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Why does my face turn red and puffy in the sun?

Q: Why does my face turn red and puffy and turn hot after being out in the sun. I have had patch testing and am not allergic to anything. I have been treated with steroid creams and Prendizone. This reaction happens throughout the year. There is no common reason. The last time I was outside in the sun for about four hours, my face skin was red and tight. It took two days to get back to normal after using a cream. I have seen a dermatologist and an allergy specialist but in vain. The doctors have talked about photosensitive issues like a polymorphic reaction. My insurance does not cover the testing for the light reaction. What should I do? I do use a sunscreen. I am 57 years old weighing 89 kg.

A:Your history and symptoms point towards a photosensitive disorder. You need to be investigated for the same. Topical and systemic steroids may be temporary solutions to your problem. Till your problem gets sorted out, either change your work schedule from day to night or use black umbrella when you are in sun, wear full sleeved clothing preferably cotton, and a broad brimmed hat. Sunscreen to be used should be only physical sunscreen made up of zinc oxide.

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