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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Photosensitivity, or sensitivity to sunlight, is a skin reaction to sunlight. It may be caused by sunlight alone or by sunlight and chemicals. These chemicals are found in perfume, makeup, creams, lotions, food, or medicines.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe pain.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- The rash spreads and covers large parts of your body.
- The rash starts to turn into blisters.
- Your rash does not get better, or it gets worse, even after treatment.
- You have a rash on your cheeks and nose that looks like a butterfly.
- Your skin bruises easily.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Steroids may help decrease itching and inflammation. This medicine may be a cream, shot, or pill.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
- Antihistamines may help decrease itching.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Manage your symptoms:
Apply a cool, damp cloth to your rash area or mist the area with cool sprays of water
Protect your skin:
- Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that is at least SPF 30, even on cloudy or cool days. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
- Avoid direct sunlight between 10am and 3pm. Instead, sit in the shade.
- Do not use tanning beds.
- Wear long sleeves, pants, or long skirts when you are in the sun.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim all the way around to shade your face, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return often for skin cancer checks. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.