ZocdocAnswersCan allergies to sunblock cause rashes to form?

Question

Can allergies to sunblock cause rashes to form?

I broke out in a bad rash after being out in the park last week, and I'm wondering if it could have been an effect of the sunblock. It was just a normal drugstore brand of sunblock, but I've never reacted this way to a lotion before. I'm a 29 year old guy with no history of skin troubles.

Answer

Rashes to personal care products are actually fairly common, and they can occur at any time even in those like yourself with no history of such reactions. Typically what happens is that hours to days after using the product, the person will break out in rash, sometimes pimple-like and sometimes more diffuse, usually itchy, and limited to the area where the product was applied. There are occasional patients who have this reaction to some ingredient of sun block lotion, and the best approach to take is simply to avoid this brand of lotion and choose a different one, preferably one that you have used in the past without any adverse reaction. If the itching or discomfort of the rash is still persisting, you can try applying a small amount of a over the counter anti itch or steroid cream, or taking an antihistamine pill. However, if the rash really was a reaction to the sun block lotion, it should get better fairly quickly. If it is not getting better, or if there are blisters or other serious skin lesions forming, then you will want to talk with your primary care doctor or dermatologist to make sure there is not something else going on.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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