Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Self-care measures that may lessen itching related to polymorphous light eruption include:
- Use cold compresses. Apply a towel dampened with cool tap water to the affected skin, or take a cool bath.
- Leave blisters intact. To speed healing and avoid infection, leave blisters intact. If needed, you can lightly cover blisters with gauze.
To lessen the likelihood of recurring episodes of polymorphous light eruption, take the following precautions:
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Because the sun's rays are most intense during this time, try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day.
- Use sunscreen. Fifteen to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, one that provides protection from both UVA and UVB light. Broad-spectrum sunscreens contain one or more of the following ingredients: avobenzone, cinoxate, ecamsule, menthyl anthranilate, octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
- Cover up. For protection from the sun, wear tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than does a baseball cap or golf visor. You might also consider wearing clothing designed to provide sun protection. An ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40 to 50 provides the best protection. UV-blocking clothes can lose their protective feature if they are worn too tightly, become wet or are washed frequently.
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- Honigsmann H. Polymorphous light eruption. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine 2008;24:155.
- Facts about sunscreens. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm. Accessed Nov. 18, 2010.
- Bylaite M, et al. Photodermatoses: Classification, evaluation and management. The British Journal of Dermatology 2009;161(suppl 3):61.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec04/ch032/ch032g.html. Accessed Nov. 19, 2010.
- Photosensitivity. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec10/ch115/ch115c.html. Accessed Nov. 19, 2010.
- Sun-protective clothing: Wear it well. Federal Trade Commission. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt094.shtm. Accessed Nov. 18, 2010.