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