What Clothes Should You Wear if You’re Allergic to the Sun?

Sun allergies or sun sensitivities, like PLE and Solar Urticaria, can make it difficult to spend time outside. Learn all about how UPF clothing can help with these sun allergies.
What Clothes Should You Wear if You’re Allergic to the Sun?

Sun allergies, also known as photosensitivity or sun sensitivity, are conditions where the skin reacts abnormally when exposed to sunlight. There are various sun allergies each with specific symptoms and triggers, such as polymorphic light eruption (PLE) and solar urticaria. Today, we go over common sun allergies and what to wear if you’re allergic to the sun or have a sun sensitivity.

The Most Common Sun Allergies

Here are some of the most common types of sun allergies:

Polymorphic Light Eruption (PLE)

This is the most common sun allergy, which occurs if you are sensitive to UV light and are exposed to the sun. 

Often, PLE leads to a red, itchy rash on the skin that usually pops up within a couple hours up to a day after they’ve been exposed to the sun. It typically affects your face, neck, chest, and arms. 

Solar Urticaria

Solar urticaria is a rare allergic reaction to sunlight that can cause hives or welts to appear on your body after being exposed to the sun. 

Many people experience this reaction even inside or on cloudy days, which is why it’s so important to cover up with UPF 50+ clothing. 

Photoallergic Eruption

Photoallergic eruption happens when a specific trigger, like medication or topical ointments, are ingested or applied to your skin, which causes an allergic reaction when exposed to the sun. 

Common prescription medicines that can cause this reaction include the following: 

  • NSAIDs
  • Antibiotics 
  • Naproxen sodium 
  • Diuretics

The reaction often looks like a rash or eczema and may spread to areas not directly exposed to sunlight.

Actinic Prurigo (hereditary PMLE)

This is a rare type of sun allergy that tends to be more severe and is often hereditary. It is common among Native Americans and causes an intense, itchy rash. 

Photocontact Dermatitis

This happens when ultraviolet or visible light interacts with something you’ve either ingested or applied topically, producing skin redness, burning, and pain. 

Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) 

XP is a rare genetic disorder characterized by an extreme sun allergy. It impairs your body's ability to repair damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Individuals with XP are extremely sensitive to sunlight and have a significantly higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Skin Conditions That Worsen with Sun Exposure 

It's important to note that some skin conditions may worsen with sun exposure, even if they are not true sun allergies. Conditions like lupus, certain forms of eczema, and rosacea can be aggravated by sunlight.

If you suspect you have a sun allergy or experience adverse skin reactions after sun exposure, it's essential to consult with a dermatologist or allergist for proper diagnosis and management. They can help identify the specific type of sun allergy and provide appropriate treatment and preventive measures.

UPF 50+ Clothing for Sun Allergies

If you're allergic to the sun, you may have a condition called Solar Urticaria or photosensitivity, which causes your skin to react to sunlight. To protect yourself from the sun's UV rays and minimize your allergic reaction, you should consider wearing UPF clothing. Here are some tips on what to wear if you have a sun allergy:

Sun-Protective Clothing with a UPF Rating of 50+

Look for clothing specifically designed to offer UV protection. You want to find clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF rating of 50+, which is the highest UPF rating you can find. 

Also, look for clothing that has the Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation. 

Opt for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants made from breathable materials that offer comprehensive coverage. Here are some great examples for women and men: 

Women's Long-Sleeve UPF 50+ Sun Shirt

women's long-sleeve UPF 50+ sun shirt

Women's UPF 50+ Capris

women's UPF 50+ walking capris

Men's Long-Sleeve UPF 50+ Everyday Tee

men's UPF 50+ long-sleeve shirts

Men's UPF 50+ Pants

men's UPF 50+ pants

Wide-Brimmed Hat

woman in a wide brim UPF sun hat

Wear a wide-brimmed sun hat that shades your face, ears, and neck to protect your skin UVA and UVB rays. 


Protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.

Sun Gloves

sun gloves

Protect your wrists and hands from UV rays with sun-protective gloves. Make sure they have a UPF 50+ rating as well.


Even with sun-protective clothing, be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to any exposed skin areas. Look for a sunscreen that is formulated for sensitive skin and free of potential allergens.

Additional Tips for Staying Safe from the Sun with a Sun Allergy 

Here are some additional tips on how to stay safe from sun exposure if you have a sun allergy:  

  • Seek shade whenever possible, especially during peak sun hours (10 am to 4 pm)
  • Keep track of certain medications, perfumes, topical ointments, and sunscreen, that could lead to an allergic reaction when exposed to the sun
  • Bring a UPF 50+ cover-up with you and put it on whenever you're exposed to the sun for too long
  • Wear UPF sleeves when driving in a car for an extended period of time

You should also consult with a dermatologist or allergist to more personalized advice and explore additional measures to manage your sun allergy effectively. They may recommend specific medications or other treatments based on the severity of your condition.

To shop additional UPF 50+ clothing for men, women, kids, and babies, browse our online store today.