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When the Sun Makes You Sick

Certain medications react with the sun, which means you need to be vigilant about skin protection

To avoid these ailments, plus skin cancer, limit your sun exposure. Avoid the sun during peak hours (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Wear clothing made of a tightly woven material with long sleeves. And use the right sunscreen. Ultraviolet rays are made up of UVA and UVB rays, but the UVA rays are the bigger culprit in triggering sun-induced skin disorders. Make sure to buy sunscreen that contains one of the following ingredients, which block both types of rays: avobenzone, dioxybenzone, ecamsule, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide.

Three Types of Sun Illness and Their Symptoms

Medication and sun can be a dangerous cocktail for older skin. — Photo by Margaret Riegel

1. Phototoxicity

Frequency: Common
Onset of Symptoms: Minutes to hours after UV exposure
Location: Sun-exposed skin
Main Symptom: Pain
Appearance: Exacerbated sunburn

2. Photoallergy

Frequency: Rare
Onset of Symptoms: One to two days after UV exposure
Location: Sun-exposed skin
Main Symptom: Pain 
Appearance: Redness, rash

3. Sun-induced Eczema

Frequency: Rare
Onset of Symptoms: Gradually, over time
Location: Anywhere on skin
Main symptom: Itching
Appearance: Rash, blistering

You may also like: 9 types of medication to use with caution. >>

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