Are you Allergic To Sunscreen? I think I am! Who knew you could be allergic to sunscreen?
Allergic to sunscreen or sunburn? This is an example of sunburn, not allergies. This person was not protected enough from the sun. The protection either wore out ar was not there at all.
With an allergy there is usually the presence of hives or bumps on the skin. The skin can turn red, but not always.
This flushed skin, with bumps is more often the way allery to sunscreen appears. It will usually feel warm to the touch and can swell a little to a lot.
What Am I Allergic To In Sunscreen?
You can be alergic to sunscreen the first time you apply it, or it may be the 1000th time you apply. Your skin is a sensitive alive surface that can react differently on any occasion. Usually the reaction is to some binder or fragrance used in the formula, not the actual sun protecting part.
Reactions to sunscreen are rare and can be a result of a sensitivity or allergy to any of the many ingredients used in these products. Some people may have a reaction to a fragrance, preservative, UV absorber or another component of the sunscreen.
According to Cancer.org/au “Sensitivities to sunscreen are complex and can range from mild to severe. Reactions can be linked to a range of co-factors. Sunlight or other allergens, which can also be caused by or made more severe if sunscreen is used with some medications or other topical creams and lotions.”
The researchers also claim that their results show that some reactions occur soon after applying the sunscreen. But others (e.g. allergic reactions) can develop after a couple of days or even years of using the same product.
Generaly there are two types of reaction to sunscreen. One reaction happens to where the sunscreen is applied on your skin. Even this reaction is often a while after application, not immediate. So immediate and delayed reactions are both possible.
Then there is the kind that reacts after the sun hits the sunscreen on your skin. Again, the reaction can be immediate, but is more often delayed in showing up.
Fortunately, a very small percent of us are alergic. The allergy seems to show up more in females than males. Also there will be more reactions in people with other allergies of the skin.
The allergy shows up on the parts of the body that is in contact with the sunscreen, not in parts that has not had sunscreen applied.
So due to the many contributing factors, allergies to sunscreen do happen, and should be carefully treated.
Similar To Food Allergies
I am allergic to strawberries and cantalopue. During the season for these two allergic foods, I am also having sinus allergies, and usually a round of arthritis. As these were not foods that caused me problems when I was younger, the general consinus was that sinus and arthritis changed how I react to the foods.
It isn’t an allergy I have had for ever. Now, I can have 2 or 3 fresh strawberries or a few bits of cantaloupe at a time, and have no reaction. However indulging in both will cause bumps that itch in my throat and on my tongue. weepy eyes also accompany the other uncomfortable symptoms.
The ingredients in sunscreen would probably cause more reaction if used at the same time as eating the strawberries and cantaloupe.
We all have our own story. Just as we are individuals, we also all need the protection from the sun. So what do we do?
How Can I Protect My Skin With Out Sunscreen?
It is important to protect your skin. UPF clothing is your best friend if you are allergic to sunscreen. Start with a sun blocking hat. Hats will helpkeep the sun off our heads, faces, ears, and noses. These are where the most skin cancers are found, according to Skin Cancer.org.
Wearing your sun blocking hat and your sunglasses is the best start to your sun blocking or UPF wardrobe.
Your long sleeve loose-fitting shirt from tightly woven fabric is the 3rd item on your sun blocking wardrobe list. You should have a collar to pull up around your neck to help the brim.
If your shirt is a knit pull over, a hoodie is a good way to get the protection on your neck and face without a sunhat. Darker colors of blue,black, grey, and brown work well to soak up the suns rays and not reflect them to your face.
If you have sunscreen allergy, you will need to remember to cover your hands with gloves, extended cuffs, or the sleeves that can be pulled on to protect your arms and hands.
I know, the rest of the world is going around all but naked in the sun, why do you have to cover up. You can go about with short sleeves and get lots of sun with no protection for your skin. This risky behavior will result in many trips to the dermatolighest if you choose.
But is this what you want in your future. Is this so different from all the other healthy choices we should make for ourselves? Your higher risk skin just requires more care.
You must make better choices for you and your skin health. Meet for golf early in the mornings or later in the afternoons. Opt for 9 holes instead of 18. Making lifestyle changes shows the maturity that you have in taking care of yourself.
What To Do If You Realize Something Is Happening To Your Skin
As sun as you realize that something is going on with your skin that isn’t what you expected, remove the sunscreen from your skin. Use cool water and soap. Gently rub the sunscreen off and dry your skin.
If you suspect a sunscreen allergy, treat as you would other allergic skin reactions. In milder cases, the rash will subside on its own. Moderate to severe cases may require topical or oral steroids to reduce inflammation and the reaction. Oral antihistamines can also help with itching and allergic response.
Soothing lotions or creams can help the skin feel better as it works through the allergic reactions. Some reactions will last only an hour or so, others can last for days, and weeks.
It there seems to be infection on the surface of the skin, a doctors advice may be needed to heal and prevent scaring.
Continued sun exposure can also cause further aggravation of a sunscreen allergy-related rash. It’s important to stay out of the sun at this time until your skin has completely healed. It can take up to several days for full recovery, depending on the severity.
The soft clothing with UPF will make you able to continue protecting sensitive areas of the skin while healing. Wearing these garments in the future as you may never get over the sensitivity to sunscreen, will protect your skin.
When I see someone at the grocery store who has a terrible sunburn and it is exposed to the sun as they walk from the car to the store and back, I crenge. Continuing to expose sunburned skin to the sun is not a wise move. I do understand that they are trying to keep anything from touching the tinder skin.
All sunburns need care. Those of us who are allergic to sunscreen will have to find another way to protect our sunburned skin. Better yet, keep wearing loose-fitting long sleeve shirts to keep the sun off. You can cover your skin and protect yourself.
Sami’s Take On Allergic To Sunscreen
If you find you are allergic to sunscreen you will need to make some lifestyle changes.
We now know that the sun is dangerous to our skin. Too much of anything is rarely good, and sun exposure is the same.
Living as we did when I was young and wearing tank tops and not covering our skin has led to a wave of skin cancer that can be prevented. Wearing clothing during the more direct sun times of the day and year will help protect our skin.
We do have to learn new habits and lifestyles. There is less Ozone to screen out the harmful rays of the sun.
We need to out grow this addiction to a tan. A tan is an example of the skin going into panic mode to protect itself. What happens when the off switch for making melanin is stuck and can’t stop producing melanin?
Adopting a life style that has you being careful to limit time in the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM is important. When you can’t do that the UPF clothing will help protect your skin.
Watching for shade and using the cover it offers will keep you healthier. There are many things we can do, as we become aware of them. Be kind to yourself. Make some changes. Keep your skin healthy.
Thank you for reading,