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As the weather warmed in Turkey sandy beaches and around the world, sun allergies also began to manifest themselves. Turkey Medicals member and Allergy and Asthma Association President, our Professor Doctor gave us important information about the sun allergy caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to the sun’s rays.

1. Sun allergy is the extreme sensitivity of our skin to the sun’s rays and occurs due to skin exposure to sunlight. It is also known as solar urticaria or sun-induced hives.

2. It is manifested by recurrent attacks of hives in the form of itchy redness, edema, puffiness in the sun-exposed areas of the skin. Although it is often seen as a mild allergy, it can cause problems when it is excessive, limiting our daily activities and negatively affecting our quality of life.

3. Sun allergy is a rare form of hives. It accounts for less than 0.5% of all cases of hives. The disease usually begins in young people (average age 35). But it can also be seen in newborns or elderly people.

4. Is more common in women. The incidence is slightly higher in atopic people who are prone to allergies. The probability of solar urticaria co-occurring with other types of chronic urticaria is 16%.

5. How sun allergy develops is not fully understood. It is a sudden hypersensitivity reaction that occurs after exposure to the sun, which can be IgE-mediated.

6. The sun’s Rays activate an endogenous substance called chromophore, which can be found in serum or on our skin, turning it into an immunologically active photo-allergen. This then triggers the release of chemicals from mast cells that cause allergies, causing hives lesions. Irradiated injection of a person’s own serum with a sun allergy has also been found to be consistent with this hypothesis due to skin allergies.

7. Sometimes, solar urticaria is triggered by certain medications. Some cholesterol-lowering drugs (such as Atorvastatin), some drugs used as antipsychotics (chlorpromazine), some antibiotics (such as tetracycline), or birth control pills can trigger sun allergies.

8. Exposure to sunlight after the use of perfumes, disinfectants, dyes or other chemicals can also cause sun allergies.

9. What are the symptoms of sun allergy? A few minutes after exposure to sunlight, in areas exposed to the sun have Redness, Combustion, Symptoms appear in the form of edematous blisters.

10. Sun allergy can also develop in areas covered in thin and white clothing that allow the sun’s rays to reach the underlying skin. Allergies can also occur around the eyes or lips. Skin that remains under clothing usually reacts more violently when exposed to the sun. The face and hand are more tolerant as they are frequently exposed to the sun.

11. Severe allergy symptoms such as nausea, wheezing, shortness of breath or fainting may also occur, especially if large areas of the skin are exposed to sunlight for a long time. However, allergic shock rarely develops even when there are serious allergy symptoms.

12. Skin symptoms begin to improve within an hour of cessation of sun exposure in 75% of cases and fully improve within 24 hours. The severity and duration of symptoms can also vary with the intensity of light.

13. The information obtained from the patient is very important in the diagnosis of sun allergy. It is important to have temporary hives that occur a few minutes after exposure to sunlight. Examination findings are normal when not exposed to the sun.

14. Diagnosis of the importance of clinical manifestations in the diagnosis of solar urticaria can be confirmed with phototest as well as diagnosis. Fototest looks at how your skin reacts to UV light from a solar lamp of different wavelengths, and at what dose. The wavelength your skin reacts to can help you identify your particular sun allergy.

15. The fotopatch test may be useful to rule out drug-induced photosensitivity or photo contact dermatitis. The patch test, called fotopatch, involves putting different substances on your skin that are known to trigger allergies, waiting a day and then exposing your skin to UV radiation from a sunlamp. If your skin reacts to a particular substance, this may be what triggers solar urticaria.

16. There are no guidelines for the treatment of solar urticaria. Different treatments have been used with varying success. Avoiding sun exposure using broad-spectrum sunscreens and dark clothing, as well as protection from the sun’s rays, is logically recommended.

17. Antihistamines are often used as drug therapy. They can often provide relief but usually require higher doses. Antihistamines have no effect on redness in solar urticaria. Lotions can be used to relieve redness and burning.

18. Phototherapy (UVA, UVB, visible light) and photochemotherapy (PUVA) can be used to improve tolerance to sunlight. This tolerance development process should be based on the spectrum of action and the minimum dose of urticaria. PUVA appears to give a longer-lasting response than phototherapy alone.

19. Solar urticaria is a mysterious disease that is not fully understood. Although the diagnosis is simple, it is difficult to treat. Solar urticaria usually develops in the thirties and becomes a chronic disease. Not all patients may improve with treatment.

20. The probability of self-improvement was estimated at 15% in 5 years after the onset of sun allergy and 25% after 10 years. In general, patients with severe urticaria are unlikely to improve. Many European patients are confined indoors and their quality of life is poor.

21. Because solar urticaria is thought to be caused by a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction, severe episodes of solar urticaria can lead to fainting seizures, breath tightness, and even severe allergy symptoms.

22. Limit your exposure to the sun and stay away from the sun, especially between 1000-1600 hrs, when the sun rays are strongest. If your rash is related to a particular drug, contact your allergist. Wear closely woven clothing with maximum protection, such as long sleeves, long pants or long skirts. Consider wearing clothes with over 40 UPF protection factors that prevent the UV protection factor better than sunscreens. Apply a broad-spectrum sun screen to exposed skin and reapply it regularly. When outside, wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat; use a sun umbrella.


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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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