II. Risk factors

III. Signs

  1. Sufficient exposure to Ultraviolet Light
  2. Immediate erythema
    1. Occurs within minutes of exposure
    2. Fades within 30 minutes
  3. Delayed erythema
    1. Reappears 3 to 6 hours after exposure
    2. Peaks at 12 to 24 hours
    3. Persists for days
  4. Associated findings
    1. Edema
    2. Vesicles
    3. Desquamation often within 1 week

IV. Management

  1. See Burn Management
  2. See Drug-induced Photosensitivity
  3. Treat as minor Burn Injury
  4. Cool wet compresses applied for 10-30 minutes
    1. Avoid ice due to Vasoconstriction and increased tissue injury
  5. Oral Analgesics
    1. NSAIDs
    2. Acetaminophen
  6. Skin protectants
    1. Skin Lubricants (e.g. Eucerin)
    2. Aloe Vera gel may be used if soothing
      1. However, aloe has no evidence-based benefit over other topicals
  7. Consider Topical Anesthetic for localized burn (Lidocaine preparations such as Lidocaine 4% patch)
    1. Do not apply to non-intact skin
    2. Avoid Benzocaine preparations (sensitizer)
  8. Avoid ineffective and potentially harmful agents
    1. Avoid topical or Systemic Corticosteroids
    2. Avoid Topical Antibiotics (e.g. neomycin) due to Contact Dermatitis risk
  9. Avoid home remedies
    1. Avoid applying butter
      1. Occlusive and may trap heat, increasing Burn Injury
    2. Avoid apple cider vinegar, buttermilk, lavender oil
      1. No evidence for benefit

V. Prevention

VI. Complications

  1. Two Sunburns before age 18 predisposes to Melanoma

VII. References

  1. (2018) Presc Lett 25(8)
  2. Goroll (2000) Primary Care Medicine, p. 1065-6
  3. Habif (1996) Clinical Dermatology, Mosby, p.602-3

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Related Studies

Ontology: Photosensitivity Disorders (C0031762)

Definition (SCTSPA) Dermatitis causada por exposición a la luz solar
Definition (SNOMEDCT_US) An abnormal inflammatory skin condition resulting from exposure to ultraviolet light, most commonly sunlight. May result from phototoxic or photoallergic reactions or both.
Definition (SNOMEDCT_US) Dermatitis caused by exposure to sunlight
Definition (SCTSPA) Afección inflamatoria anormal de la piel producida como resultado de la exposición a la luz ultravioleta, con mayor frecuencia, a la luz solar. Puede ser el resultado de reacciones fototóxicas fotoalérgicas o ambas.
Definition (MSH) Abnormal responses to sunlight or artificial light due to extreme reactivity of light-absorbing molecules in tissues. It refers almost exclusively to skin photosensitivity, including sunburn, reactions due to repeated prolonged exposure in the absence of photosensitizing factors, and reactions requiring photosensitizing factors such as photosensitizing agents and certain diseases. With restricted reference to skin tissue, it does not include photosensitivity of the eye to light, as in photophobia or photosensitive epilepsy.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D010787
SnomedCT 22649008
English Disorder, Photosensitivity, Disorders, Photosensitivity, Photodermatitides, Photodermatitis, Photosensitivity Disorder, Photosensitivity Disorders, PHOTOSENSITIVITY DIS, photodermatitis, photodermatitis (diagnosis), Photodermatitis, NOS, Photosensitivity Disorders [Disease/Finding], photosensitivity dermatitis, Photosensitivity disorders, Photosensitivity dermatitis, Photodermatitis (disorder)
Swedish Ljusöverkänslighet
Czech hypersenzitivita na sluneční záření, fotoalergické dermatózy, fotodermatózy, poruchy fotosenzitivity, fotosenzitivita - poruchy, fotodermatitis
Finnish Valoherkkyyssairaudet
Italian Fotodermatite, Disturbi della fotosensibilità
Japanese 日光過敏症(皮膚), 光線性皮膚炎, 光皮膚炎, 光線性類細網症候群, 光線過敏性障害, 皮膚炎-光線, 光線皮膚炎, 光線過敏症(皮膚), 化学放射線皮膚炎
Polish Fotodermatozy, Alergia świetlna
Norwegian Fotodermatitt, Lysoverfølsomhet, Lysdermatitt, Fotosensitivitet, Fotosensibilitet
Spanish dermatititis por fotosensibilidad, fotodermatitis (trastorno), fotodermatitis, Fotodermatitis, Trastornos por Fotosensibilidad
French Dermatites par photosensibilité, Photodermatoses, Photosensibilité cutanée
German Photodermatitis, Lichtempfindlichkeitsstörungen
Dutch Fotodermatitis, Fotosensibiliteit, Lichtovergevoeligheid, Sensibiliteit, foto-
Portuguese Fotodermatite, Transtornos de Fotossensibilidade

Ontology: Sunburn (C0038814)

Definition (NCI) An inflammatory reaction from ultraviolet radiation characterized by transient redness, tenderness and occasional blistering.(NICHD)
Definition (MSH) An injury to the skin causing erythema, tenderness, and sometimes blistering and resulting from excessive exposure to the sun. The reaction is produced by the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight.
Definition (CSP) injury to the skin, with erythema, tenderness, and in some extreme cases blistering, following excessive exposure to sunlight; produced by ultraviolet rays not filtered out by clouds or water.
Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
MSH D013471
ICD9 692.71
ICD10 L55 , L55.9
SnomedCT 156345009, 23346002, 267844006
English Sunburns, SUNBURN, Sunburn, Sunburn, unspecified, sunburn, sunburn (diagnosis), Solar sensitiveness, Sunburn [Disease/Finding], solar dermatitis, Burn(s);skin;sunburn, solar erythema, Erythema solare, Solar erythema, Sunburn (disorder), heat; sunburn, sunburn; heat, Sunburn NOS
Portuguese QUEIMADURA SOLAR, Hipersensibilidade solar, Queimadura solar, Queimadura Solar
Spanish QUEMADURA SOLAR, Sensibilidad solar, eritema solar, quemadura solar (trastorno), quemadura solar, Quemadura solar, Quemadura Solar
German SONNENBRAND, Sonnenempfindlichkeit, Dermatitis solaris acuta, nicht naeher bezeichnet, Dermatitis solaris acuta, Erythema solare, Sonnenbrand, Dermatitis solaris
Italian Ustione solare, Ipersensibilità solare, Eritema solare
Dutch zonneovergevoeligheid, hitte; zonnebrand, zonnebrand; hitte, Zonnebrand, niet gespecificeerd, zonnebrand, Zonnebrand
French Sensibilité au soleil, COUP DE SOLEIL, Héliodermite, Brûlure solaire, Érythème solaire, Coup de soleil
Japanese サンバーン, サンバーン, 日光過敏症, ニッコウカビンショウ
Czech spáleniny sluneční, Přecitlivělost na slunce, Spálenina od slunce
Finnish Auringonpolttama
Korean 일광화상, 상세불명의 일광화상
Swedish Solskador
Polish Oparzenia słoneczne
Hungarian Solaris sensitivitas, Napégés
Norwegian Solbrenthet, Solforbrenning, Brannskader, sol

Ontology: Dermatitis, Phototoxic (C0162830)

Definition (NCI) Dermatitis caused or precipitated by exposure to ultraviolet sunlight, or by mediating phototoxic or photoallergic material in response to ultraviolet sunlight.
Definition (MSH) A nonimmunologic, chemically induced type of photosensitivity producing a sometimes vesiculating dermatitis. It results in hyperpigmentation and desquamation of the light-exposed areas of the skin.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D017484
SnomedCT 84326006, 53597009
English PHOTOSENSITIVITY REACTION, Phototoxic Contact Dermatitis, Phototoxic Dermatitis, Dermatitis, Contact, Phototoxic, Contact Dermatitides, Phototoxic, Contact Dermatitis, Phototoxic, Dermatitides, Phototoxic, Dermatitides, Phototoxic Contact, Dermatitis, Phototoxic Contact, Phototoxic Contact Dermatitides, Phototoxic Dermatitides, PHOTOSENSITIVITY TOXIC REACTION, DERMATITIS CONTACT PHOTOTOX, DERMATITIS PHOTOTOX, PHOTOTOX CONTACT DERMATITIS, PHOTOTOX DERMATITIS, phototoxic contact dermatitis (diagnosis), phototoxic contact dermatitis, Dermatitis photosensitive, Photosensitive reaction, Photosensitivity reaction (NOS), Photosensitivity reaction NOS, Reaction photosensitivity (NOS), Photosensitivity toxic reaction, Photosensitized, Dermatitis, Phototoxic [Disease/Finding], photosensitivity reaction, photosensitizing, phototoxic dermatitis, phototoxicity, photosensitivity reactions, phototoxic reaction, photosensitivity rash, phototoxic reactions, Dermatitis, Phototoxic, Photodermatitis, Photosensitivity reaction, Photosensitisation reaction, Photosensitive dermatitis, Photosensitization reaction, Phototoxic eczema, Phototoxic reaction, Phototoxic dermatitis (disorder), Phototoxic dermatitis, Phototoxic dermatitis, NOS, Photosensitive Dermatitis, Photosensitivity Reaction, Photosensitive rash, Rash photosensitivity, Photosensitiveness
Italian Reazione di fotosensibilità, Dermatite da fotosensibilità, Esantema da fotosensiblità, Reazione tossica di fotosensibilità, Eruzione da fotosensibilità, Reazione di fotosensibilità NAS, Dermatite da fotosensibilizzazione, Reazione da fotosensibilità, Fotosensibilizzato, Reazione da fotosensibilità (NAS), Reazione di fotosensibilità (NAS), Dermatite fototossica da contatto, Dermatite fototossica
Dutch rash fotosensitiviteit, fotosensitiviteitsreactie (NAO), fotosensitieve reactie, fotosensitiviteitsreactie NAO, gefotosensibiliseerd, dermatitis fotosensitief, fotosensitieve rash, fotosensitieve dermatitis, fotosensitiviteit toxische reactie, fotosensitiviteitsreactie, Contactdermatitis, fototoxische, Dermatitis, fototoxische, Fototoxische dermatitis
French Réaction photosensibile, Dermite photosensible, Eruption de photosensibilité, Réaction de photosensibilité SAI, Rash de photosensibilité, Réaction de photosensibilité toxique, Photosensibilisé(e), REACTION DE PHOTOSENSIBILITE, REACTION TOXIQUE A LA LUMIERE, Réaction de photosensibilité, Dermatite phototoxique, Dermatite de contact phototoxique, Phototoxidermatose
German Ausschlag durch Lichtempfindlichkeit, photosensibilisiert, Ausschlag infolge von Photosensitivitaet, Dermatitis photosensitiv, photosensitive Dermatitis, Lichtempfindlichkeitsreaktion NNB, photosensitive Reaktion, photosensitive toxische Reaktion, Reaktion infolge von Photosensitivitaet (NNB), PHOTOSENSIBILITAET TOXISCH, PHOTOSENSIBILITAET, photosensitive Reaktion (NNB), Lichtempfindlichkeitsreaktion, Dermatitis, Kontakt-, phototoxische, Dermatitis, phototoxische
Portuguese Reacção tóxica de fotossensibilidade, Dermatite de fotossensibilidade, Erupção cutânea de fotossensibilidade, Fossensibilizado, Reacção de fotossensibilidade NE, Erupção por fotossensibilidade, REACCAO DE FOTOSENSIBIL., REACCAO-FOTOTOXICA, Reacção de fotossensibilidade, Dermatite Fototóxica de Contato, Dermatite Fototóxica
Spanish Dermatitis fotosensible, Erupción por fotosensibilidad, Reacción tóxica por fotosensibilidad, Reacción fotosensitiva (NEOM), Reacción de fotosensibilidad NEOM, Fotosensibilizado, Reacción fotosensible, Eritema fotosensible, Reacción de fotosensibilidad (NEOM), FOTOSENSIBILIDAD TOXICA, FOTOSENSIBILIDAD, dermatitis fototóxica (trastorno), dermatitis fototóxica, Reacción de fotosensibilidad, Dermatitis Fototóxica, Dermatitis por Contacto Fototóxica
Japanese 光感作された, 光線過敏性反応(NOS), 光線過敏性皮疹, 光線過敏性反応NOS, 光線過敏性反応, 光線過敏性皮膚炎, 光線過敏性中毒反応, ヒカリカンササレタ, コウセンカビンセイヒフエン, コウセンカビンセイハンノウ, コウセンカビンセイヒシン, コウセンカビンセイハンノウNOS, コウセンカビンセイチュウドクハンノウ, 皮膚炎-接触性光毒性, 光毒性, 光毒性皮膚炎, 皮膚炎-接触性-光毒性, 皮膚炎-光毒性, 接触性光毒性皮膚炎
Swedish Dermatit, fototoxisk
Czech dermatitida fototoxická, Fotosenzitivní reakce (NOS), Fotosenzitivní dermatitida, Fotosenzitivní toxická reakce, Fotosenzitivní vyrážka, Fotosenzitivní reakce, Fotosenzitivní reakce NOS, Citlivý na světlo
Finnish Fototoksinen ihottuma
Polish Toksyczność świetlna, Zapalenie skóry fototoksyczne
Hungarian Photosensitiv reakció, Reakció, photosensitivitasos (k.m.n.), Photosensitivitasos reakció (k.m.n.), Photosensitivitasos reakció, Dermatitis photosensitiv, Photosensitiv dermatitis, Photosensitivitas toxikus reakció, Fényérzékenyített, photosensitivitasos exanthema, Photosensitiv kiütés, Photosensitivitas reakció k.m.n.
Norwegian Fototoksisk dermatitt, Fototoksisk eksem

Ontology: Photocontact dermatitis [berloque dermatitis] (C0452157)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
ICD10 L56.2
SnomedCT 200836002
English Photocont dermat [berloq derm], berlogue dermatitis (diagnosis), berlogue dermatitis, Photocontact dermatitis [berloque dermatitis], Photocontact dermatitis [berloque dermatitis] (disorder), berlock; dermatitis, dermatitis; berlock, Berlock dermatitis, Berloque dermatitis
German Phototoxische Kontaktdermatitis
Korean 광접촉피부염[향수피부염]
Dutch berlock; dermatitis, dermatitis; berlock, Fotocontactdermatitis [berloque-dermatitis]
Spanish dermatitis por fotocontacto (dermatitis de berloque) (trastorno), dermatitis por fotocontacto (dermatitis de berloque)