Sunlight Allergies: Can You Develop Them In Adulthood? 

October 11, 2021
1 min read
Sunlight Allergies: Can You Develop Them In Adulthood? 

Allergies are common in most people and usually develop in the early stages of life. Yet some skin allergies develop well into adulthood. Some people develop a sunlight allergy, in which you develop an itch or rash when exposed to direct sunlight. Although many people of different ethnicities are subject to a sunlight allergy, it mostly affects people with a lighter skin tone. Here is some helpful info to learn about skin allergies.

Risks and Symptoms of Sunlight Allergies

Allergies are usually classified as the body detecting a foreign substance and using the immune system to attack it. Developing allergies later in life usually stems from not being exposed to a certain substance as a child. Because of this, some people won’t have reactions until they are adults. Another reason why allergies might develop later in life is when your immune system is compromised. If you’re sick or pregnant, you might experience allergies during that time. Allergies can also form if you haven’t had a pet in a long time and recently adopted one. 

Sunlight allergies are rare, the most common type appearing as sun poisoning. Severe cases of this skin allergy won’t clear up right away and might need treatment. When sun allergies appear on the body, symptoms usually form as a red, itchy patch on the skin. Some might even form tiny bumps, crust up, or bleed. Others will form as patches or hives on the skin and will appear in minutes from exposure to the sun. If the problems persist, it’s best to see a dermatologist for further help. 

While there aren’t many known causes for sun allergies, there are a lot of risks related to the condition. If you have a skin allergy, being exposed to certain fragrances, disinfectants, or chemicals might cause your skin to flare up. Having a sunlight allergy might make you susceptible to this. Another risk is the type of medications that you take, like pain relievers. If you have a parent or sibling with a skin allergy, you might have one as well. Getting tested for allergies is a great way to see if you might have any skin allergies that could trigger flare-ups.


Having a sunlight allergy can seem like a hassle, but there are ways to battle it. One option is to avoid the sun during peak hours - depending on the season. If it’s wintertime, avoiding the sun between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. can prevent flare-ups. Should you have to go out during the daytime, try to avoid sudden exposure to sunlight. Slowly increase your exposure to sunlight instead of going out in short bursts.

Wearing protective clothing and sunscreen are also great ways to combat your skin allergy. If you choose the latter, make sure you apply sunscreen as often and make sure it at least has an SPF of 30. Additionally, avoiding triggers like wild parsnips or limes as they can cause a reaction to your skin. 

Skin allergies may seem like a challenge, but they don’t have to be. With the right tools and tips, you can avoid dealing with skin problems. At BASS Medical Group, our doctors can provide the best treatment to help you deal with any skin or similar allergies you might have. Visit our website or call us at (925) 350-4044.