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Light Sensitivity (Photophobia ) Treatment in Gurgaon

Light Sensitivity (Photophobia ) Treatment in Gurgaon

Light sensitivity or photosensitivity means sensitivity of the skin to light rays, most commonly to Ultraviolet radiations (less commonly visible light) coming from the sun or from any other light source. It results from the abnormal reaction of the skin to the light energy.

One should suspect it if –

  • You develop redness in skin within half an hour of sun exposure.
  • If you feel extreme itchy or get burning or tingling sensation on staying outdoors
  • If you have a skin rash which is primarily confined to sun exposed parts
  • If your rash flares on going out in the sun
  • If your rash improves significantly when you stay strictly indoors

Symptoms of Light Sensitivity are seen in many disorders and these disorders can be classified into three broad groups-

1. Phototoxic skin reactions – they occur immediately following light exposure (acute onset) and no prior sensitization is required. Severity of the reaction is related to the amount of light exposure. And symptoms improve quickly when there is no further sun exposure. (Sun Burn, Drug induced, Genodermatoses)

2. Photo allergic skin diseases- skin eruption appears gradually following sun exposure and takes variable period of time to subside. Prior sensitization is required. (PMLE, Drug induced, Photo contact Dermatitis, Solar Urticaria, Actinic Prurigo, Connective Tissue diseases like SLE & Dermatomyositis)

3. Photo aggravated skin diseases- light rays are not the primary culprit but the disease worsens on light exposure. (Atopic dermatitis, Pellagra)


Phototesting and photo patch testing are the specific tests for disorders of light sensitivity. Other investigations like skin biopsy, blood tests are decided based on the associated disease suspected. Treatment

All the diseases of light sensitivity improve with sun protective measures. Other than that treatment is different for different light sensitivity disorders. Sun protective Measures are all the measures that you can take to prevent your skin from light damage. This includes-

  • Avoid going out in the sun as far as possible
  • If need arises move out in morning and evening hours.
  • Wear covered clothing when you go out.
  • Apply liberal amount of Sunscreen on all the exposed parts half an hour before moving out in sun.
  • Repeat the sunscreen application after 3-4 hours if you are still outdoors.
  • Wear hat or carry umbrella to keep yourself covered.
  • Use sun shield over windows when moving around in cars.

Does artificial light sources at home and offices and light form mobile and laptop screen harm the skin of light sensitive person?

Lots of research has been done on the effect of UV rays on skin but during last decade researchers have also got interested in the effect of visible light on skin. Current understanding is –

  • Lot more visible light exposure is required to produce damage compared to UV rays which are much more damaging even in small amounts
  • In the longer wavelength spectrum, it’s the blue light and Infra-red (IR) light which is more harmful.
  • Some newer sunscreens are offering protection against the IR and blue light as well. Iron oxide in sunscreens confers protection against visible light.
  • Visible lights exposure induces pigmentation more in those with darker skin types compared to UV rays which are more damaging in those with lighter skin types.
  • Phototesting and photopatch testing studies suggest that in many disorders of photosensitivity like PMLE even the person develops sensitivity to light wavelengths in the visible spectrum as well.
  • Our understanding of effects of visible light on skin is still evolving and the UV rays are much more damaging then the visible rays.
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