Who would really want to increase their chance of getting a sunburn? The idea sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? If you’re like most people today, you at least apply some type of sunscreen or SPF moisturizer before going out in the sun. When it is a full day activity that you have planned, you may even take your sunscreen with you so it can be reapplied as needed to AVOID a nasty, uncomfortable burn. In most cases, this is sufficient. But if you have ever noticed that there was a time in which you seemed a little extra responsive to the sun’s rays, there may be a good reason why.
Photosensitivity Could be Lurking in your Medicine Cabinet
Photosensitivity is something we typically reserve for those unfortunate individuals with light hair and fair skin. You know them; the folks whose skin starts to turn pink within moments of being met with UV rays. Well, the quick-reaction between skin and sun is not reserved only for the light-complexion population; it could happen to you, too.
Medicines and herbal remedies may be best reserved for nighttime use, especially if you spend time in the sun during the daytime. Supplements like St. John’s wort have been said to increase a person’s sensitivity to sunlight, as have non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. Prescriptions like doxycycline, as well, may cause the skin to react adversely to sun exposure, leaving you with welts and a rash rather than a golden glow.
Essential oils are incredibly popular right now, but some could have an adverse effect if used before heading out into the great outdoors. The main culprits for photosensitivity are oils like bergamot, lime, lemon, and orange. Most citrus oils should be reserved for times when you will not be outdoors for long periods.
Food sources are more rare; they include fennel, dill, parsley, and celery. Eating citrus fruits does not seem to increase photosensitivity, but we wouldn’t suggest you go out and rub up against any lime peel before hopping in the pool!
A sunburn is bad in and of itself. The consequences of that burn, including skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer, compound the negative effects of that burn. We can help you keep your skin healthier and younger-looking with personal dermatologic care. Schedule a visit with us today.