What is polymorphic light eruption PLE?
As promised a few weeks ago, polymorphic light eruption presents as a very extreme form of heat rash or prickly heat.
It is where the UV rays from the sun cause an allergic response within your skin related to your immune system. It often starts as the sun starts to get stronger during the Spring and usually affects areas that have been covered up the most during the cooler, months. Although there is no direct genetic link, often people who have PLE with also have other family members who suffer.
Generally, women suffer from PLE more often than men and can start at any age, but usually before the age of 30. It is not contagious and mostly affects those with fairer skin.
Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms can range from a light rash, all the way through to bright red blisters filled with liquid. It can be painful and noticeable and really affect quality of life for some who suffer severely.
In many cases, it does disappear within 7-10 days – the average holiday length!!
You may be able to have some sun desensitisation prescribed by a doctor which includes low level exposure to UV over a period of time…. think low level and controlled sunbeds, but this does not work for everyone as it is almost impossible to replicate the exact effect of the sun on every individual person. This also must be repeated every year as the desensitisation wears off in the winter. Topical steroid cream can help in the short term to heal a broken skin barrier, but is not a long-term solution.
You can see me coming a mile off now! Sun safety is so important, and sticking to those all-important guidelines will help reduces your symptoms.
Out of the sun between 11-3, wear a giant hat, SPF 50 on exposed areas and cool breathable clothing. Products containing vitamin E will help repair the skin and sooth the itch. Both The Universal Balm and the original facial oil contain vitamin E and are perfect for replenishing the skin.
Facial Oil Customer Review – have a listen.
Have a wonderful last few weeks of summer – enjoy the sun it is our friend, but just takes some careful handling!