What other effects on the skin are seen from sun exposure? There are many medical conditions which are caused or aggravated from sun exposure. These include acne rosacea, lupus, polymorphous light eruption, actinic porokeratosis, and a host of others. Some of these conditions can be diagnosed by an abnormal reaction to UV light. For example, lupus can present with a butterfly rash in the sun-exposed areas of the face. Some of the skin conditions, such as polymorphous light eruption, can show up with itchy bumps or rashes caused directly by sun exposure. Conditions such as acne rosacea are made worse by UV light. So, as you can see, it isn’t just the sun damage and skin cancers that we worry about with the sun.
In addition, some medications make people sun sensitive. These include common blood pressure drugs and antibiotics. Patients on these drugs can get an abnormal sunburn from just a small amount of UV light. Some of these can occur even through window glass. One of the reasons we don’t recommend tanning booths is that people on medications can have a dangerous, toxic reaction to the UV light that is used. In addition, someone with a condition such as lupus can have a flare-up with the tanning treatment. The American Academy of Dermatology has made a stand against the use of tanning booths because of these factors and the fact that this causes sun damage and premature aging.
In these short articles, I hope that I have conveyed some of the dangers associated with sun exposure in general. This is not to say that you can’t enjoy the sun, just that one should use appropriate sun protection when outdoors.
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