An allergic reaction occurs when the
immune system reacts against substances like sunscreen
or too much sunlight as if these substances were trying to attack the body.
This reaction can cause problems that affect the skin, mucous membranes, lungs,
digestive organs, and blood vessels.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
Swelling of the
Hives. Some people might get hives when
they spend too much time in the sun or heat.
Sunscreens and medicines can cause skin reactions.
Chemicals in the sunscreen can cause a skin rash
Proteins in the skin can react with the
sunscreen and cause a rash when exposed to sunlight
A reaction between skin proteins, sunscreen
chemicals, and ultraviolet light (UV) exposure can create a substance (antigen)
in the bloodstream that causes an allergic skin reaction (photoallergy). The
antigen can remain in the body and cause future skin reactions with exposure to
A very rare, but more severe, allergic reaction can cause breathing
problems. Emergency care is needed for any reaction this severe.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.