I am allergic to the sun! PMLE

Polymorphous light eruption…

What is it?

PMLE is the acronym for polymorphous (morphic) light eruption which is a rash caused by exposure to the ultra violet rays that the sun produces.

bright sun rays

Basically when the skin is exposed to the sun for even short (10 mins) periods of time, it begins to erupt. Showing as small red, itchy, burning, bumps, blisters, and/or patches. Though most cases of PMLE clear up on their own, some tend to need medicine for the rash to clear up.



Frequency of PMLE

Polymorphic light eruption usually occurs in late spring/early summer and most often occurs annually.  It mostly occurs after the first or second “sun exposure” of the year. Be it a day at the beach/pool, a day at the park or often when people go on vacation to a tropical area from a northern area. As you spend more time in the sun the sensitivity usually dissipates for the rest of the season. Though I had an outbreak 3 different times in one season.

My story

I started getting the rash about 4 years ago that I remember. The first year it wasn’t horrible, just a few bumps and I put it off as bites of some sort. The second year it was more pronounced and I ended up going to my primary doctor for it, thinking I had the chicken pox again. I was told it was heat rash and to use Benadryl to subside the horrible itching. The third year it was so much worse, I went to a dermatologist and had a biopsy done. The biopsy confirmed it to be polymorphous light eruption.

Photos of my rash

pmle polymorphous light eruption sun sensitivity sun allergy






pmle polymorphous light eruption sun sensitivity sun allergy









Last season








Research and Treatments

When I was told that there is nothing to stop this from happening and that I am most likely going to experience it every year my research mode went into full effect. I read dozens upon dozens of articles and tried different things from calamine lotion, to cold showers and ice packs and just about anything to get this itching to stop. And then it dawned on me. I need to make a cooling, soothing, calming gel that will take the itch and burning away. Scroll down to see what I concocted that actually works.

My DIY cooling soothing gel

aloe vera for pmle

1/4 cup of Aloe Vera gel

7 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil

I add the above ingredients into a glass jar and keep in my fridge. When my rash becomes present, I add a small amount to the affected area. The Aloe Vera cools the burning sensation, while the Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils provide pain relief, inflammatory relief, and prevent the rash from becoming infected.

diy cooling and calming gel for pmle

Do you or someone you know suffer from a sun allergy?

What methods have you tried to get relief?

Let me know in  the comments below!

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