Photosensitivity quiz

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Sanshiro Kato

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Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Learn more about Photosensitivity

Content updated on 2022-06-02

What is photosensitivity?

A condition where the skin is extremely sensitive to sunlight and ultraviolet rays. It can be caused by drugs and autoimmune disease (body's immune system attacking its own cells).

Symptoms related to photosensitivity

  • Redness in sun-exposed areas of skin

  • Skin abnormality

  • Skin redness or red bumpy rashes

  • Affected area is warm to touch

  • Redness where the medicated patch was applied

  • Blisters

  • Skin problem on the chest, tummy or back

  • Skin Itching

Questions your doctor may ask to check for photosensitivity

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose photosensitivity

  • Do you have redness on the sun-exposed areas of your skin?

  • Do you have any skin problems?

  • Do you have red skin or red spots on the skin?

  • Is the affected area of your body hot to touch?

  • Is the skin where the medicated patch was applied reddish in color?

Treatment for photosensitivity

Treatment depends on the cause. Creams and painkillers can help relieve symptoms. In the meantime, avoiding sunlight and wearing sunscreen will prevent symptoms from worsening.

View the symptoms of Photosensitivity


  • Hofmann GA, Weber B. Drug-induced photosensitivity: culprit drugs, potential mechanisms and clinical consequences. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2021 Jan;19(1):19-29. doi: 10.1111/ddg.14314. PMID: 33491908; PMCID: PMC7898394.

  • Momin N, Phan P, Ali AA, I Ali H, Seeger CM, Joseph M. Benzodiazepine-induced photosensitivity reactions: A compilation of cases from literature review with Naranjo causality assessment. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2021 Nov;37(6):505-510. doi: 10.1111/phpp.12691. Epub 2021 May 26. PMID: 33966295.

  • Lugović-Mihić L, Duvančić T, Ferček I, Vuković P, Japundžić I, Ćesić D. Drug-Induced Photosensitivity - a Continuing Diagnostic Challenge. Acta Clin Croat. 2017 Jun;56(2):277-283. doi: 10.20471/acc.2017.56.02.11. PMID: 29485795.

  • Ibbotson S . Drug and chemical induced photosensitivity from a clinical perspective. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2018 Dec 5;17(12):1885-1903. doi: 10.1039/c8pp00011e. PMID: 30283959.

Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Kameda Medical Center, Japan

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Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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