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Sunburn bumpy rash: The request could not be satisfied

How to Tell if Your Nasty Sunburn Has Turned Into Sun Poisoning, According to Doctors

Photo credit: Image(s) by Sara Lynn Paige – Getty Images

You’re red, you’re peeling, and you’re kicking yourself for not reapplying sunscreen every two hours like you’re supposed to. Other than waiting it out and slathering on some aloe vera, there’s not much you can do to treat a sunburn.

But if your sunburn symptoms are paired with side effects that are more severe, like blisters and a fever, you might have a case of sun poisoning, a condition where a really bad sunburn makes you feel ill.

Still, how exactly do you spot the difference between a sunburn and full-on sun poisoning? Here, we asked dermatologists to explain what sun poisoning is, how to recognize the telltale symptoms (including a rash), and what you can do to feel better ASAP.

What is sun poisoning, exactly?

Sun poisoning is the term used to describe a really bad sunburn caused by prolonged UV exposure. But it’s probably not something you’ll be diagnosed with if you go to a doctor’s office.

“It’s kind of a layman’s term,” says John Zampella, M.D., a dermatologist at NYU Langone. “If you open up the dermatology textbook, there’s no chapter on sun poisoning. When someone either gets too much sun or has a very strong reaction to the sun, triggering a flu-like response, we call it sun poisoning.”

You might not be able tell if you have sun poisoning right away, since its symptoms can appear up to 72 hours after a bad sunburn. To really understand how sun poisoning is different from a sunburn, Dr. Zampella says you need to be familiar with the symptoms of both. You can’t have sun poisoning without a sunburn.

Sunburn vs. sun poisoning symptoms

Normal sunburn

Red, inflamed, and tender skin 30 minutes to 24 hours after sun exposure

Severe sunburn

Blistering 24 to 48 hours after sun exposure

Sun poisoning

All of the above sunburn symptoms, plus symptoms known as systemic reactions, including:

What does a sun poisoning rash look like?

Story continues

Some people are more prone to sun poisoning than others. “People with fair skin and light eyes who get sunburned more easily are more likely to suffer from sun poisoning,” says Brian Brosnan, M.D., chief of Dermatology at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center in Southern California. “People who have a family history of skin cancer are also more likely to get sun poisoning. People who are taking medications, including antibiotics and oral contraceptives, are more susceptible because some medications heighten sensitivity to the sun.”

When it’s not caused by something like medication, that heightened sun sensitivity, called photosensitivity, encompasses a couple of conditions that are often confused with sun poisoning. While these conditions, which result in an inflamed rash, increase your chances of getting sun poisoning if you spend too much time in the sun, they are not different types of sun poisoning:

Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE)

Photo credit: BSIP – Getty Images

This is an itchy, bumpy rash caused by sun exposure in people with sunlight sensitivity, and is more common in women and those with a family history of PMLE, according to Dr. Brosnan. “PMLE typically occurs and is worse at the beginning of the summer season, he says. “The rash typically lessens over two to three weeks time.”

Solar urticaria (SU)

This is a sun allergy resulting in hives that usually appear within minutes of sun exposure. Dr. Zampella explains it’s much more rare than PMLE.

“There’s often this idea that polymorphous light eruption and solar urticaria are the same things as sun poisoning, and that’s not true,” Dr. Zampella says. “You want to think about sun poisoning as the symptom. You can get there simply through too much sun, or you can get there from one of these allergic sun reactions. The end result is the burn. But if you have something like PMLE, that makes you more sensitive to the sun, and you could more easily get sun poisoning even if you weren’t out there as long.”

Sun poisoning treatment

Most sun poisoning symptoms can be treated with at-home remedies:

  • Soak in cool water or use cold compresses to make yourself more comfortable.

  • Apply aloe vera or any thick moisturizer to soothe the skin and conserve moisture.

  • Drink plenty of water to maintain hydration.

  • Take an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, to help with tenderness and discomfort. While it’s not an anti-inflammatory, Dr. Zampella says Tylenol can help too.

If your sun poisoning symptoms escalate into very severe reactions, like a drop in blood pressure, heart palpitations, or dizziness and fainting, or if dehydration and blistering become extreme, both Dr. Zampella and Dr. Brosnan say you should head to the doctor. A physician may recommend a few different types of treatment:

How to prevent sun poisoning

Of course, limiting your sun exposure, especially if you have any sun sensitivities, can prevent sun poisoning. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically recommends limiting your time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Above all, however, Dr. Zampella emphasizes the need to apply the right kind of sunscreen with the right frequency. “With any sun sensitivity, the best thing you can do is wear your sunscreen,” he says. “Make sure it’s broad spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Photosensitivity is caused by UVA, and a sunscreen’s SPF is only a measure of UVB. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours.”

With so many sunscreens on the market, you might not know where to start. See the top dermatologist-recommended sunscreens here.

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Summer rashes: 5 common summer rashes

Swimming in the lake, hiking through the woods and roasting marshmallows by the campfire: Those are some of the most enjoyable outdoor summer pastimes.

But the downside of all that summer fun can sometimes be an unwanted brush with nature that leaves us quite irritated — and itchy and red.

“There’s a lot more opportunity to get into stuff that would cause a rash if the weather is nice,” says Dr. Carolyn Jacob, a dermatologist in private practice in Chicago.


Here’s what you need to know about five common rashes that could show up this summer, just like an uninvited house guest. The summer rash pictures can also help you identify which rash you may have.

Types of summer rashes

  • Poison ivy
  • Sun poisoning
  • Lyme disease
  • Summer heat rash
  • Insect bites

Poison ivy

The itchy poison ivy rash and a poison ivy plant.American Academy of Dermatology

“It’s extremely itchy,” says Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital and dermatologist in private practice in New York. “It can be all over your body and it’s extremely uncomfortable.

The plants poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac contain an oil, urushiol, that can cause an allergic reaction after it brushes across the skin. The blistering rash from any of these plants looks the same and many — but not all — people have the allergy. The rash often appears 12 to 72 hours after exposure and typically starts as red streaks that form into blisters.

Poison ivy is no fun.

Calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream or an antihistamine like Benadryl may be recommended over-the-counter treatments, but they are often not strong enough.


“Patients need treatment,” Rokhsar says. “They can’t do it on their own.”

Strong topical or oral steroids are often prescribed to calm the rash down, he said. If you’ve come in contact with the plants, wash your skin and clothing to remove the oil, Jacob says.

Tip: The oil can stick to pet fur, so if your dog was with you when you were exposed, it’s bath time, says Jacobs. Also, even dead poison ivy can contain the oil, so beware.

Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning rashmayoclinic.org

While some might casually refer to a bad sunburn as sun poisoning, they are not the same thing.

Sun poisoning, or polymorphic light eruption, is an allergic reaction to the sun that causes an itchy, red, bumpy rash, Rokhsar says. You can use hydrocortisone cream or an oral antihistamine from the pharmacy for immediate relief, but he recommends seeing a dermatologist to rule out other sun-sensitive rashes and for treatment, typically a steroid cream and staying out of the sun.

Tip: Jacob said the reaction is common at the start of the summer when the skin hasn’t been exposed to the sun in quite some time.

“It is an overreaction to UVB rays of the sun when you haven’t seen it in a while,” she said. The rash is often found on the forearms, chest and neck.


Lyme disease

The classic Lyme disease rash as shown by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Centers for Disease Control

Most people who become infected with Lyme disease develop a rash known as an Erythema migrans rash. The classic look is a circular rash that expands and often resembles a bull’s eye, with a dark center where the tick bite occurred, an area of clearing and an outer ring of pink or red.

The rash, though, doesn’t always have that clearing and can appear as a round, solid red rash without the central target, Rokhsar says. Sometimes, people have more than one rash and they can show up any place on the body.

“We tend to see a lot of them on the torso but it could be anywhere, theoretically,” Jacob said.

If you find this rash, see a doctor immediately because the earlier Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics, the better.

“It’s curable when you catch it early,” Rokhsar says. “Early treatment can prevent long-term adverse events associated with Lyme disease. It’s urgent to get treatment as soon as possible.”

When Lyme is untreated or the diagnosis and treatment are delayed, he said, the infection can cause serious complications and affect the heart, brain and musculoskeletal systems. “If it’s not treated, it will progress into something worse and can affect different organ systems,” Jacob said.

Tip: The rash occurs in about 70 to 80 percent of infected people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so you can still have the infection even if you don’t have the rash.

Heat Rash

Prickly heatmayoclinic.org

The heat can cause rashes when sweat ducts, found all over your body, are blocked and sweat is unable to come out of your skin, Rokhsar says.

It can happen if you’re wearing thick clothing, heavy creams or are in extreme heat. In young children, it tends to happen in the diaper area. The rash can take different forms like red patches, tiny blisters or pus bumps and it is sometimes itchy. The treatment is to cool down and unblock your skin, Rokhsar says, by getting out of the heat, taking a cool shower and letting your skin breathe.

Tip: The rash should clear up in a day or two. “If it doesn’t go away, it’s not a heat rash,” Rokhsar says.

Insect bites

The mark (or marks) of those pesky mosquito, flea or spider bites also can be considered a rash. Those bites can cause small, itchy bumps that drive us crazy. You can try over-the-counter treatments like hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, antihistamines or lotion with menthol to cool the skin, Jacob said.

If the bites are not better in two days, she recommends a trip to the dermatologist.

Tip: A spider bite sometimes appears as one large bump that is not itchy, Jacob said. Spiders don’t often bite. Black widow and brown recluse spiders are the only two spider species in North America whose bites may cause symptoms more serious than minor pain and swelling. Other spider bite symptoms include: headache; nausea; vomiting; fever; and chills, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse, don’t panic. Wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and don’t attempt to remove the venom.


Skin Rash: 9 Questions That Will Help You Decode That Skin Rash

One really weird example of this is phytophotodermatitis, or when chemicals in a plant or plant-based substance you touch interact with sunlight and lead to a superficial skin burn, Dr. Rosenbach says. If you do something like squeeze oranges for fresh OJ then spend a day out in the sun, you might notice a painful, streaky rash on your hands that mimics where the juice touched you, possibly along with swelling and blistering.

3. Does your rash burn?

This can help narrow things down quite a bit. “There aren’t that many rashes that give a burning sensation,” Dr. Zeichner says. You’ll usually get a burning feeling if there is a break in your skin, Caroline Robinson, M.D., a dermatologist at Northwestern Medical Group, tells SELF.

If your skin is red, inflamed, and burning, first check that you don’t have some sort of cut or actual burn. If it really seems like you have a burning rash, Dr. Zeichner says you could be dealing with something like shingles.

Shingles happens due to a varicella-zoster virus infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. (This virus is also to blame for chicken pox, and it can remain dormant in your system for years.) At first, shingles usually causes unpleasant sensations like pain, burning, numbness, and tingling. After a few days, a rash of blisters bubbles up, typically on the left or right side of the abdomen, but occasionally around one eye or one small portion of the neck or face.

Herpes is another potential cause of burning rashes. When herpes shows up around your genitals, it can start as tiny red bumps or white blisters that eventually burst and leak fluid, then scab over, according to the Mayo Clinic. If it emerges around your mouth, this virus can lead to tiny patches of blisters you may know as cold sores, the Mayo Clinic explains. Either way, you can experience some serious burning, itching, tingling, pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

4. Is it blistering?

As you may know after trying to break in a pair of shoes, blisters often happen because something is rubbing your skin or otherwise putting too much pressure on your delicate epidermis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Unfortunately, they also happen because of skin conditions. In fact, blisters can often bead up due to dermatological issues, because a long list of conditions may cause this symptom.

A blister-filled rash could be due to eczema, irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, shingles, and herpes. This can also happen due to a skin infection such as cellulitis, which occurs when bacteria (often streptococcus or staphylococcus) worm their way into your body through a crack in your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition to blisters, your skin might be red, swollen, warm, painful, and otherwise sending you signs that something is wrong.

5. Is your rash scaly?

In a perfect world, your skin cells will naturally bow out when their job is done, shedding in order to allow new, healthy cells to rise to the surface. (Fun fact, per the AAD: The human body typically sheds 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells every day.) But sometimes this process doesn’t go as smoothly as it should.

Can you identify this sunburn-like rash?


A Photo Quiz to Hone dermatologic Skills

CASE: A previously healthy 28-month-old girl presented with complaints of a rash. The rash had started 4 days earlier in her vaginal area. Her parents described the rash as severe and red initially, and they had treated it at first with diaper cream. The parents denied any fever in the child.

Three days before presentation, the father noted that the rash had a sunburned appearance and had spread to the girl’s neck and perioral area. At that time, both parents thought it was a food allergy rash, since the patient’s older brother has a history of food allergies.

Two days before presentation, the child had become irritable, with poor oral intake and worsening rash. Her parents brought her to a hospital emergency department, where the girl was treated with intravenous fluids. Later that afternoon, the rash worsened further, and blisters formed around her mouth, axillae, and vaginal area. The rash progressed to areas of desquamation on her back and genital areas.

What is this child’s condition?

A. Stevens-Johnson syndrome

B. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

C. Erythema multiforme

D. Toxic epidermal necrolysis

(Answer and discussion begin on next page.)


ANSWER: B, staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

The child was taken to her pediatrician, who diagnosed staphy-lococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS). The girl was sent home, and the family was advised to keep her well hydrated. The following morning, the child was seen by a dermatologist, who referred her to our hospital for evaluation and management of dehydration and worsening irritability.


On admission to our facility, review of systems was negative for fever, chills, upper respiratory infection symptoms, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The girl’s pulse was 118 beats per minute, respiratory rate was 22 breaths per minute, blood pressure was 94/100 mm Hg, oxygen saturation via pulse oximetry was 100% on room air, and weight was 10.5 kg (fifth percentile).

The child appeared nontoxic but uncomfortable and fussy, and was crying but consolable. HEENT examination reveled dry lips, intact mucous membranes, mucopurulent secretions bilaterally from the eyes, and normal tympanic membranes. Her neck was supple. Cardiovascular examination showed normal first and second heart sounds and regular rhythm with no murmurs, rubs, or gallops. The lungs were clear to auscultation bilaterally; the abdomen was soft, nontender, and nondistended, with no masses on palpation and normal bowel sounds. No lymphadenopathy was appreciated on palpation of lymphatics.

Skin examination showed an erythematous, macular rash over all of the body except for the lower extremities. Desquamation was noted on the back and the genital area. The rash was especially prominent on the face, trunk, axillae, vagina, and upper extremities. The Nikolsky sign (denuding of the skin at sites of gentle pressure) was present.


On admission, an intravenous normal saline fluid bolus was started, followed by maintenance intravenous fluids. Ear, eye, throat, genital, and blood cultures were obtained. The patient was given intravenous vancomycin, oral acetaminophen, intravenous morphine, and topical mupirocin ointment.

The next day, the child was seen by an ophthalmologist and a dermatologist. The ophthalmologist thought she had blepharitis secondary to SSSS and recommended erythromycin ointment on the eyelids, which then was started. The dermatologist agreed with the diagnosis of SSSS and advised that the mupirocin ointment be continued.

The ear culture grew coagulase-negative staphylococci, the eye culture was positive for Moraxella catarrhalis, and the throat culture showed heavy growth of Staphylococcus aureus. The genital culture showed normal flora, and blood cultures showed no growth. After sensitivity testing was performed, intravenous vancomycin was switched to oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

When oral intake had become adequate and intravenous morphine was no longer required, the patient was discharged. Oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, topical mupirocin ointment, erythromycin ophthalmic ointment, and acetaminophen as needed, were continued, and the girl did well.


SSSS, also known as Ritter disease, is characterized by a blistering, desquamating rash.1 It is caused by epidermolytic or exfoliative toxins that are produced by S aureus and that target cell-to-cell adhesion molecules in desmosomes of the superficial epidermis. 3 SSSS most often is seen in otherwise healthy neonates and children younger than 5 years of age because of their lack of antitoxin antibodies and poor renal clearance of toxins.1

SSSS usually originates with an S aureus infection of the conjunctivae, nares, throat, perineum, umbilicus, or blood.2 The result is a spectrum of disease, from localized bullous impetigo to widespread cutaneous involvement and systemic illness. Fever, malaise, lethargy, irritability, and tenderness of the skin usually are the first symptoms; these are followed by a diffuse scarlatiniform erythema that is most marked in the flexural and perioral areas. The erythema usually progresses to large, fragile bullae, and fissuring and crusting of the lips and around the eyes and nose often occurs. The blisters desquamate around days 2 to 5, and the Nikolsky sign is present. Healing occurs in approximately 10 to 14 days, and because of the superficial cleavage level, usually no scarring occurs. 3

The diagnosis of SSSS most often is based on clinical presentation but can be confirmed by isolation of S aureus. The bullae almost always are sterile, so cultures should be obtained from all possible sources of infection and from the blood.

Differential diagnoses may include Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme (EM), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and TEN usually are characterized by a triad of mucosal lesions, target lesions, and epidermal necrosis with skin detachment.4 EM usually occurs in adults aged 20 to 40 years and presents with symmetric, round maculopapular lesions that may progress to target lesions. EM can occur in crops of lesions for 2 to 4 weeks.1 In SSSS, the cleavage level is in the granular layer of the superficial epidermis, as opposed to TEN, which cleaves deeper at the dermal-epidermal junction.2 If necessary, SSSS can be differentiated from Stevens-Johnson syndrome, TEN, and EM by skin biopsy.

The main treatment usually is antibiotic therapy with a penicillinase-resistant penicillin, first- or second-generation cephalosporin, or clindamycin, which may inhibit the toxin synthesis.2,3 Therapy should be modified if sensitivities are available or if in areas with a high incidence of clindamycin-resistant, methicillin-resistant S aureus, which was the case for our patient. Children who are older or who have with mild disease may be treated as outpatients. Infants or those with more extensive skin involvement should be hospitalized; treatment in these cases is aimed at maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, pain management, and skin care.2


1. Habif TP. Bacterial infections. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2010:360-362.

2. Paller AS, Mancini AJ. Bacterial, mycobacterial, and protozoal infections of the skin. In: Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology: A Textbook of Skin Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:321-347.

3. Morelli JG. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (Ritter disease). In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme J, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:2302-2303.

4. Bastuji-Garin S, Rzany B, Stern RS, Shear NH, Naldi L, Roujeau JC. Clinical classification of cases of toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and erythema multiforme. Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(1):92-96.

How to Treat This Rare, Intense Sunburn Itch

  • Hell’s itch is a rare response to a sunburn that causes uncontrollable itching.
  • Though research on hell’s itch is limited, it could be caused by chemicals released from a sunburn.
  • Hell’s itch will resolve on its own, but you can treat it with antihistamines and moisturizers. 
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause plenty of skin damage and pain if proper precautions aren’t taken. As if a painful sunburn isn’t bad enough, in rare occasions, it can escalate. This phenomenon is referred to as “hell’s itch.” 

What is hell’s itch?

Hell’s itch is a rare, extremely uncomfortable response to a sunburn, says dermatologist David J. Leffell, MD, section chief of the Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology Programs at Yale Medicine.  It will typically crop up two days after a severe sunburn has occurred, and will last for two or more days. 

“It is described as a maddening, uncontrollable itch of the affected skin. Some have described it as deep sandpaper rubbing on the skin or severe pins and needles,” says Leffell.  

The scientific literature has minimal information on the phenomenon of hell’s itch. One of the only mentions of it in medical journals is a firsthand account by a medical student that was published in 2018 in the Journal of Travel Medicine. He describes it as the worst pain he’s ever felt in his life.

Despite the lack of concrete medical evidence surrounding hell’s itch, Leffell believes in the severity of the condition. “Most of the information about hell’s itch appears in the non-medical literature but there is little reason to doubt the complaints likened to ‘fire ants under the skin’.”

What causes hell’s itch?

Since there is so little information about this rare condition, doctors do not know what exactly causes hell’s itch. But Leffell believes it’s related to the tissue injury that sunburn causes. 

He says some people might have extreme reactions to the chemicals that the body releases which are related to itch and pain. Additionally, he cites some studies on sunburn that show that a release of chemicals can increase sensitivity to pain. 

“Remember, our skin is our largest sensory organ so it is not surprising that if it is badly injured our bodies will express their disapproval by discouraging us from getting a sunburn again,” says Leffell.

How to treat hell’s itch

Because hell’s itch is so poorly understood, there is no cure or treatment for it. “The condition is self-limited but does resolve on its own, so the key is getting through the couple of days of potentially severe discomfort,” says Leffell. 

You can relieve the discomfort while you wait it out with the following at-home methods, according to Leffell:

  • Over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin (aspirin should only be taken in adults, Leffel says)
  • Antihistamine medication
  • Topical steroid cream
  • Gentle moisturizers 
  • Oatmeal bath in lukewarm water

You should also avoid hot showers and creams with unknown herbal components, Leffell says. This goes for any type of sunburn, but especially for hell’s itch. 

If the pain is extremely severe and not responding to any of these remedies, contact your doctor to see if they can help relieve your pain and discomfort. They can prescribe stronger medications such as a prescription-strength steroid cream or pain meds, and make sure that nothing else is going on. 

Insider’s takeaway

Though there is very little research on hell’s itch, many anecdotal accounts describe it as a painful, uncontrollable itch following a sunburn. You can try to treat hell’s itch with an oatmeal bath, gentle moisturizers, antihistamine medication, and topical steroid cream. 

Sun Allergy Or Sunburn: What’s The Difference?

When you come inside after spending time in the sun, you may notice your skin has become inflamed and itchy in the areas that were exposed to the sun. Or maybe after being outside for just a few minutes, your skin starts to break out in hives. You could be suffering from a sun allergy.

What is an allergic reaction? And is it really possible to be allergic to the sun? Allergic reactions happen because of your immune system. It’s made of cells that patrol your body, looking for signs of danger¹. Substances that your body identifies as dangerous are referred to as allergens. When immune cells encounter an allergen, molecules called antibodies are produced. They cause the release of chemicals, leading to symptoms like itching, inflammation, and the like. Each type of these antibodies only recognizes a single allergen, meaning our allergies depend on which types of antibodies we have. This is why you and your friends may have different allergies².

The clinical term for a sun allergy is photosensitivity. Unlike sunburns, there is no correlation between skin type and sun allergy predisposition³. Also, sun allergy does not involve DNA damage whereas sunburns do⁴. Allergic reactions to the sun can be spontaneous, or they can be influenced by drug or chemical exposure. Photosensitivity can also come along with diseases like lupus⁵.

Solar urticaria is a type of sun allergy where individuals experience hives after exposing their skin to the sun⁵. The hives usually last 30 minutes to 2 hours, and they return with repeated sun exposure⁶. Scientists aren’t quite sure of what causes the reaction, however, they suspect that it’s due to naturally occurring photoallergens in the skin⁵. Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) is another type of sun allergy. It takes the form of red, itchy bumps, appearing 30 minutes to several hours after exposing skin to the sun. The bumps usually disappear within days to weeks, and with repeat episodes, the severity of the reactions can decrease. PMLE is most commonly experienced by women and individuals from northern climates at the beginning of the summer season⁷.

Chemical photosensitivity occurs when drugs or chemicals cause adverse skin reactions when exposed to the sun. The reactions can resemble a sunburn or a bumpy rash. Phototoxicity occurs when a drug or chemical absorbs sunlight and produces compounds that cause inflammation. Photoallergic reactions, on the other hand, occur when sunlight turns a substance into an allergen⁵. Phototoxicity is more common than photoallergy, and it can cause long-term damage to the skin⁸. Scientists know of many drugs, both oral and topical, that cause chemical photosensitivity, including ones used to treat acne, bacterial infections, and depression⁵. Click here to see if the drug you’re taking is on the list.

In order to avoid sun allergy, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect yourself from dangerous UV radiation. Also, be sure to ask your physician or pharmacist if the drug you’ve been prescribed can cause photosensitivity. If so, take extra sun-safety precautions while you’re using the drug.

Itchy Sunburn – How To Relieve Hell’s Itch Fast

Justin PumfreyGetty Images

Nothing screams, “I totally forgot to use sunscreen!!!” like a flaming red sunburn but, you know, it happens to the best of us. That said, having an itchy sunburn is just cruel. Like, you’re already suffering enough—what’s with the itch?

Turns out, you’re not the only one who’s gone through this before. Super itchy sunburns actually have a name—Hell’s itch—which would be kinda funny if you weren’t currently living through it.

But seriously, what’s the deal here? And why you, anyway? Dermatologists have some thoughts about—and fixes for!—itchy, painful, annoying AF burns.

Is it normal for a sunburn to get itchy?

Surprisingly, yes. “Sunburns usually produce the sensation of itch and/or pain. These sensations use same nerve fibers to transmit signals to the brain and often are felt together,” explains Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

That said, this sh*t can get intense. “Sometimes, especially when the sunburn is deep, the sensation of pain and itch can be very strong and medical treatment is necessary,” Goldenberg says. Itching and scratching your poor, inflamed skin (because, how can you not?) can even cause an infection thanks to bacteria that can be hanging out under your fingernails.

What causes hell’s itch exactly? It’s the same mechanism as a “normal” sunburn itch, just cranked way up. Inflammation from an extreme sunburn “affects the nerves, resulting in a significant itch,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist.

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Just a heads up: In some cases, your skin might itch because of a sun-related rash called polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). “It is essentially a sun sensitivity or allergy that leads to red, itchy rashes in some exposed areas,” says Dr. Zeichner. That’s not ~technically~ a sunburn, but it’s easy to see how you can confuse the two.

Ultimately, it’s best to call your doctor if you’re uncomfortable. Or, you know, in total agony.

Okay, how the eff do I relieve the itching?

Luckily, you don’t have to just try to rise above it. There are plenty of at-home remedies you can use if you’re somewhere between itchy AF and ready to call your doctor.

  • Aloe vera: This gelatinous substance from the aloe plant soothes and hydrates skin, Dr. Zeichner says.
  • A heavy moisturizer: “Similar to aloe, moisturizers hydrate the skin and form a protective seal over the outer skin layer,” Dr. Zeichner says.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: This is all about decreasing inflammation in your skin, Dr. Goldenberg says. “It’s like a fire extinguisher for the skin,” Dr. Zeichner adds.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin “help decrease pain and inflammation,” Dr. Goldenberg says.
  • An oral antihistamine: “They really work by calming any allergic reaction in the skin and providing a sedating effect,” Dr. Zeichner says.
  • Cool compresses: Laying a cool, wet washcloth on your skin can help constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, Dr. Zeichner says.
  • Drinking lots of water: “Sunburns damage the skin barrier function, which means extra water is needed to rehydrate the body,” Dr. Goldenberg says.
  • Taking a bath with colloidal oatmeal: Colloidal oatmeal helps to protect your skin, soothe the burn, and reduce inflammation.
  • Cover your skin: You’ll want to do your best to help protect the burned area from environmental factors that can damage it further, like wind and more sun, Dr. Goldenberg notes.
  • Moisturize often: You don’t just want to slap some cream on the burn and call it a day; reapply throughout the day to help repair the skin barrier.

    Anything I *shouldn’t* do to an itchy sunburn?

    The last thing you want to do is make things worse. So, keep these tips in mind:

    • Don’t scratch: It can be hard AF, but scratching can open you up to all kinds of future pain. Also, “the skin barrier is already disrupted,” Dr. Zeichner points out. Scratching will make things way worse.
    • Don’t pick your skin: It’s the same idea as scratching, Dr. Zeichner says. Picking at or removing any areas of your skin will just disrupt your skin barrier even further—and possibly open you up to an infection.
    • Don’t forget to cover your skin: Getting a burn on top of an already painful burn is sheer agony. So make sure your burned skin is covered with both sunscreen and protective clothing before you venture out.

      The bottom line: If you’re struggling with a sunburn or even if you’re just uncomfortable and aren’t sure what to do, call your doctor. They can give you personalized next steps to make the itchy sunburn stop for good.

      Korin Miller
      Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

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      All about malignant neoplasms of the skin – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

      Skin tumors are those types of cancer that are not only common, but also literally “on the surface”: they are most often seen with the naked eye. Minimal knowledge plus attention to your health will help you notice in time negative changes on the skin, which in the future can lead to the formation of a malignant tumor, and take action. To understand this problem “RG” was helped by the oncologist of the N. N.N. Blokhin Igor Samoylenko.

      What neoplasms are on the skin and what causes them?

      Igor Samoylenko: Skin tumors are the most common tumors that are detected when examining the skin. The vast majority are benign neoplasms that occur in both children and adults. These are moles or nevi, both congenital and appearing during life. They do not pose any danger, do not harm, and in most cases they do not require treatment.

      There are other benign neoplasms that appear later, as a person grows older. Most of them are associated with the action of ultraviolet radiation and the damage it causes to the skin.

      Photocarcinogenesis is a major factor in the development of many skin tumors, both benign and malignant. Moreover, it can be natural ultraviolet (solar radiation) and artificial ultraviolet. Many, for example, like to “gold” themselves in a solarium, without thinking about the effect of UV rays on the skin.Finally, there are people who, by virtue of their profession, are forced to work with ultraviolet light, other types of radiation, for example, X-ray laboratory assistants, radiologists. And if safety rules are violated, then this work becomes dangerous for them.

      I will also name another cause of tumors – chemical carcinogenesis, exposure to the skin of aggressive substances, such as arsenic. This mainly concerns a small number of specialists – workers in chemical production. They know they are at risk.Workers in hazardous industries are regularly checked, their health must be monitored by a shop doctor. But this still applies to a very small proportion of people.

      But ultraviolet light still creates massive risks. And our irrepressible love of tanning.

      Photo: iStock

      How does skin damage occur and when does it become dangerous?

      Igor Samoilenko: If we talk about massive cases, the skin is most damaged by natural ultraviolet light – the sun, as well as sunburn.It would seem, well, what’s so terrible? They did not go into the shade in time, burned out in the sun – it ached and passed away. But we do not take into account the cumulative effect of the sun on the skin. Therefore, the older a person is, the higher the chance of identifying some kind of skin tumor, both benign and malignant.

      Benign formations are keratomas, papillomatous nevi. They do not carry much harm, except that they are aesthetically unpleasant. They are usually handled by cosmetologists, dermatologists. These skin defects are not directly related to the risk of developing cancer.But there is one important point. It lies in the fact that the presence of keratomas and other benign formations can be a marker of sun damage.

      Therefore, if you have a lot of such formations on your skin, it means that it has already received a large dose of ultraviolet radiation. This must be borne in mind.

      Does this mean that you need to be careful?

      Igor Samoylenko: I will say this: “Take care of your dress again.” The same keratosis should not at all push you towards emergency prevention, to stop being in the sun altogether, to wear open clothes.

      But to start observing yourself, go to a dermatologist – you need to look if there are any malignant formations on your skin among other benign ones. Because the reasons are essentially the same – an excess of ultraviolet radiation.

      So, keratoma, those dark spots that appear with age on the arms and back in very many, if not all, are not a harbinger of cancer?

      Igor Samoilenko: This is one of the myths that a keratoma can turn into cancer.This is not true. This only means that both diseases have the same cause. But in one case, a harmless keratoma occurs, in another case – a tumor. But I repeat, a keratoma acts as a kind of marker that should prompt us to be examined.

      What are the most common types of skin cancer?

      Igor Samoilenko: The top 3 most common malignant skin tumors are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and skin melanoma, which is considered the most dangerous in terms of early metastasis.

      Early diagnosis of melanoma is a key task of the national health service in different countries. All types of skin cancer, including melanoma, are preventable diseases that can be detected early and effectively treated.

      I, in fact, formulated three basic principles of anti-cancer fight. The first is to prevent. There are cancers that are preventable, others are for unknown reasons and difficult to prevent. Melanoma is a preventable tumor.It is enough to take into account the risk of exposure to excess ultraviolet radiation on the skin in order to reduce the risk of getting sick.

      As for the second principle – early detection, it is extremely important. And again, in relation to melanoma, I declare: “We can detect it early.” This is an absolutely accessible disease for timely detection.

      Finally, the third positive factor is a curable disease. Moreover, with the development of various methods of treatment, it is curable at different stages of its development, both early and not very early.

      How to distinguish unsafe changes on the skin from harmless ones, when you need not to hesitate and go to the doctor – “RG” will tell about this in the next publication of the project.

      The sun and your skin

      Dilation of blood vessels causes increased blood flow to the damaged area and can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms, for example:

      • burning sensation;
      • itchy skin;
      • edema;
      • redness;
      • the appearance of a urticarial rash in the form of blisters.

      How to Responsibly Enjoy Your Time in the Sun

      Control your sun exposure 3

      Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 3 pm when UV rays are most active. Wear lightweight clothing that provides protection from the sun, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses. Do not expose young children to direct sunlight (i. e.e. should be in the shade).

      Choose the right sunscreen


      A wide range of sunscreens will help provide protection from harmful UV rays. When choosing a sunscreen, you should be guided by the following principle: the lighter (whiter) your skin, the higher the sun protection factor (SPF) you need. For children, you should choose the highest possible SPF. Always keep antihistamines on hand as a topical treatment in case of sun dermatitis.

      Apply sunscreen as directed

      Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before sun exposure and / or as needed. Reapply at least every 2 hours, especially after swimming, exercising, towel drying, sweating, or prolonged exposure to the sun. Do not think that protection is only necessary on hot and sunny days – you can get sunburn even on a cloudy day or in frosty and snowy conditions (remember to use sunscreen when skiing in the mountains!).

      How to treat sunburn4

      Always take all possible measures to protect yourself and your family members from the negative effects of excessive sun exposure. However, in the event of overexposure to the sun, our body can trigger a self-defense mechanism by producing histamine. Histamine provokes skin reactions that may result in symptoms of solar dermatitis such as itching and rashes.Specialized general and topical antihistamines can help minimize the effects of histamine, thereby relieving itching associated with sunburn. These include Fenistil Gel, an antihistamine for the topical treatment of pruritus associated with mild sun and household burns, as well as hives, insect bites and eczema. Fenistil Gel begins to act from the first minutes after application, has a cooling effect, relieving itching and reducing irritation.5 If itchy skin continues to bother you, seek professional medical attention from a specialist.

      90,000 Healing cream for combating rashes, anti-acne cream Bioaqua, price 100 UAH

      BioAqua Anti-Rash Cream effectively fights oily skin and clogged pores, as well as tightens pores and normalizes the secretion of the sebaceous glands. Regular use of the cream will help not only forget about acne, but also say goodbye to post-acne, making the skin soft, elastic, velvety and healthy.

      Benefits of BioAqua Acne and Acne Cream:

      It works from the very first use. After some time after applying the cream, you will notice that the pores have become narrower and the redness has decreased. Using the cream at the first signs of an inflammatory process will remove its severity and avoid the appearance of scars.

      It is economically consumed. You do not need to apply the product all over your face, just a spot application on acne and pimples. A 30 ml tube will last for a long time.

      It does not dry out the skin. Many acne products contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin and cause it to produce more sebum. BioAqua cream does not contain aggressive ingredients that can dry out the epidermis.

      In the fight for clean skin on the face, it is extremely important not only to get rid of rashes, but also not to leave a trace of them. Very often, it is the irregularities on the face, scars and pits from acne that are difficult to mask. The spot cream will help to smooth the skin, make it smooth, it will accelerate the regeneration and healing of acne marks.The tool is able to increase the elasticity of the skin, moisturize it.


      Aloe extract

      Jojoba oil

      Shea butter

      Oat grain extract

      Aloe juice is an effective natural moisturizer. The rich content of antioxidants perfectly disinfects, soothes and helps to normalize the functioning of the sebaceous glands. In addition, aloe helps to increase blood circulation, which allows you to quickly remove toxins, bacteria and excess fluid from the body.This extract relieves inflammation, heals wounds, sunburn, acne, dermatitis, boils and other skin conditions.

      Jojoba oil containing myristic acid has active antiseptic properties. This ingredient does not leave sticky and greasy traces, helps to remove excess sebum, balance the work of the sebaceous glands. The regenerating properties of jojoba oil are very high due to the presence of vitamin E in all its forms

      Jojoba and shea seed oils help moisturize the skin, start natural rejuvenation processes in it, and normalize sebum production.Salicylic acid effectively works against bacteria that cause inflammation, and strengthens the local immunity of the skin, and has a mild analgesic effect. In addition, this substance also exfoliates the stratum corneum of the skin, allowing the antiseptic ingredients of the cream to penetrate deeper, therefore, increasing the effectiveness of the cosmetic application.

      Oat extract has an excellent tonic, tightening and stimulating effect on internal cellular processes.Contains a complex of vitamins and minerals. Nourishes, strengthens and moisturizes the skin. Evens out the skin relief, helps to retain moisture in the deep layers of the epidermis.

      Shea butter contains fatty acids and unsaponifiable fats, has the ability to quickly penetrate into the deep layers of the epidermis. Also, this oil has a powerful regenerating effect and is an excellent protection against adverse environmental factors.

      Method of application: it is recommended to use the cream in the morning, immediately after washing, and at night.If necessary, it is also allowed to use it as needed, for example, when the first signs of inflammation appear. The cream should be applied to thoroughly cleansed face skin. Place a small amount on the skin, massage gently to fully absorb. The greatest efficiency is achieved when using a set of products in this series.

      Apply to problem areas or spot on pimples.

      The cream effectively treats acne and lightens age spots after acne.

      Quickly relieves inflammation, redness will not linger on your face. Reduces the number of blackheads, prevents the appearance of new ones, since they do not allow pores to clog with sebaceous secretions. Absorbs quickly without leaving a filmy or sticky feeling.

      Prevents sun-induced redness of the skin.