Q. What causes itching on sun exposure?

Answered by
Dr. Sneha Mariam Varghese
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 27, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jul 22, 2020

Hello doctor,

I noticed that if I get under the sun in less than 30 seconds my body begins to itch and this did not happen during winter. I also have the same feeling when I am trying to exercise my body or when I feel a little hot. It begins to burn, after about 3 minutes body begins to itch, it starts from my back and spreads all over to my body. It makes me act like I am on drugs. I have similar feeling when I take pepper. It would not go until I go under a cool place. I do not have this skin problem when the weather is cold. I am concerned right now because I cannot even go out.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

1. From your history about the concern, it seems like you have a mild condition of cholinergic urticaria along with photo-sensitivity. Cholinergic urticaria is nothing but developing itching or in some cases itchy bumps when there is a rise in body temperature.

2. I needed you to answer a few more queries for establishing my diagnosis - Onset, at what age did you start experiencing this? Any known allergies? Dust allergies, frequent episodes of cold / running nose? Any family history of allergies? Any medications that you are chronically on?

3. There is no need to panic as this resolves after few - several years on itself. The main thing to do is avoid the triggering factor, like avoiding spicy and hot food, excising in an air conditioned room to a level where your body can tolerate the heat, not over clothing yourself.

4. Also, it would be advised you be on oral anti- histamines meant for itching for sometime, until each episode subsides. And also apply a sunscreen twice in the morning and afternoon, even in winter season as there are ultraviolet rays active even in the cold season.

5. Kindly revert back with the answers to my questions so that I can guide through this and advice a few medical tests to perform.

The Probable causes:

Prone to Allergy , Family history of Allergy

Preventive measures:

Apply sunscreen.
Take oral anti-histamines with each episode.
Avoid triggering factors.
Avoid spicy food.

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