Unfortunately, I’ve spent most of the summer trying to self-diagnose my sudden, (more than usual), sensitivity to the sun. Not a great summer-time memory to experience.
Rashes and Burns
My face in particular has suffered through several bad rashes. So bad that it appeared (looked and felt) that my skin was burned.
I’ve also experienced a prickly sensation, but no visible rash or burn, on the left side of my neck, between my jaw and my clavicle. This prickliness occurs after a mere few minutes in the sun, even with sunscreen on.
I have been a huge proponent of sunscreen over the years, wearing at least 30, if not 50 SPF. I learned this the hard way, after developing brown spots on my face in the last trimester of my last pregnancy. I was told they were due to melasma, AKA pregnancy mask, a hormonal reaction. That was twenty-six years ago, and they were supposed to go away, but I have yet to find anything (topical) to remove them. Due to my uber-sensitive skin, I hesitate to try anything more drastic.
Since then, I have applied sunscreen religiously every morning, 30 SPF on cloudy/rainy days or those I don’t plan to be outdoors much. When I am planning to be outside for longer than thirty minutes, I opt for the 50 SPF.
After my first reaction, I asked the staff at my local Natural Food Pantry for a recommendation for sunscreen for sensitive skin. I purchased the So Good brand in both a cream and a stick. If your skin is sensitive, choose sunscreen that does not contain benzophenone-3, known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
I love how smoothly the So Good sunscreen applies to my skin, even though it has zinc in it (zinc is notoriously sticky to apply). I still experienced a rash and prickly neck after switching sunscreens though. I will continue to use it as I don’t believe my sunscreen was the issue causing the sensitivity to the sun. You can purchase both the 30 and 50 SPF through Amazon as well.
My moisturizers were also suspect, even though I had not changed my routine. After the first episode, I switched to a product also recommended to me at the Natural Food Pantry to moisturize and heal my skin.
This moisturizing gel has worked wonders on my rashy, burned skin. I love it. You can order Nature’s Aid Moisturizing Skin Gel through Amazon if Natural Food Pantry is not convenient.
Foods That Can Cause a Sensitivity to the Sun
Research (Summahealth.org) told me there are several foods that can cause sun sensitivity, with citrus fruits at the top of the list. Other culprits include:
Well, it just so happens I had recently started adding celery and lemon peel to my morning smoothies, for their purported memory and anti-aging benefits, respectively. The plan is to leave the celery and lemon out for a few weeks to see if I have any more reactions.