin from the sun
Lastly, while you are healing from painful, itchy sunburn, one of the most important steps you can take is to stay out of the sun and avoid further damage, Goldberg says. Particularly during peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you do go outside, wear clothes that cover your skin and are tightly woven, so that nothing shines through when you hold them up to a light. Unbleached cotton is a good option, as well as shiny fabrics that reflect light like polyester or satin.
Itchy sunburns can often be treated at home, but if severe itching disrupts your sleep or daily activities for more than two days, call your doctor since you may have a more serious condition of sun poisoning.
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How To Treat Sun Rash On Your Skin
As the sun beats down in the summer months, knowing how to treat sun rash — and how to recognize it quickly — can prevent itchy, red skin from ruining your outdoor summer plans. Here’s what you need to know about what’s behind this skin issue, how to treat it and the best way to avoid getting it in the first place.
Sun rash is essentially a sun allergy
If you become red and itchy after spending time out in the sun — and you haven’t fallen into a patch of poison ivy — you might have a case of sun rash.
If you develop it, you’ll notice it’s no sunburn: Sun rash, also called sun allergy, is the immune system’s reaction to sunlight. While getting a bit of sunshine may actually help boost your immune system and leave you with a healthy, natural glow, people with this condition respond to the sun’s rays with hives, itchy, rough patches or a burning rash with fluid-filled blisters.
One of the most common forms of sun rash is called polymorphic light eruption (PMLE), which also goes by the term sun poisoning. Although the name makes it sound very serious, the condition isn’t actually life-threatening — however, it can make things uncomfortable for your skin in the short term.
For many, the condition runs in the family. The Mayo Clinic reports that it’s also possible to trigger a sun rash by going out in the sun while taking certain medications, including antibiotics and pain relievers. If you spend a lot of time soaking in the sun, follow up with your doctor about any new medications to make sure they won’t amplify your skin’s reaction to sunlight. Even limes can trigger a sun rash in certain people.
It’s also worth eyeing your skincare: Some products can also cause sensitivity. The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that ingredients such as retinols, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C may all increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Sun rash can affect any part of your body, but it most commonly appears on arms, legs, hands and the back of the neck. Keep in mind that, while the symptoms are similar, sun rash is different from heat rash, which is caused by hot, humid weather rather than exposure to sunlight.
How to treat sun rash
The best sun rash treatment is prevention. If you needed another reason to wear sunscreen, you’ve found it! SPF offers protection against the harmful effects of UV rays, including a certain pesky rash. It’s also a good idea to stay out of the sun at times of the day when it’s particularly strong. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which will block both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours you’re in the sun!
As you compare different sunscreens, look for gentle formulations without fragrance, particularly if you know you have sensitive skin. Other prevention options include UV-blocking clothing and avoiding known triggers, such as foods you’re sensitive to.
Figuring out how to treat sun rash is much easier when you know the triggers. For instance, if the rash is related to a certain chemical, avoid contact with it during the summer. Using a calming moisturizer can help speed up sun rash treatment if you’re dealing with itchiness and dryness. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends using a cold compress (for instance, wrapping ice cubes in a washcloth) and wearing loose-fitting clothing until your skin calms.
Although sun rash treatment isn’t always necessary — in many cases, it resolves on its own — keep an eye on how it develops over time. If the rash doesn’t go away and you’re not confident in how to treat sun rash yourself, a dermatologist or primary care physician can help. In some cases, medications help calm and even prevent certain types of sun rash.
You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin, and that’s difficult when your skin is uncomfortable. Protecting yourself from the sun ensures your skin gets to enjoy the summer as much as you do.
When it’s not sunburn: What to know about sun rashes
Even though the sun is almost 93 million miles away, it can have profound effects on our skin. Just a few minutes spent soaking up the rays is enough to cause a sunburn. Over a lifetime, sun exposure can also cause wrinkles, skin spots, and cancer.
But if that wasn’t enough of a reason to keep your skin covered this summer, here’s another health issue that can be caused by that flaming ball of plasma: sun allergy.
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No, it’s not some fictional condition. Sun allergy is a term that describes when the skin breaks out into an itchy red rash after a person spends time outdoors.
Here’s what people need to know about this condition, how to tell the difference between sun allergies and sunburn, and tips to protect your skin when spending time outdoors.
What is a sun allergy?
Polymorphic light eruption, the medical term for a sun allergy, is a condition in which the skin experiences adverse reactions to sun exposure.
It typically shows up as an itchy, red rash, but a sun allergy can also cause pain, raised patches of skin, scaling, blisters, hives and other symptoms as early as minutes after spending time outdoors, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“It’s very prevalent in the first month of summer,” said Dr. Rita Linkner, a board-certified dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology. “As summer goes on and sun exposure increases, your skin hardens to that allergy and the rash diminishes. ”
While an allergy to the sun sounds like a rare situation, polymorphous light eruption is actually relatively common, prevalent in up to 20 percent of people.
The exact cause is unknown, but doctors suspect some people may have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
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Women, people with light-colored skin, and those with a family history of polymorphous light eruption have a higher risk of experiencing a rash from the sun.
Certain medications can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, said Dr. Shari Lipner, a board-certified dermatologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
“One of the most common reasons for a sun allergy to occur is due to medication, most commonly antibiotics like tetracyclines, doxycycline, and minocycline,” she said.
“These are common ones that we use to treat acne, so any young person getting an antibiotic for acne should ask their dermatologist how to protect themselves from the sun. ”
Sun allergy vs. sunburn: What’s the difference?
While sun exposure causes both sun allergies and sunburn, there are some key differences in the conditions.
The main distinguishing factor is that sun allergy is an immunological reaction, wherein the body sees the sun-altered skin as a potential threat and kicks into defense mode to fight it, resulting in a rash.
Sunburn, on the other hand, is a burn from the radiation of UV light, resulting in reddish skin.
Experiencing a sun allergy doesn’t necessarily mean your skin has UV damage, but regular exposure to the sun without protection could lead to long-term health issues.
“Usually we see damage from UV rays from chronic sun exposure. Getting a reaction from a sun allergy once or twice, or getting a sunburn once, typically does not cause severe skin aging or skin cancers,” said Lipner.
If you experience a reaction from the sun, a dermatologist can diagnose what’s causing it.
“A dermatologist can examine the skin and determine if it’s a sun allergy or sunburn,” said Lipner. “We will mainly [ask about] the patient’s medical history, how fast the [rash] happened, how it feels, and the symptoms to make a diagnosis. If there’s any doubt, we can perform a skin biopsy to determine the cause.”
Treating and preventing a sun allergy
You spent the day lounging by the pool, and now you have an itchy red rash on your chest. Now what?
Generally, rashes from a sun allergy go away on their own within 10 days. You can try an over-the-counter anti-itch cream with hydrocortisone or an oral antihistamine to relieve some of the discomfort of the rash.
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“If people have severe sun allergies, a board-certified dermatologist can put them into booths that emit UV light and work to harden their skin to sun exposure earlier in the summer, so they’re not having a prolonged response,” said Linkner.
While treatments for a sun allergy are straightforward, your best bet is to prevent a reaction to begin with. Here are some tips:
Limit the time you spend outdoors between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Cover your skin as much as possible — long sleeves and a broad-brimmed hat can help reduce exposure.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, said Lipner, and be sure to reapply frequently if you’re sweating or swimming.
This article first appeared on HealthLine.com.
90,000 these women acquired a beautiful tan and skin cancer after a tanning bed. ”BigPicture.ru
Golden bronze skin is the dream of many women. Not everyone has the opportunity to bask in the sun on the seaside, but almost everyone can go to the solarium. Unfortunately, few people think about the dire consequences and dangers of UV radiation.
These three women learned the hard way that tanning beds can lead to skin cancer. They have defeated a terrible disease and want to warn everyone about the risks of tanning addiction.
Tanning salons are as deadly as asbestos and can increase the risk of skin cancer by up to 90%. Today this equipment can be purchased over the Internet, and prices for a home solarium in Britain are quite affordable. Many people buy them, not thinking that they have acquired a ticket to the hospital, and, perhaps, to the next world.
Girls lie under UV rays in anticipation of a beautiful tan, without thinking about the consequences. Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma (the worst form of skin cancer) by up to 87%.In the UK, 16,000 people hear this terrible diagnosis every year.
Three women, who were in the balance of death due to home tanning salons, talked about how these “Pandora’s boxes” nearly took their lives.
Salary solarium destroyed the life of the former model
Beverly Dodds previously worked as a model. Once she was offered to take part in the shooting of an advertisement for tanning salons. Then the girl was 20 years old, and she was delighted with the proposal. She even preferred to be given a sunbed instead of money for her work.
Unfortunately, three decades later, after spending hundreds of hours under UV light, the woman was diagnosed with skin cancer and her once adorable legs were scarred from surgery. And all because 56-year-old Beverly in her youth had a habit of spending two hours in a solarium 3-4 times a week.
In her youth, recumbent tanning beds were advertised as healthy tanning devices, but they are actually very dangerous. Beverly compares them to coffins due to their similar shape.
In her youth, Mrs.Dodds was so obsessed with the idea of tanning that she smeared her skin with a mixture of Coca-Cola and baby oil to speed up the process of obtaining a bronze tint.
The home solarium, which was given to her as payment for participation in the advertisement, was regularly used by the girl and her sister several times a week. Beverly’s skin became very dark, but the girl did not stop sunbathing. She had no idea how dangerous this hobby could be. No instructions, other than that the lamps should be no closer than 15 cm from the face, were not attached to the home solarium.
When the woman turned 33, itchy dots, similar to needle marks, began to appear on her shins. The doctor initially thought it was eczema, but later a biopsy showed that Beverly was suffering from Bowen’s disease, a type of skin cancer that precedes melanoma. First, dots appear on the skin that look like pricks, then small bumps grow in their places, which, increasing, can reach the size of a grapefruit. In addition, they quickly spread throughout the body, and if treatment is not started on time, they appear on the lymph nodes, which leads to death.
Beverly, upon learning of her diagnosis, was horrified. She spent a week and a half in the hospital, where she had all the growths removed, but over the next few years she had to undergo three more operations because the bumps on her legs reappeared. In 2005, a woman underwent a skin graft to close the depressions after removal of the lesions. The skin for this was taken from the thigh.
Until now, every six months Mrs. Dodds cut out all suspicious neoplasms. She has to use an acidic cream to get rid of new spots appearing on the skin.Beverly has been battling cancer for 20 years and now has difficulty walking. The older a woman gets, the harder it is for her. The dermatologist says that due to the constant treatment, her skin is now like that of an 85-year-old woman.
A woman is forced to hide her legs, which used to be her pride. She regrets very much that in her younger years she did not know how dangerous tanning in a solarium can be. The desire to acquire a beautiful bronze skin tone turned into pain and fear of death, which poisoned her whole life.
Mobile application identified skin cancer and saved life
Susanne Hancock, 50, lives in Manchester. She is a successful businesswoman. The woman also grew up with a passion for tanning, which was the ultimate dream of all girls in the 80s and 90s.
Suzanne became addicted to tanning at age 23. She rented a solarium monthly and set it up at home in a spare room. For seven years, the girl used it twice every day. Sometimes she lay inside for almost an hour.
In 2017, Mrs. Hancock noticed a wart on her right shin. Over time, the formation turned pink and began to increase in size. The doctors did not suspect anything wrong with this. Six months later, Suzanne was alarmed by the growth of the wart, but the dermatologist reassured her, assuring her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Then the woman, with the help of her 16-year-old daughter, found the SkinVision application, which allows anyone who is concerned about spots and redness on the skin to analyze suspicious places in just 30 seconds.
As a result, the fears were confirmed: everything indicated a high risk of oncology, and Suzanne once again went to the hospital. As a result, doctors diagnosed her with basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer that is caused by UV damage. Fortunately, a dangerous wart was cut out in time for her, but the risk of the appearance of new formations still remains.
After her illness, Suzanne tells everyone about the dangers of the solarium and begs not to even approach it.tanning in a solarium not only leads to aging of the skin, but also to the risk of death at a young age.
The scandal in the doctor’s office helped to identify the disease in time
Sandy Ayres, 44, is a flight attendant and lives in Cheltenham. At 19, she was a pale teenager and worked as a nanny. The girl really wanted to have a bronze skin tone, and bought a used home solarium for this. It was a model that sits on top of a bed and does not come with any instructions on how long it has been under the lamps.Sandy decided to sunbathe three times a week.
The girl was lying under direct UV rays for 30 minutes on her back, on her stomach and on each side – a total of two hours at a time. To improve the effect, she used a remedy that was supposed to speed up the melanin reaction. Sometimes the British woman smeared herself with baby oil, literally “frying” herself on UV lamps. She was pleased with the result, as soon the skin acquired the desired golden chocolate hue.
After the world became more aware of the dangers of skin cancer, Sandy stopped tanning in a tanning bed and began to apply self-tanning cream.But in 2011, the woman again “broke” – she was invited to a wedding, and by the holiday she decided to get tanned. Sandy signed up for a tanning salon in the salon and visited it several times a week.
Some time after the celebration, she noticed a strange lump on her nose. The doctor reassured her, assuring her that it was just a black point. The woman tried to remove it with a needle. Two months later, a white spot of impressive size formed at the spot. Sandy started scouring the internet and came across a blog from a girl of the same type and age as her. The blogger wrote about suffering from skin cancer and exhibited her photos. All symptoms were exactly like Mrs. Ayres’s.
The doctor said for the second time that he saw nothing dangerous in the spot, but Sandy threatened him that she would sue and revoke his license if her assumptions about cancer turned out to be true, and the doctor gave up – sent the patient for a biopsy. A week later, the test results came back: the woman was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, which begins under the skin and eventually breaks out.
Sandy underwent two surgeries, one to remove the carcinoma and the other to repair her nose. For this, skin taken from the back of the head was used. The woman still has scars, but she managed to overcome a terrible disease. She now constantly uses a cream with a high sun protection factor and regrets very much about being in a tanning bed in the past.
These three stories are just a small part of the cases of dangerous diseases caused by tanning in a solarium. The desire to become beautiful and acquire a bronze skin tone turns into a real addiction, which leads to irreversible consequences.Think before you lie under the direct rays of UV lamps: is it worth risking your health and life for a beautiful skin tone?
Unfortunately, many girls do not think about the dangers of a tanning bed. A 22-year-old student from Belfast has turned from an ordinary European into a real mulatto, regularly tanning and injecting melanin. We hope that she will find out what threatens her addiction, and, before it is too late, will stop going towards the disease.
See also – Stop the plane, I get off: ex-flight attendant got hooked on tanning and breast augmentation
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90,000 Bleach allergy symptoms after swimming.How to treat?
The use of bleach in swimming pools causes conflicting opinions among specialists. She is an assistant in protecting visitors from a host of possible infectious diseases. At the same time, this substance often becomes a source of adverse effects on bodies
The use of bleach in swimming pools causes conflicting opinions among specialists. She is an assistant in protecting visitors from a host of possible infectious diseases.At the same time, this substance often becomes a source of adverse effects on the human body and eyes.
Symptoms and Precautions
Contact with highly chlorinated water causes irritation, dryness and flaking on many parts of the skin.
Allergies are indicated by the usual rash, blisters, inflammation, runny nose, cough. A noticeable reaction to bleach can occur immediately or gradually, after many trips to the pool.
To avoid this, you must always wash well in the shower, and then lubricate the body:
- Special milk.
Important. This procedure is a must for those who have too dry and sensitive skin. Women are advised to wash off cosmetics before swimming in the pool. The hair should be protected with a cap and the eyes with glasses.
Antihistamines and eye drops are used. In case of an acute reaction, an ambulance call is required. Confirmed diagnosis is a good reason for prescribing sensitizing therapy.The allergen is administered to the patient (in small doses).
Allergy to bleach can in some cases be deadly. Do not allow it to come into contact with your mouth, eyes or hair. Comprehensive and precisely adjusted treatment should be carried out exclusively by a qualified doctor. To avoid all possible risks, if you identify characteristic symptoms, contact the clinic for help.
Antihistamines are available and available for booking at Stolichka pharmacies.The social network of pharmacies offers a variety of products and product groups for all families at affordable prices.
90,000 Allergic edema, or Quincke’s edema:
Angioedema is a fast, sudden and intense edema that develops on the subcutaneous tissue due to the expansion and increased permeability of blood vessels. Angioedema is also known as Quincke’s edema or allergic edema.
Very often it develops as a result of the action of an allergen as an allergic reaction, in particular – to insect bites and the use of food.
The disease can manifest itself at any time in life. However, it most often occurs in childhood or adolescence.
It has been proven that stress affects the exacerbation of this disease, especially hereditary angioedema. Therefore, “neurotic” was added to the name of the disease.
Symptoms of angioedema
Symptoms of angioedema are similar to urticaria . However, urticaria only affects the epidermis (the top layer of the skin). Angioedema affects the deeper layers, including the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, mucous membrane and submucosa.
Angioneurotic edema most often grows within a few hours or minutes, it is well limited, not symmetrical. Usually found in the area:
- eyes and eyelids;
- red bordering of the lips;
- or on the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract.
90,087 parts of the extremities remote from the body;
Edema occurs as a result of the accumulation of fluid in the tissues. May appear after infection, during stress. In addition, it can be idiopathic, that is, it develops for an unknown reason.
The disease is often accompanied by severe pain in the chest, abdomen, or a sudden feeling of shortness of breath (bronchospasm). Vision may also deteriorate.
Although itching, tingling, or burning may occur with angioedema, often symptoms other than discomfort do not occur. The swelling can be painful if it occurs over the joints.
The most dangerous is angioedema of the larynx. It occurs less frequently, but is accompanied by suffocation. The risk of death from it in the absence of appropriate treatment is 25%.
Not only food allergens, for example, can cause laryngeal edema, but also the introduction of local anesthetics during dental procedures. Facial swelling can also spread to the larynx.
Angioedema can be one of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, which is also life-threatening.
Angioedema occurs in about every third person with urticaria symptoms. It, in turn, occurs in 20% of people. Edema without urticaria is much less common.
How does angioedema manifest
There are three main types of its manifestations:
- Angioedema combined with urticaria: urticaria that itches with itchy, hot or painful edema.
- Isolated angioedema that itches: hot red swelling. They are often large and uncomfortable.
- Isolated angioedema without itching or burning: swelling / swelling of body parts. This type of illness is often not treated with antihistamines.
Angioedema eventually disappears in most people on its own. If the edema is persistent, does not disappear or diminish, it is most likely caused by other causes and not associated with angioedema.
Types and causes of edema
There are four main types of angioedema, depending on the cause: allergic, hereditary, idiopathic and drug-induced.
Allergic is a common type of angioedema. It usually affects people who are allergic to certain foods, medications, insect venom, pollen, or animal dander.
Edema from food or drug allergies can be severe but usually resolves within 24 hours.
Allergic edema can be caused by insect bites, contact with latex. Food or drug allergies usually cause hives or itching, as well as angioedema at the same time.
At the same time, allergy is very rarely the cause of isolated angioedema, that is, one that is not accompanied by other symptoms of allergy.
But it is allergic edema that should be suspected if there are short-term episodes of symptoms that occur in similar situations: for example, after taking certain foods or drugs.
Allergic edema can also be a symptom of a severe allergic reaction – anaphylaxis.This condition requires urgent medical attention.
Allergic angioedema is not prolonged and often recurs upon contact with an allergen. Once you figure out which allergen caused this reaction, you can avoid it.
Conversely, allergies almost never cause edema that lasts for several days or recurs over several weeks.
But the role of food intolerance in the occurrence of edema remains controversial.
Hereditary angioedema (SAN)
Hereditary edema is a genetically determined disease and is often transmitted to children from parents. It is a disease of the immune system associated with insufficient function of the C1 esterase inhibitor.
Moreover, the gene responsible for the development of the disease is dominant. That is, transmitted from one of the parents, it will almost completely manifest itself in a person.
Two of the three types of SAN are associated with quantitative and qualitative changes in the structure of the protein encoded by this abnormal, mutant gene.
A mutation that leads to edema is formed in a quarter of patients anew, that is, it is not inherited from their parents.
The third type of SAN occurs predominantly in women. In this case, the factor of its occurrence is the use of oral contraceptives containing estrogens, and pregnancy.
With this type of disease in humans, there is an increased synthesis of bradykinin, which promotes vasodilation and lowering blood pressure.
Quincke’s edema can be caused by certain drugs, such as penicillin or angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
According to one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, 30% of cases of angioedema that are recorded in emergency departments are associated with the use of ACE inhibitors.
In most cases, edema appears within the first few months of treatment. However, sometimes their appearance can be delayed for months or years, or edema appears only with an increase in the dose of the drug.
If angioedema is associated with an ACE inhibitor, your doctor may prescribe a different type of blood pressure medication.
The edema that occurs when taking ACE does not itch and does not cause pain. It usually occurs around the face, tongue, and throat and is not accompanied by hives.This is not an allergic reaction and can be confirmed by a skin test or blood test.
If symptoms disappear when the drug is discontinued, the diagnosis is usually considered confirmed. The swelling usually goes away within a few weeks after the medication is stopped.
Another common type of medication that can cause swelling is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). For example, ibuprofen or aspirin used to relieve pain.
In one in three patients with angioedema, symptoms worsen quickly when taking these drugs, even if the person is not allergic to the drugs. Therefore, it is better for such people to choose alternative medicines for the treatment of pain, such as paracetamol or nimesulide.
When a doctor, after analyzing all the usual causes, cannot determine what exactly causes angioedema, the disease is considered idiopathic.
Trauma may be one of its causes.
Also, in people with urticaria and angioedema, thyroid diseases and certain types of inflammatory arthritis are more common.
In some people, edema develops as a result of an autoimmune process – that is, the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. Such swelling persists for many years for no apparent reason.
Infection – edema factor in children
Viral infection is usually the most common cause of urticaria and angioedema in children, especially if symptoms last more than 24 hours.
Is angioedema dangerous
Dangerous angioedema is when it spreads to the throat or tongue, resulting in difficulty breathing.
Edema of the throat requires urgent use of drugs: adrenaline in case of anaphylaxis or ikatibant – for hereditary angioedema.
Swelling on the outside of the neck is uncomfortable but does not affect breathing.
Medical assistance required if:
If, after diagnosing an allergy, the doctor has determined that angioedema may be a complication of the patient’s illness, it is advisable for such a person to have an epinephrine autoinjector with him, which is used as first aid.
Allergic edema similar to angioedema
Some skin reactions similar in appearance to angioedema occur for various reasons.
- Contact allergies to animals or plants are usually localized at the site of direct contact. Itching is often short-term and does not cause internal edema. But it provokes weeping rashes that peel off within a few days.
- Animal allergies may cause itchy urticaria and angioedema.However, it occurs predominantly in people with severe allergic rhinitis and / or asthma.
- Insect bites – bees, wasps and some ants – may cause severe local and temporary edema.
- Palindromic rheumatism, a rare form of the disease, also presents with edema. It lasts several days and mainly affects the joints and limbs. The swelling is usually more painful and hot than itchy swelling. Some people with this condition develop rheumatoid arthritis over time.
Edema caused by various diseases
Edema similar to angioedema is less common. They are symptoms of various diseases, usually progressive:
- Dermatomyositis – muscle weakness, facial redness and edema.
- Superior vena cava syndrome (large vein in the chest), which can lead to a buildup of fixed fluid in the neck, face, and arms.
- A disorder of the thyroid gland can cause swelling of the face and lips, known as myxedema.
- Rosacea causes nonspecific facial swelling, redness, flushing and acne.
- Orofacial granulomatosis – Fixed swelling of the face and lips, sometimes associated with intestinal inflammation.
- Subcutaneous emphysema (accumulation of air in soft tissues) often occurs after trauma or surgery.
- Cluster headache is severe one-sided pain associated with puffiness around the eyes on the same side.
How long does angioedema last
The duration of the edema itself depends on its cause.If a treatable cause is found, or if the cause is an ACE inhibitor that has been discontinued, the episodes of edema should stop.
When the cause of the disease is not found, the edema may subside in a few weeks or months. Or it will continue for many years and it is impossible to predict when it will disappear.
An allergist can make a clear diagnosis based on the symptoms you have, a description of what might have caused them, and family and medical history.
The doctor will also check to see if the person is taking any medications associated with angioedema, such as ACE inhibitors.
If the patient was exposed to an allergen before the onset of angioedema, this means the likelihood of allergic angioedema. The presence of hives can also indicate this type of illness.
On the other hand, the presence of angioedema in one of the family members may indicate the hereditary nature of the disease.
A person with angioedema may be referred for further tests to confirm the type of disease. These may include:
- Skin test to confirm association with allergen exposure;
- blood test for the presence of specific immunoglobulins E to the allergen;
- blood test to check the C1 esterase inhibitor, complement C3, C4, a low level of which indicates that the problem is hereditary.
You can consult an allergist and undergo all the tests listed above at the FxMed Family and Functional Medicine Clinic.
Angioedema is usually effectively treated with medication, but episodes can be severe and require hospitalization.
Treatment of angioedema depends on the cause of it. But the most important thing that doctors have to do is to ensure the passage of the airway. This means that in an emergency, a breathing tube can be installed for the patient for the safety of his life.
Antihistamines are the mainstay of treatment, since the release of histamine is the trigger for edema in most people.Antihistamines block this effect.
Unfortunately, antihistamines are less effective in treating angioedema than urticaria. They are often completely ineffective for nonpruritic types of angioedema that do not involve histamine.
In severe cases of angioedema caused by allergies, epinephrine and corticosteroids are used.
Other medicines are used when antihistamines are ineffective in the treatment of angioedema.People with SAN are more likely to need these types of medications.
In recent years, several new drugs have become available for SAN patients. These include the C1 inhibitor concentrate and the bradykinin receptor inhibitor (Icatibant).
90,000 Complications of laser and photoepilation read
The presence of unwanted hair is a problem for many people who are not satisfied with the long-standing methods of hair removal (shaving, wax and chemical depilation, electrolysis) due to either a short-term result, or severe pain, or frequent complications (for example, scarring after electrolysis).The invention of selective photothermolysis and the development of various laser systems with different wavelength ranges have made effective and long-term hair removal possible. Currently, several types of laser and photosystems are used for hair removal: ruby laser (694 nm), alexandrite laser (755 nm), diode laser (800 nm), IPL systems (590-1200 nm), Nd: YAG laser ( 1064 nm).
Epilation occurs due to the destruction of the hair follicle, where the main pigment is melanin, which acts as a chromophore – a substance that absorbs radiation with a certain wavelength. With the optimal selection of wavelength, energy flux density and pulse duration, the melanin of the hair follicle heats up, and the hair follicle is destroyed. This does not damage the surrounding tissue.
In comparison with the existing types of hair removal and depilation, laser hair removal destroys the hair follicle quickly, precisely and precisely, which explains its high aesthetic result. In addition, epilation using lasers and photosystems allows you to quickly, almost painlessly and with minimal risk of complications to treat large skin surfaces.It is no coincidence that it has become one of the most popular among all aesthetic procedures performed using quantum technologies. Laser and IPL systems, according to manufacturers, help remove unwanted hair quickly, safely and effectively. But numerous studies show that these hair removal methods are still not without side effects and complications.
Due to the growing popularity of laser hair removal, laser therapists, dermatologists, cosmetologists, general practitioners should know the possible complications and side effects of these procedures in order to diagnose and treat them correctly and on time.
Causes of complications
Let us list the main reasons for the development of complications characteristic of all types of procedures using lasers and IPL systems.
- Professional mistakes of a doctor, which include poor quality training; diagnostic errors, especially determining the phototype and skin condition; wrong choice of the type of laser and its radiation parameters; failure to conduct a test impact; imperfection of laser technology; incomplete awareness of the patient about the procedure, its results and post-procedural care; lack of eye protection for the patient or doctor; lack of adequate cooling of the skin during the procedure.
- Non-compliance by patients with the recommendations of the doctor for post-procedural care.
- The state of health of the patient during the procedure. This factor affects the effectiveness of the procedure itself and the development of complications in the post-procedural period. Even with a qualitative collection of anamnesis, we cannot fully take into account the presence of all aggravating factors and diseases in the patient, since he does not always know about them.
When collecting anamnesis, it is important to take into account the patient’s propensity for allergic reactions, the presence of hormonal disorders, immunodeficiency states, connective tissue diseases and tumor diseases, and the patient’s intake of drugs that affect the functional activity of melanocytes.
Side effects of laser hair removal
Now let’s move on to the side effects of laser and IPL hair removal and its complications. Side effects of laser hair removal include pain, perifollicular edema and skin erythema of the treated area. Perifollicular edema and erythema occur a few minutes after exposure, disappear within a few hours, and do not require treatment.
The severity of these reactions depends on the color, thickness and density of the hair, as well as on the energy flux density. Dark, thick hair during the procedure absorbs a lot of energy and becomes very hot, as a result, perifollicular edema and erythema may develop. When exposed to thin hair, perifollicular edema is usually less pronounced. Severe edema also occurs in patients with sensitive, reactive skin. To reduce these side effects, it is important to use effective skin cooling systems before, during and, if required, after the procedure.
It is necessary to correctly select the energy flux density and, if necessary, gradually increase it until a clinical effect is achieved.If the edema and hyperemia are pronounced, then after the procedure, you can prescribe a cream with glucocorticoids or dexpanthenol. With moderate and mild symptoms of perifollicular edema, it is enough to use soothing gels and creams at home, for example, those used after sunburn to relieve edema and erythema.
As a means of promoting regeneration, you can recommend the regenerating ALOE GEL (MedicControlPeel, Russia) with a multivitamin complex and extracts of fireweed and chamomile, as well as a hydro-regulating gel for sensitive and irritated skin with dexpanthenol and Hydractive Mesaltera hyaluronic acid.
For the early elimination of signs of inflammation, the Cytobi GERnetic super-regenerating nourishing cream (France) is ideal. The exclusive formulation of the drug consists of five biological complexes containing amino acids, peptides, proteins, vitamins and oligoelements. These components are necessary for starting the most important biochemical reactions of regeneration, hydration and nutrition of the skin.
Immediately after the laser hair removal procedure, it is not recommended to carry out thermal and physiotherapy procedures, massage of the treated areas, and you should also not sunbathe.
Laser hair removal is not a painless procedure; most patients experience pain during (or immediately after) it. To reduce pain, it is important to use an adequate method of skin cooling and, if required, local external or infiltration anesthesia.
Complications of laser hair removal
As for the complications of laser and photoepilation, they are early, developing immediately after the procedure or during the first days after it, and late, which occur over several weeks.
Early complications include skin burns of varying severity, folliculitis, exacerbation of acneform eruptions, exacerbation of herpes infection, allergic reactions, the development of photophobia, conjunctivitis and uveitis.
1. Burns occur for several reasons:
- Use of high flux density during the procedure.
- Tanned skin or IV-VI skin phototypes according to Fitzpatrick.
- Epilation on thin and sensitive skin areas such as the perianal area or labia using inappropriate radiation parameters.
- Incorrect technique of the procedure (imposition of impulses, incomplete contact of the handpiece with the skin).
- Inadequate or no skin cooling system during the procedure.
Measures to prevent this complication primarily include adequate patient selection.You should not carry out the procedure of laser hair removal immediately after active insolation, you need to wait 2-4 weeks for the tan to disappear a little. This is especially important when working with ruby, alexandrite, diode lasers and IPL systems. As an alternative to these lasers, it is possible to suggest using a Nd: YAG laser with a wavelength of 1064 nm in tanned patients and patients with IV-VI skin phototypes. The point of application of the radiation of this laser is not the melanin of the hair follicle and epidermis, but oxyhemoglobin, which is located in the vessel that feeds the hair follicle, so skin damage will be less likely.
During the procedure, it is important not to forget about cooling the epidermis. The melanin found in the epidermis is a competing chromophore that can also heat up and damage the integrity of the skin. Superficial skin cooling, performed before, during and after the procedure, lowers the temperature of the epidermis and reduces the likelihood of thermal injury to the skin. Currently, different types of cooling are used in practice. This is the application of ice to the skin, and contact cooling using a sapphire window with circulating cold water (2-6 ° C), and the use of a cryogenic spray or systems with a forced flow of cold air.Therapy for skin burns depends on their severity and is carried out according to accepted standards.
2. Folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle) can develop after laser hair removal in patients with hyperhidrosis. The appearance of folliculitis is also possible when the patient visits the pool between treatments. The problem of hyperhidrosis can be solved by the method of chemical denervation using botulinum toxins. During the course of procedures, you should limit the use of the pool, especially in the first days after the procedure.
3. Acneform reactions, according to one multicenter study, account for an average of 6% of all complications of laser hair removal. These reactions more often occur in young patients of both sexes, mainly in persons with II-V skin phototypes, and when using a Nd: YAG laser. Their severity is insignificant. The rash resolves quickly and does not require treatment.
4. Exacerbation of herpes infection occurs in patients with a history of herpes during laser hair removal in the upper and lower lips and in the deep bikini area.To avoid this complication, it is recommended to take prophylactic antiviral drugs (Valtrex, Famvir, acyclovir) the day before the procedure or on the day of the procedure.
5. Allergic reactions after laser and photoepilation can clinically manifest as urticaria, contact allergic dermatitis, livedo, intense itching. The reasons for their development may be associated with the use of topical forms of local anesthetics used before the procedure for pain relief.There is also evidence of the development of allergic reactions to refrigerant gas. In addition, allergic reactions are possible with the use of various topical skin care products after hair removal. Treatment includes the appointment of antihistamines, topical forms of glucocorticoids. If the cause of the allergic reaction is not established, the course of laser hair removal procedures should be discontinued.
6. Catarrhal conjunctivitis, photophobia, uveitis, decreased visual acuity – serious complications from the visual apparatus that occur during laser hair removal in the eyebrow area.They develop in patients who did not use eye protection (glasses, metal contact lenses) during the procedure. When epilating the eyebrows, it is difficult to achieve good treatment of the entire area if the patient is wearing glasses, so many doctors ask him to simply cover the upper eyelids with his fingers. As practice shows, this method of eye protection is ineffective and leads to serious complications. Based on the foregoing, one should generally abandon laser hair removal of this area or use metal contact lenses, since the thin skin of the eyelids is not able to protect the eyeball from laser damage.
If we consider the group of late complications of laser and photoepilation, we can distinguish hypo- and hyperpigmentation, scars, paradoxical hypertrichosis, leukotrichia, bromhydrosis, hyperhidrosis, malignancy or dysplasia of nevi in the area of the procedure.
1. Hypo- and hyperpigmentation is mainly the result of skin burns caused by laser hair removal. They are most often found in tanned patients and persons with III-VI skin phototypes.It is noted that hypopigmentation often occurs at the first degree of thermal damage to the skin, when the crust formed after a burn comes off. Hyperpigmentation occurs in patients who do not follow the rules of post-procedure care and begin to sunbathe in the first 2 weeks after epilation, or do not use sunscreen on exposed areas of laser-treated skin. Hypo- and hyperpigmentation often appear in the area of post-burn scars.
As a prevention of these complications, it is recommended to carry out laser hair removal in patients with III-VI skin phototypes with long-pulse Nd: YAG lasers.In addition, these patients can use whitening creams 2 weeks before the procedure.
During the procedure, it is important to choose the right radiation parameters, use reliable and effective methods of cooling the epidermis in order to prevent thermal injury.
In most cases, hypo- and hyperpigmentation are reversible phenomena, but if they last for a long time, medications are used. To correct hyperpigmentation, bleaching agents containing hydroquinone, azelaic acid, hydroxy acids, glucocorticoids are prescribed.Copper-based preparations are used to correct hypopigmentation, but if they do not have the desired effect, you can resort to cosmetic tattooing.
2. Scars are the result of thermal damage to the skin below the basement membrane. If a burn wound becomes infected during rehabilitation, then in almost 100% of cases gross hypertrophic cicatricial changes occur. It has been noticed that post-burn scars are most often formed on the neck and in the mandibular region.Depending on the anatomical localization and genetic predisposition, atrophic, normotrophic, hypertrophic and keloid scars may occur.
Thus, Kluger et al. reported the development of a keloid scar in the tattoo area in a 41-year-old patient with skin phototype IIIB after laser hair removal in the chest area. He had a history of keloid scars, which were successfully treated with triamcinolone injections. When analyzing this case, it turned out that the tattoo pigments acted as a chromophore, competing with the melanin of the hair follicle.As a result of the absorption of laser energy, the tattoo pigment heats up, resulting in skin burns and then a keloid scar.
Today atrophic and normotrophic scars are treated with conservative methods, but with rather low efficiency; their surgical treatment is possible. Laser ablative and non-ablative fractional photothermolysis is used quite actively and with a high degree of efficiency to smooth the skin surface in the scar area.
Pathological scars , which include hypertrophic and keloid, are treated with intradermal injections into the scar area of prolonged forms of glucocorticoids (Kenalog, Diprospan). Russian scientists have recently proposed a new and rather effective method of treating pathological scars – the use of a copper vapor laser.
3. Paradoxical hypertrichosis – increased hair growth after laser and photoepilation procedures.According to data from various sources, hair growth is stimulated in women with phototypes III-VI of the skin, mainly on the face and neck, at the border between the treated and untreated areas. Several mechanisms can be involved in the development of this complication:
- Treatment using low (subthreshold) energy flux density, which does not destroy the hair follicle, but stimulates hair growth.
- Thermal-inflammatory effect – activation of “sleeping” follicles and stimulation of telogen phase hair growth in areas bordering epilation.
The prevention of this complication is the use of an energy flux density sufficient for hair removal. Long-pulse Nd: YAG lasers are used to correct paradoxical hypertrichosis.
4. Leukotrichia, bromhidrosis, hyperhidrosis. An interesting retrospective study was conducted in 2009. According to the data obtained, with laser hair removal in the armpits, complications such as hyperhidrosis, bromhidrosis and leukotrichia may develop.Hyperhidrosis was observed in 11% of patients, mainly with II and V skin phototypes, when using a combination of two lasers – diode and alexandrite during the procedure. In the development of bromhidrosis (4% of cases) and leukotrichia (2%), there was no significant correlation with age, skin phototype and type of laser radiation.
5. Dysplasia and malignancy of nevi in the field of laser hair removal. Do not forget about the possibility of degeneration of melanocytic nevi in the epilation area.Melanin in nevi is a competing chromophore and absorbs laser radiation along with hair follicle melanin. As a result of repeated exposure to laser radiation or pulsed light (IPL-system), thermal damage to melanocytic formations occurs, their growth is activated, atypical cells appear, which ultimately can lead to the development of melanoma.
Prevention of this complication – do not subject skin areas with any neoplasms to laser hair removal.If there are nevi in the affected area, and epilation is still carried out, then the nevi must be closed with special protective devices.
So, avoiding complications and minimizing side effects is one of the main tasks of a doctor in aesthetic medicine. When carrying out laser hair removal, there is not only the risk of choosing high radiation parameters leading to overheating of the skin and associated complications, but also the risk of over-insurance – choosing parameters that are insufficient to solve the problem in a given patient and, as a result, are ineffective, which can lead not only to a lack of the desired effect, but to the appearance of the exact opposite.Laser hair removal, which seems to be such a simple procedure, if performed incorrectly, can lead to serious complications. In order to avoid this, one should think carefully about the appointment of procedures and carefully collect anamnesis. When choosing the type and parameters of exposure, the individual characteristics of the patient should be taken into account, especially the presence of sunburn, the phototype of the skin and its condition in the area of exposure. And of course, it is very important to have a professional knowledge of the equipment that you use in your work, to know the specifics of each laser and each photo system.
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