Itchy skin rash over my entire body and swollen eyes

Patient

Q: I am a 21 year old female. For the past 2 years, every time I am in the sun for longer than 30 minutes, I wake up the next morning with a rash covering my entire body( arms, face, eyelids, lips, legs etc.) My eyes will also be swollen shut. I thought that it might be an allergic reaction the sun. I was previously told that the rashes and swelling were a result of me not using sunscreen however, the rash and the swelling still occurs even when I use sunscreen; the sunscreen actually seems to make it worse so I forego it altogether.

This past weekend I was on vacation in Florida and the same rash and swelling occurred however, this time I was not in the sun for any extended period of time; the weather was also very mild with 70 degrees Fahrenheit being the hottest it got while I was there. I have never had this problem until 2012. What could it be?

Symptoms:  Itchy Rash over entire body (arms, legs, eyelids, lips, face etc.), swollen puffy eyes
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is is possible that you have a sensitivity to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Despite using sun screen, you are still experiencing this because sunscreen does not block all ultraviolet radiation. We recommend that you schedule a consultation with a dermatologist to undergo a full evaluation of your skin and conduct testing to see if you have a rare allergic sensitivity to sunlight. If this is the case, you will need to use prescription sunscreens as well as wear clothing that covers surfaces of your skin exposed to sunlight whenever you are going to be exposed for an extended period of time.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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