When it comes to sun exposure, sunburn gets the spotlight. However, its lesser-known cousin sun rash can cause equal amounts of harm to your skin. And while this side effect of time in the sun doesn't get the publicity that sunburns do, it's just as painful and, therefore, worth knowing more about.
Put simply, a sun rash is an allergic reaction to sunlight. The most common form of this disorder is known as polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). When PMLE occurs, it can lead to burning, blistering and swelling of the skin (most commonly around the neck and chest). Chills, headache and nausea can accompany such reactions, while less intense complications may include small bumps, redness and itching.
But there's more to sun rash. In the following pages we'll look at risk factors for the condition, as well as ways to prevent or treat it. You'll soon learn that sun rash is just as undesirable as its infamous relation.