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Symptoms vary, depending on the specific type of sun allergy:

  • PMLE PMLE typically produces an itchy or burning rash within the first two hours after sun exposure. The rash usually appears on sun-exposed portions of the neck, upper chest, arms and lower legs. In addition, there may be one to two hours of chills, headache, nausea and malaise (a general sick feeling). In rare cases, PMLE may erupt as red plaques (flat, raised areas), small fluid-filled blisters or tiny areas of bleeding under the skin.

  • Actinic prurigo (hereditary PMLE) Symptoms are similar to those of PMLE, but they usually are concentrated on the face, especially around the lips.

  • Photoallergic eruption This usually causes either an itchy red rash or tiny blisters. In some cases, the skin eruption also spreads to skin that was covered by clothing. Because photoallergic eruption is a form of delayed hypersensitivity reaction, skin symptoms may not begin until one to two days after sun exposure.

  • Solar urticaria Hives usually appear on uncovered skin within minutes of exposure to sunlight.

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