We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Solar Dermatitis?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Solar dermatitis is a form of sun poisoning that causes a rash on the skin due to exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Those with pale skin are at a higher risk of developing this condition than those with more pigment cells, or darker skin. Solar dermatitis can begin to develop within minutes or even hours of sun exposure and may start out looking much like a sunburn. Red blisters often begin to develop on the skin and can cause moderate to severe itching. This type of sun poisoning can often be prevented by applying sunscreen and rarely requires medical intervention, except in the most extreme cases.

Exposure to the sun can worsen the effects of aging and increase the risks of certain types of skin cancer in addition to causing solar dermatitis. Therefore, the best preventive measure is to wear sunscreen before sun exposure. Those who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the sun should consider using sunscreen all year long instead of just in the summer. A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 10 is recommended, but an SPF of 25 or above is preferred. Avoiding exposure to the sun when not absolutely necessary is also beneficial.

For mild to moderate cases of this condition, the treatment options are basically the same as for sunburn. Place cool washcloths over the affected areas to help soothe the pain. Then apply lotion to the burned skin, preferably a lotion containing aloe vera. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams can also provide relief to many patients. The patient should drink plenty of water and take frequent cool showers in order to keep the skin hydrated. Just as in cases of sunburn, it is normal for the skin to peel with solar dermatitis, so this symptom alone should not be much of a cause for concern.

In more severe cases of this condition, medical attention may be required. If headache, nausea, or chills develop and the pain is severe, the patient should see a doctor right away. Treatment will depend on the amount of damage done to the skin as well as how many of the skin's layers have been burned. Hospitalization is rarely needed for this condition, but it has been known to happen. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin disorders and is typically well qualified to treat this type of skin injury.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon332164 — On Apr 27, 2013

After I spent a week in California (I'm from Boston), I came back with some weird looking stuff under my eyes from getting burned the first day I was there. I figured it would go away on its own. It didn't. I freaked out and was about to make a doctor's appointment to make sure it wasn't precancerous, and I later found out it was solar dermatitis on my own.

I'm a 24 year old healthy male. I have an aloe plant at home so I started using it. It didn't work that great alone, but I combined it with natural shea (putting the aloe on first then the shea) and it helped incredibly. It's only been about a week since I've been doing this and the sun rash is nearly gone. Before that, it was really stubborn. Weeks went by and it was still there, redder than ever.

So give this a shot. Best of all, it's cheap. An aloe plant is great to have in the windowsill and will only run you a few dollars. You can get pure shea butter for around 5 dollars and both are a really good, natural, non-comedogenic moisturizer. I figured I'd post as I've learned so much from the web. Good luck to anyone reading this and have faith!

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.