Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Are there foods that cause photosensitivity?"

ZocdocAnswersAre there foods that cause photosensitivity?


For about two weeks if I'm out in the sun I feel like my skin is burning or something. It could be only about 15 minutes but the burning is there. Is it from something I'm eating? Drinking? Why do I have photosensitivity?


I am sorry to hear that you are having these unpleasant sensations in your skin. First and foremost, it is important to protect your skin from sun damage. Therefore, while you are trying to figure out what is going on I strongly suggest that you avoid being in the direct sun or, at least, that you limit your time in the sun and that you also apply a good sun screen every time you are outdoors. There are a few types of foods and plants that can cause photosensitivity. Typically, however, it is not ingesting these foods that causes the photosensitivity but, rather, when they are applied directly to the skin, say as a component of a cosmetic product, skin treatment, or lotion. Lime juice is the most typical example. Furthermore, there are many, many medications that can make you photosensitive. If you have recently started using a new cosmetic product or taking a new medication, these might be the cause. I would suggest that you start by seeing your primary care doctor or a dermatologist about the issue. They will help you determine what might be the cause of your recent photosensitivity, whether a cosmetic product, medication or, rarely, other underlying medical problem.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.