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Photosensitive foods and drugs

Updated: 6 days ago

Photosensitivity is the term used to describe sensitivity to UV rays from sunlight and other light sources, such as indoor fluorescent light. I have to check people skin with this condition before I do IPL treatments on them.

Phytophotodermatitis is triggered by UVA in the range of 320–380 nanometers

In descending order these are the things I worry about the most.

Many people are using , Alpha-hydroxy acids, Accutane or Retinol, Retin A for skin care. They see it as the end all answer for everything. These skin care products can increase your risk of a serious sunburn by stripping the outer layer of the skin. If I am doing IPL on a client. I ask the client to stop using the product for a couple months before I do IPL.

Excessive Vitamin A also causes problems with IPL

Photosensitive medication: They irritate the skin and cause a burn-like a rash.

People taking antibiotics, i.e. doxycycline, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin and trimethoprim should be cautious of sun exposer.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen, can cause also cause sunburn-like skin reactions.

Sunscreen ingredient, benzophenone-3 can be an allergenic causing an a severe rash. If you believe you are sensitive to the sun, look for a high SPF, without oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 listed in the ingredients.

Antihistamines and allergy medications that contain diphenhydramine, like Benadryl, can cause a sun sensitivity.

Foods can also cause photosensitivity:

Lime, celery, dill, fennel, parsley, figs and mango peel , artichoke, lettuce, endive.

Artificial sweeteners : calcium cyclamate, cyclamates, or sodium cyclohexylsulfamate can also contribute to photosensitivity

Herbal remedies: St. John’s Wort and Gingko Biloba should be avoided if you are taking especially if you are taking photosensitive medication.

Essential oils: bergamot orange, bitter orange, lavender, lemon verbena, musk, rosemary or sandalwood can make your skin more reactive to the sun.

Flowers and Weeds: Wild carrot, False bishop's weed, Hogweeds and the Cow Parsnips, Persian Hogweed, Burning Bush, Arnica, Chrysanthemum, Dandelion, Marigold, and Sunflower, Dahlia, Chicory, Lovage, Angelica, Yarrow, Winter wheat (cattle), Medicago (alfalfa), Brassica (mustards), and Kochia scoparia (fireweed)


Perfumes, body scrubs, peels or exfoliants can increase your skin’s sensitivity. Stop using your perfume a day or 2 before and exfoliating before exposure, to the sun.

People with rheumatoid conditions like lupus: It can be both cutaneous (skin) and systemic lupus. This autoimmune disease may cause photosensitivity. They can experience rashes, fever, fatigue, joint pain, and other symptoms.

Some forms of Psoriasis and Exema are also are irritated by the sun.

Vitiligo can also worsen with sun exposure

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