Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Photodermatitis: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Photodermatitis? How is the Photodermatitis treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Photodermatitis?

Photodermatitis treatment is required when a person suffers from an abnormal reaction on the skin due to exposure to ultraviolet rays. It can be both, acute or chronic. In such a condition, the sufferer’s immune system reacts to the UV rays and causes a blister, rash or scaly patches on the skin. However, the reaction and exposure level differs from person to person. There are a lot of factors which can make your skin sensitive to UV rays. One can have an inherent problem of photosensitivity. Taking certain medications or getting exposed to certain plants including weed and edible plants like hogweed, cowbane, parsnip, fennel and others can also be a reason. Other factors which can cause photodermatitis are diseases such as eczema or lupus, which make the skin sensitive to light, metabolic and genetic factors and reactions to certain chemicals and drugs.

Individuals with light skin or red and blond hair and green or blue eyes are most sensitive and have a higher risk of getting this condition. People who are exposed to the UV rays for more than 30 minutes at a time and people with the porphyria condition also have a very high risk of getting photodermatitis.

How is the Photodermatitis treatment done?

Your doctor may examine your condition by performing certain tests of blood and urine to check for any related diseases. Your medical history may also be needed in order to find out if the person was exposed to any chemical, drug or UV rays. Allergy tests may be helpful in identifying the trigger behind the problem. For cases where patients have blisters or weepy eruptions, applying cool and wet dressing may be helpful. In other cases of photodermatitis, phototherapy can also be used to desensitize the skin and help control the symptoms.

For people who are extremely sensitive to the sun, doctors may suggest azathioprine in order to suppress the immune system. You can also use glucocorticoids on a short term basis to help control further eruptions as well. For cases where phototherapy cannot be used, hydroxychloroquine, nicotinamide, thalidomide, beta-carotene or nicotinamide are best alternatives to the problem. In most cases, the reactions to photosensitivity go away after a while and cause no permanent damage. But for symptoms which indicate an underlying cause when the exposure to UV rays was severe, the problem can become serious. In some cases, the reaction may also continue for years after.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any individual who notices an itchy blister or bump, chills, headaches, fever and nausea, hyper pigmentation, pain or swelling and lesions that resemble eczema should get themselves tested for the condition as they can be eligible for the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any person who does not show symptoms of having the condition is not eligible for the treatment. Women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant should avoid a medication called thalidomide which is used for this condition.

Are there any side effects?

Using phototherapy as a method of treatment can also cause erythema which is the reddening of the skin due to exposure to the light. However, the occurrence usually resolves in a few hours. Other side effects of this treatment are headaches, diarrhea, premature aging of the skin among others. Medications like glucocorticoids can have side effects like increasing blood sugar level thereby causing long term diabetes, suppressing calcium uptake by bones thereby triggering osteoporosis, can cause gastritis and ulcers, increase triglycerides and cholesterol level in blood, suppressed immune system and inflammation. Azathioprine can have side effects like nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea and burning sensation and pain during urination.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Patients who have been treated for photodermatitis should be very careful about not exposing themselves to the UV rays. Completing your medications for the prescribed period of time is equally important.

How long does it take to recover?

On a normal basis, the condition stays for a period of three days if you are not exposed to the sun rays during that time. However, it can also come back at any time if exposed to the sun again.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price range for photodermatitis treatment in India can be around Rs 20,000-50,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The result of a proper treatment for photodermatitis is permanent. However, if the symptoms of this condition is caused due to other underlying diseases, then those diseases are to be treated first. If the underlying cause is not treated properly then the reaction of photodermatitis can last for years after as well.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are a number of alternative treatments available for the condition. Using homeopathy and herbs like rhodiola and astragalus can be very helpful. Other supplements and nutrition multivitamins, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids can all be used as an alternative treatment to the problem.

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir, I myself am a doctor. I am suffering from allergic reaction whenever my skin is exposed to sun. I was examined and was diagnosed with Photodermatitis. So are there any effective medication that can help me to reduce the itching. Also I would like to know the precautions to be taken. The sunscreen of Nevia helps a bit. But that too is not much effective. Please provide me with the precautions and medications that can be used by me. Thank you.

M.B.B.S, MD - General Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Kolkata
Photo dermatitis is excessive sensitivity to sunlight. Some drugs can exacerbate this condition like NSAIDS, diuretics, antibiotics like tetracycline or sulfa containing drugs. Use sun screen lotion containing SPF 30. Cover up your exposed parts w...

Sir /mam. I am suffering from sunburn photodermatitis my face is fully black dane taking treatment nnw sun burn and whiting seroma so wat can I do for this den my back also fully black so please answer me.

General Physician, Mumbai
Use sunscreen above 30spf daily as often as possible. Avoid going out in sun. Use umbrella. Splash your face with cold water after coming back from sun. Drink plenty of water. Apply melalite at bedtime. Apply aloe vera gel when indoor. Use cleansi...

My skin itches badly when I go in sunlight or when I do some work like running, using stairs etc.

MD (Homoeopathy), DHMS
Homeopath, Delhi
It can be a case of Photodermatitis. As being oversensitive to Sunlight. Leading to itching redness and at times irritation .Try avoiding direct Sunlight exposure. Wear full sleeves clothes. Try covering the affected area. Use protection as sunscr...
1 person found this helpful

Dear Doctor, I am 42 year old man working marketing in sun. I came to know that I have photo dermatitis. What I can do and what can I use?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, DNB - Dermatology & Venereology
Dermatologist, Delhi
Use a good physical sunscreen with zinc oxide use umbrella and caps and wear full sleeves clothing.
1 person found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

How Is Kidney Stone Treated?

MBBS, MS- General Surgery, MCH- Urology, Fellowship Minimal Access Surgery
Urologist, Mumbai
How Is Kidney Stone Treated?
Treating patients with kidney stones has changed significantly during the last 10-15 years with the advancement of technology and medical knowledge. Treatment can now be tailored to the individual patient based on a variety of factors including th...
3 people found this helpful

Top Urologists in Gurgaon

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
Top Urologists in Gurgaon
Urologists are skilled to diagnose or treat any problem related to urinary tract or kidney infections. Top urologist in Gurgaon can help in detecting any kind of disorders like kidney stones, interstitial cystitis, enlarged prostate and sexual dys...
5 people found this helpful

Haematuria In Males And Females - Know How It Should be Diagnosed!

DNB (Urology), MS, MBBS
Urologist, Gurgaon
Haematuria In Males And Females - Know How It Should be Diagnosed!
Haematuria is a condition wherein there is blood in the urine because of excessive red blood cells in it. Up to 12,500 red blood cells/mh can be occasioned in a healthy individual, but more than this may cause blood in the urine. Types of haematur...
2934 people found this helpful

Best Urologist in Delhi

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
Problems like prostate cancer and UTI are very common in male. They require special attention and need to be treated by urologist. There are many best urologist in Delhi. Urologist are specialises in treatment of common diseases related to the mal...
14 people found this helpful

Top 10 urologist in Bangalore

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
Top 10 urologist in Bangalore
Top 10 urologist in Bangalore. Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine? Or the urine has blood or is cloudy? These could be sign of UTI or urinary tract infection. You need to visit a urologist. There are so many urologist in Bangalore, so ...
6 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
MD - Dermatology,FCPS - Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy,MBBS
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice