Skincare experts on how to find out if you are allergic to sunscreen | Health - Hindustan Times
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Skincare experts on how to find out if you are allergic to sunscreen

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Jan 04, 2023 08:21 AM IST

Certain ingredients found in sunscreen may cause allergies to the skin. It becomes important to choose the right kind of sunscreen to ensure there is no allergic reaction from it and your skin is safe. Here are some easy tips to find out if you’re allergic to sunscreen by dermats

Sunscreen is an integral part of the skincare routine where from protecting the skin from sun exposure to keeping the skin safe from free radicals and other skin issues, sunscreen is a must in everyone’s vanity. However, certain ingredients found in sunscreen may cause allergies to the skin hence, it becomes important to choose the right kind of sunscreen to ensure there is no allergic reaction from it and your skin is safe.

Skincare experts on how to find out if you are allergic to sunscreen (Anna Tarazevich)
Skincare experts on how to find out if you are allergic to sunscreen (Anna Tarazevich)

Allergy to sunscreens occurs due to reaction to any one of the active ingredients found in the product or sensitivity due to added fragrances or preservatives. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sonia Tekchandani, Celebrity Dermatologist and Founder of Tender Skin International, revealed that usually there are two forms of sunscreen allergy seen -

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1. Contact allergy occurs as rashes anywhere on the body where the substance has been applied and sometimes may spread to unexpected sites.

2. Contact photoallergy - The reaction is due to the interaction between sunscreen chemicals and sunlight, so these rash only appear when you apply sunscreen and and are exposed to the sun. Common areas where sunscreens are applied include face, arms, backs of the hands and lower neck. Usually the upper eyelids, area under the chin and behind the ears are not affected.

She suggested, “Patch testing for the individual component is the only exact method for determining which of the chemicals the allergen is. Self-testing a product for sunscreen allergy can be done by apply a small pea sized amount of the product to a small tender area of skin such as the bend of your arm or back of neck for several days in a row. Examine the area each day and if no reaction occurs, it is unlikely you are allergic to it.”

According to Dr Pooja Nagdev, Aromatherapist, Cosmetologist and Founder of Inatur, following are some easy tips to find out if you’re allergic to sunscreen:

1. Your skin starts to itch

Cinnamates and benzophenones are some of the commonly found ingredients in sunscreen which can cause irritation to the skin. If your sunscreen has these ingredients, your skin can start itching after you apply it. The itching can go to the extreme stage if you do not take care of it properly. So, if you experience itching just after using sunscreen, change your sunscreen as soon as possible.

2. Skin becomes swelled

One of the common symptoms of an allergic reaction to sunscreen is skin swelling. Certain ingredients and chemicals react with the skin, which the skin can not bear. Hence some specific parts of the skin get swelled, and it can be painful at times as well. Although the swelling goes away after a few hours, it is best to switch to a new sunscreen if you see this symptom.

3. Skin gets red

A very common way to find out if you are allergic to sunscreen is to check if your skin gets red after using it. Sunscreens can react to the skin, and your skin will start to appear red in various patches. This is not painful, but the red patches are certainly not comfortable on the skin, and prolonged use of the same sunscreen can impact the skin severely in the long run.

4. Blisters filled with pus

Some sunscreens have an immediate reaction to the skin, and the skin becomes filled with blisters. These blisters usually have fluid inside them, which is harmful to the skin. Calamine lotion and cold compresses can come in handy if you have a blister like this. However, it is best to consult a dermat and change your sunscreen according to your skin type.

Look out for these symptoms if you are allergic to your sunscreen and change your sunscreen as early as possible.

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