Could You Be Allergic to Sunscreen?

We all know how dangerous exposure to the sun’s UV rays can be, and few of us have not experienced sunburn at some point in our lives. Because of the dangers of skin cancer, we should all know that it is exceptionally important to have the maximum protection from an effective and safe sunscreen when we hit the beach or pool. As more people use sunscreen, sunscreen related allergies are on the rise. What causes the allergies, and how can you choose a safe sunscreen?

There are two types of sunscreen. One is a chemical absorber, that acts similar to a sponge to block harmful UV radiation. The second kind uses blocking agents such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and may be preferred if you have sensitive skin.

There are certain risk factors for sunscreen allergies. Women are more likely than men to have allergic reactions, people with eczema, those exposed to the sun on a regular basis and those that work outdoors.

According to David E. Cohen MD, MPH Director of Allergic, Occupational, and Environmental Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, “Patch testing would be helpful in distinguishing the specific item that may be causing the allergic reaction. When a chemical sun block allergy is suspected, physical sun blocks that contain titanium or zinc may be helpful”.

If you suspect you may be allergic to sunscreen, contact Atlanta ENT for a consultation today.

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT

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