5 Things You Need to Know about Sun Rash

Most Sun Rash Treatments Can Be Found Over the Counter

Unless your reaction is severe, you probably don't need a prescription treatment for it. The most common remedies for sun rashes include:

  • Cold compress
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Gauze (to cover any blisters that may appear)

If these methods aren't helping, or if your symptoms are subsiding, you should consider having a doctor evaluate your rash. Other signs that you might need the assistance of a medical professional are pain, fever and a rash that spreads beyond the neck, chest, arms or thighs.

For severe cases of sun rash, prescription-strength antihistamines are recommended. A doctor might also suggest a procedure known as phototherapy to help your skin adjust better to sunlight.

For lots more information on protecting your skin from the sun, check out the next page.

Related Articles


  • Aetna Intelihealth. "Sun Allergy (Photosensitivity)." (Accessed 7/25/09) http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WS/9339/10710.html
  • American Academy of Dermatology. "The Sun and Your Skin." (Accessed 7/25/09) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/sun_sun.html
  • American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. "Polymorphous Light Eruption." (Accessed 7/25/09) http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/polymorphous_light_eruption.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Skin Cancer: Prevention." (Accessed 7/29/09) http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/prevention.htm
  • MayoClinic.com. "Heat Rash." (Accessed 7/27/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heat-rash/DS01058
  • MayoClinic.com. "Polymorphous Light Eruption." (Accessed 7/25/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polymorphous-light-eruption/DS00911
  • Scheinfeld, Noah S. "Polymorphous Light Eruption." Emedicine from WebMD. March 13, 2008. (Accessed 7/29/09) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1119686-overview
  • Zhang, Alexandra Y. "Drug-induced Photosensitivity." Emedicine from WebMD. March 19, 2007. (Accessed 7/29/09) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1049648-overview


You're Probably Not Putting on Enough Sunscreen

You're Probably Not Putting on Enough Sunscreen

A new study shows people don't apply enough sunscreen. HowStuffWorks looks at what the right amount is and real-world tips for applying it properly.

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