Why does sunscreen give me a rash?

In some people, there is an interaction between a sunscreen ingredient and UV light which leads to a skin reaction. This is usually a result of an allergy to the active ingredients, but it can also be due to a reaction to the fragrances or preservatives in the product.

What ingredient in sunscreen causes rash?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the chemical sunscreen ingredients that have been found to most commonly cause allergic reactions in the skin are oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), dibenzoylmethanes, cinnamates, and benzophenones.

What does a sunscreen allergy look like?

Symptoms of a sunscreen allergy look similar to that of a sun allergy (also called sun poisoning), as well as a heat rash or sunburn. All of these conditions involve red, sometimes itchy, rashes. Other symptoms of sunscreen allergy may include: hives.

What sunscreen to use if you are allergic to sunscreen?

If you have a sunscreen allergy, metal oxide sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide may be suitable. These have not been reported to cause allergic contact dermatitis. Although cosmetically less pleasing, they have been proven to be safe and effective sunscreen agents.

How do you get rid of an allergic reaction to sunscreen?

Treatment for a sunscreen allergy is similar to that of other allergic skin reactions. A person who experiences a mild allergic reaction to a sunscreen should remove the sunscreen by rinsing the skin with cool water. They should then stay out of the sun until the skin has fully healed.

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How long does it take for a sunscreen rash to go away?

An itchy or burning rash appears within hours, or up to 2 to 3 days after exposure to sunlight. It lasts for up to 2 weeks, healing without scarring. The rash usually appears on the parts of the skin exposed to sunlight, typically the head, neck, chest and arms. The face is not always affected.

What is physical sunscreen?

According to skin experts physical sunscreens are fine particles of minerals – commonly titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – that sit on the surface of the skin and reflect, as well as absorb, UV radiation.

Can sunscreen make you itchy?

Dermatologists use skin patch testing in such cases to determine if a patient is allergic to a sunscreen ingredient. However, the majority of skin reactions to sunscreens are irritant in nature, with burning, redness and itching that occurs immediately, or within minutes, of application.

Will Benadryl help with a rash?

A nonprescription oral corticosteroid or antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), may be helpful if your itching is severe. Apply cool, wet compresses. Moisten soft washcloths and hold them against the rash to soothe your skin for 15 to 30 minutes. Repeat several times a day.