Light Sensitive Eczema
Treating Light Sensitive Eczema
Effective treatment of light sensitive eczema requires a regular application of Eczema-Ltd III and using jojoba oil. Beside using Eczema-Ltd III and jojoba oil, we also recommend that you use CityBlock by Clinique (SPF 40) which provides the most blockage from the sun.
In general, treatment of facial eczema involves:
- Avoidance of the cause, if known e.g. avoid chemicals producing contact allergy, or use appropriate sunscreens to minimize sun exposure.
- Avoidance of ordinary soap and the use of soap substitutes such as moisturizing ointment.
For the most severely light sensitive patients, normal activities may be severely reduced. Some find night work and sleep during the day, others may find ways to minimize their exposure to all types of light.
Symptoms of Light Sensitive Eczema
Some people develop a rash because their skin is sensitive to sunlight; this is known as photosensitivity. Some forms of photosensitivity can also increase the risk of skin cancer.
Most often it is not natural sun light or sun rays that cause the light sensitive eczema but any other type of light such as sun lamps for tanning. However, for those with sun sensitive eczema, it is best to avoid all types of light.
Occurrence of Light Sensitive Eczema
Try to avoid sun light even though it is rare to cause the problem. However, the skin can be sensitive to light when the skin has been damaged by harsh cleaning soaps. Also when the skin is sensitive already due to eczema treatments such as steroids or retinoids and the skin is damaged or dry, the skin can be ultra-sensitive to any type of light. The areas exposed to the sun will be the most vulnerable such as the face, hands, arms, etc. Also some patients use drugs that cause extreme sun sensitivity.
Causes of Light Sensitive Eczema
The face is often exposed to the environment and is, therefore, most vulnerable to the effects of sunlight. Sunlight can make atopic eczema worse in some people while in others it can help improve eczema. Seborrheic eczema may get worse initially then improve with sun exposure. Certain medications and chemicals can interact with sunlight to cause an allergic reaction called photo-allergy. When this happens, the areas of the face shielded from the light are usually spared (the eyelids, below the nose, under the chin and behind the ears). This differs from an airborne allergic contact dermatitis where all areas of the face are usually involved. Some (usually older) people develop a particularly severe form of unexplained sun sensitivity that causes extremely persistent eczema in light exposed areas of the face and elsewhere. This condition, which is termed 'chronic actinic dermatitis,' is fortunately very unusual.
If light sensitive eczema is suspected, special skin tests with different wavelengths and doses of ultraviolet light are sometimes done, but these require special equipment and are only carried out in a few dermatology departments with expertise in the investigation of light sensitive skin disorders.
Photosensitivity occurs for a variety of reasons:
- Medicines taken internally.
- Contact with chemicals, fragrances, or plants.
- Autoimmune disease (self-allergy), particularly lupus erythematosus.
Although most people with the common skin conditions psoriasis and atopic eczema find sun exposure or ultraviolet light treatment helpful, about 10% report they cause flare-ups.
Red itchy dry rashes may occur to areas exposed and some may experience blisters and brown areas after touching plants after sun exposure. The skin is already weak or thin and has not been reproducing new skin cells so the skin is most delicate. Likewise some medications cause photo-sensitivity or light/sun sensitivity. Almost any product can cause the skin to be sensitive. Care must be taken to avoid any other products such as sunscreens or sunblocks and to avoid the sun and be exposed just a short interval to walk to your car. Shop or play outside just before dark or shop after dark would be ideal.