The sun is essential for life on Earth. In addition to keeping us warm, it serves as a major source of energy for organisms. However, overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can have negative effects on the body; it can cause sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer. Rarely, the sun's rays can also cause immune reactions, and some people are diagnosed with a sun allergy.
A sun allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to sunlight; this often results in an itchy, red rash. While it can affect any part of the body, the most common locations are the neck, outside of the arms, back of the hands, and lower legs. In many cases, brief sun exposure is enough to trigger these allergies. Symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the individual. There are several types of sun allergies: polymorphous light eruption, photoallergic eruption, actinic prurigo, and solar urticaria, the last of which often produces hives.
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