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Alternative Names Return to topPolymorphous light eruption
Definition Return to top
Polymorphic light eruption is a common reaction to sunlight (ultraviolet light) that occurs in light-sensitive individuals.
Causes Return to top
The cause is unknown. Some experts think it is a type of delayed allergic reaction.
Symptoms Return to top
Small red pimples and blisters appear on the skin within 1 - 4 days after exposure to sunlight. The lesions may also appear as scaly skin.
Treatment Return to top
Use sunscreen. Sun protection with broad spectrum sunblock that works against UVA rays is important.
Certain immunosuppressive pills may be used for more severe cases. Some people benefit from phototherapy in which the skin gets sensitized to the sun.Update Date: 4/10/2009 Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.