Learn About Polymorphous Light Eruption

What is the definition of Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) is a common skin reaction in people who are sensitive to sunlight (ultraviolet light).

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What are the alternative names for Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Polymorphic light eruption; Photodermatosis; PMLE; Benign summer light eruption

What are the causes of Polymorphous Light Eruption?

The exact cause of PMLE is unknown. However, it may be genetic. Doctors think it is a type of delayed allergic reaction. It is common among young women who live in moderate (temperate) climates.

What are the symptoms of Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Polymorphous means taking on different forms, and eruption means rash. As the name suggests, symptoms of PMLE are rash-like and are different in different people.

PMLE most often occurs in spring and early summer on areas of the body exposed to the sun.

Symptoms usually appear within 1 to 4 days after exposure to sunlight. They include any of the following:

  • Small bumps (papules) or blisters
  • Redness or scaling of the skin
  • Itching or burning of the affected skin
  • Swelling, or even blisters (not often seen)
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What are the current treatments for Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Steroid creams or ointments containing vitamin D may be prescribed by your provider. They are used 2 or 3 times a day at the start of the eruption. Steroid or other types of pills may be used for more severe cases.

Phototherapy may also be prescribed. Phototherapy is a medical treatment in which your skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light. This may help your skin become used to (sensitized to) the sun.

Who are the top Polymorphous Light Eruption Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
22
conditions

Medical University Of Graz

Vienna, AT 1090

Peter Wolf is in Vienna, Austria. Wolf is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Polymorphous Light Eruption. He is also highly rated in 22 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Polymorphous Light Eruption, Pustular Psoriasis, Psoriasis, and Contact Dermatitis.

Elite
Highly rated in
3
conditions

Medical University Of Graz

Graz, AT 

Alexandra Wackernagel-Gruber is in Graz, Austria. Wackernagel-Gruber is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Polymorphous Light Eruption. She is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Polymorphous Light Eruption, Pustular Psoriasis, Parapsoriasis, and Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
1
conditions

Medical University Of Graz

Center For Medical Research 
Graz, AT 8010

Vijaykumar Patra is in Graz, Austria. Patra is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Polymorphous Light Eruption. They are also highly rated in 1 other condition, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Polymorphous Light Eruption, Psoriasis, Atopic Dermatitis, and Pustular Psoriasis.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Many people become less sensitive to sunlight over time.

When should I contact a medical professional for Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Call for an appointment with your provider if PMLE symptoms do not respond to treatments.

How do I prevent Polymorphous Light Eruption?

Protecting your skin from the sun can help prevent PMLE symptoms:

  • Avoid sun exposure during hours of peak sun ray intensity.
  • Use sunscreen. Sun protection with broad spectrum sunblock that works against UVA rays is important.
  • Apply generous amounts of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Pay special attention to your face, nose, ears, and shoulders.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure so that it has time to penetrate the skin. Re-apply after swimming and every 2 hours while you are outdoors.
  • Wear a sun hat.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Use a lip balm with sunscreen.
Polymorphic light eruption on the arm
What are the latest Polymorphous Light Eruption Clinical Trials?
Improving Disease Severity in Alopecia Areata, Polymorphous Light Eruption, and Psoriasis Patients With Lumiton Technology
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The Significance of the Skin Microbiome in the Pathophysiology of Polymorphic Light Eruption
What are the Latest Advances for Polymorphous Light Eruption?

There is no recent research available for this condition. Please check back because thousands of new papers are published every week and we strive to find and display the most recent relevant research as soon as it is available.

Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: June 19, 2021
Published By: Ramin Fathi, MD, FAAD, Director, Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, Phoenix, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Ling TC. Polymorphic light eruption. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Coulson IH, Murrell DF, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 196.

Patterson JW. Reactions to physical agents. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Limited; 2021:chap 22.