Q. How can I protect myself from sunlight?

Answered by
Dr. Geeta Priyadarsini Kamminana
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 30, 2016 and last reviewed on: Mar 21, 2020

Hi doctor,

Two years back during my holidays, I developed a large rash over the whole of my legs. It was described as petechiae when I got back to my native. The infection had got into my blood stream and my white blood cell count was extremely high. It took some time for it to return to normal. I always have problems with reactions to the sun. I used to develop rashes, swellings, severe burns even if only going out for five minutes, also fully covered dizziness and tiredness. However, I am again going on holiday later this month. I would like to know how I can protect myself, so this does not happen again. I have been taking antihistamines for two months now. I noted that sunscreens did not help to prevent this last time. Please give some advice regarding this. Thank you.

Dr. Geeta Priyadarsini Kamminana

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • The problem quoted by you as a petechia with blood stream infection and increased white blood cell count is broad in the sense it can include,
  1. Sepsis due to bacterial infection. 
  2. Viral hemorrhagic fever.
  3. Parasitic infections.
  • Whatever might be the cause; infections are usually spread through water, food and vectors like mosquitoes.
  • Drink purified water and protect yourself from mosquitoes by applying repellant creams if they suit you.
  • It seems you have photo allergy that is photosensitive skin to ultraviolet rays.
  • Continue using antihistamines and topical creams, which you are using now and cover as much skin as possible whilst you are out in the sun.
  • If you have severe sun sensitivity with blisters then you should be evaluated for systemic lupus erythematosus particularly molar rash or butterfly rash on face by testing for ANA and also for porphyrias (accumulation of porphyrin - group of rare diseases).

Preventive measures:

1. Confine your summer excursions to early in the morning and late in the evening.
2. Wear clothes that cover exposed areas uniformly.
3. Use sunscreens with SPF 50 particularly that which has Zinc in it.
4. I also suggest vitamin D supplement and antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols. Consult your doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.
5. Avoid your tour to high altitudes and snowy areas as snow reflects sun and may cause worse sun burn.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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