Polymorphous Light Eruption (Sun Allergy) Remedies

| Modified on Sep 24, 2022

Treatments for polymorphous light eruption vary from sun avoidance to topical treatments and oral supplements. While avoiding sun exposure is the only true way to prevent the condition, several treatments support the immune system and defense to prevent flare-ups. Natural topical treatments paired with the appropriate nutritional supplements are far reaching in terms of treating the condition.

What is Polymorpohus Light Eruption?

Described as sun allergy, polymorphous light eruption causes the appearance of small red pimples and blisters on the skin following sun exposure. The lesions may also appear scaly on the skin and cause itching and discomfort. The cause of the condition is unknown; however, doctors believe the condition is a type of delayed allergic reaction.

Natural Treatments for Sun Allergy

While covering the sun with a hat and lightweight clothing is one of the best ways to protect the skin, taking nutritional supplements, including vitamin E and beta carotene, also serve as skin protectants. Additionally, topical treatments, such as tea tree oil, replenish the skin and eliminate redness.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin and other body tissue from free radicals, which are considered to play a role in allergic reactions. Vitamin E is also an element of immune support that fights against infection and allergic responses. This vitamin is an effective component of a healthy skin regimen that also treats polymorphous light eruption.

Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is also an antioxidant nutrient. When digested in the body, the nutrient is converted to vitamin A, which is a vital component of strong immunity. This component also helps maintain healthy skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is considered an effective antiseptic and antifungal treatment. When applied to the skin or site of an allergic reaction to the sun, the oil eliminates redness and reduces inflammation. The oil also helps eliminate the bumps common of the condition.

Polymorphic light eruption is a fairly common skin disorder that can be described as sensitivity to the sun. While the condition is highly variable in duration, natural remedies including supplements and topical applications help regulate the condition and shorten the duration of symptoms.

General Feedback

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Mermaids Blue Turtle (Kansas City, Missouri) on 07/14/2012

I just got PMLE for the first time. All it took was a walk to the car. My chiropracter said it was due to a calcium deficiency. But, I also take advil regularly (trying not to) and I wash hair with a dandruff shampoo that has coal tar in it. Plus I have pinched nerves. I suspect all are contributing culprits. He recommended I take Cateplex F with calcium. This will take awhile to work. So, in the mean time I am trying not to scratch (not much luck there) and a topical cream. I started with aloe with lidacane but that didn't do much. I am currently using a cortizone 10 cream which gives 1 to 2 hours of relief. I am also avoiding the sun as much as possible. Hope that helps.

Replied by Erica
(Mechanicsburg, Pa)

I too have wondered about cures for pmle... Nothing seems to work for me. When I am exposed to the sun for more than a few minutes, my skin starts to burn like its on fire, and after a few minutes, the bumps start (I think I understand how vampires feel). They used to be only on my left hand and lower arm. But this year, I started a new job where I am in the sun a bit more than is normal for me, and now it is affecting my upper and lower arm (left only), left hand, left ear, left side of my face, and the left side of my nose. My face doesn't have the same affect as my arm, it doesn't burn when exposed to sunlight, but I get the same itchy bumps. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

Replied by Ai
(Upstate New York, NY)

Hi, My sun sensitivity started after I began taking doxycycline and methotrexate. I do have autoimmune disease (RA, lupus, countless food/environmental sensitivities), plus lyme and heavy metal poisoning. All these are contributing to my sun sensitivity, I think.

This whole summer, I suffered with terrible sunburns. Just by walking from my car to the store, I would break out in my face like you wouldn't believe. My face would blow up like beet red basketball, tiny blisters and bumps, which start weeping and oozing, stinging and burning and all that crap. My face becomes totally disfigured. My scalp would have rashes all over and the hair falls out.

Dermatologist put me on prednisone taper program each time, and currently I'm doing it the 3rd time. This time, it wasn't working, and no matter how I tried, the symptoms wouldn't go away. I began to panic. Is this going to be permanent?

After exploring internet, I found a cream called D____ tea tree antiseptic cream. I read the Amazon reviews and some said that it helped sunburns. So I got it from the local store and put it on. (I have super sensitive skin, so I was scared, but what would I lose?)

It gave me a chilling burning sensation all over my face and I panicked. Wash it off? But I left it on for few more minutes. Then the sensation subsided, and by night, the redness decreased significantly, and the bumps and blisters also began to go away. The cream has an effect of cooling your heat/inflammation, and my hot skin was actually cool, well, almost cold!

By the following day, the redness has reduced to 30% and the stinging pain mostly gone. Today's my 3rd day, and I'm looking pretty normal now.

I'm still on prednison taper program, but with the help of this cream, I think I can get off it quickly. After I'm off completely, I don't know how it's going to be like, since this cream is not an allergy remedy. But it sure worked fast and good for the suffering I was going through. It was only $8!!

I would recommend this product for people who go through this terrible burn from the sun. For dry skin people, it's not heavy enough to moisturize your skin. You can put your regular moisturizer on top of this cream. it'll give you a great relief!

I hope this will help some people who have the similar problems.

Replied by Glutenfree
(Maryland, Usa)

I had PMLE first starting in 2009, other symptoms where lupus type rash on face. But, this was not lupus. But, eczema. PMLE rash would come from sun exposure. I went totally gluten free for lent one year. I have been rash free every since.

Replied by Beth
(North Carolina)

Have been dealing with pmle ever since my first pregnancy 17 years ago. Today, I tried using a salisylic acid moisturizer meant for treating acne and, to my surprise, it worked. The bumps are not completely gone, but there is definitely a huge improvement from just one application...also plan to try a tea tree oil cream in the near future.

Replied by CJ
(Santa Barbara, CA)

Eucerin Brand "Sun Allergy Protect" 50SPF sunscreen and "Eucerin's "Sensitive Relief After Sun Lotion" are both very helpful and have been formulated specifically for helping with this auto immune condition. Amazon, Walmart, eBay often have them and the names of the products change slightly depending on which country they are coming from.

Sardines and Oysters

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jacque (Edmonton, Ab) on 08/06/2022

This spring is the first I've ever experienced PMLE (Polymorphous Light Eruption), I would develop an itchy, red bumpy rash on my arms, legs and back of neck. The itchy rash would last for a few days, then reappear when exposed to the sun again. I started eating fish every day, sometimes twice a day. For two full weeks I ate breaded sole, canned sardines and canned smoked oysters (I wanted to increase my selenium intake). Happy coincidence, no more rash, no more itch.