Polymorphic Light Eruption (PLE)/ Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE)

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What is Polymorphic Light Eruption (PMLE)?

Polymorphic Light Eruption (PMLE) is a condition which causes an itchy skin rash that is resulted by sun exposure. It is caused by the prolonged exposure to the sun UVA and UVB radiations.There appears a rash with pinpoint papule with intense itching or burning, occasionally there may be fever, chills and illness.

Location of Rash:- It appears on arms, chest or lower legs, in some cases it can spread to face too.

These rashes settle in couple of days to weeks.

Season for aggravation:- Chances of re-occurrence are higher in summers but in few cases people can develop it in the winter. 

Which Race, age gets affected?

PMLE Usually 20 -40 years of age are affected

Females are more commonly affected than males.

What are the causes?

The causes are as follows-

• Family history

• Women

• Teenager of approximately 20 years

• People with fair skin

• Exposure to UV-C light

• UV-B light exposure or even visible light

What are the signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms are as follows-

• Thick clusters of small bumps

• Raised rough patches

• Red papules

• Nausea and chills

• Itching or burning like a burn

• Blistering and swelling

• Scaly skin

• Chills, headache, fever and nausea

• Lesion that resemble eczema

What are the investigations suggested in these cases?

• Complete case history

• Physical examination

• Blood test

• Photo-testing

• Skin biopsy

What are the conventional medications suggested ?

• Analgesics

• Anti-itch creams

• Beta carotene

• Topical steroid cream

• Photo therapy

• Light therapy /(PUVA)therapy

What is the Prognosis?

The chances of PMLE getting treated is good.

What are the complications?

• Skin rash

• Skin burning

• Discoloration of skin

What are the deferential Diagnosis?

• Contact dermatitis

• Allergies

• Systemic lupus erthematosis

• Erythropoietic porphyria

• Drug eruption

• Photosensitive drug reaction

• Solar urticaria

• Actinic reticuloid

• Photosensitive eczema

What are the commonly indicated Homeopathic medications?

Aconitum napellus

Apis mellifica


Natrum mur


What are the precautions and dietary restrictions?

• Avoid Sun exposure in peak afternoons by Staying at home between 10 am to 4 pm.

• Wear clothing to cover body including extremities as it works as a physical barrier to protect from Sun.

• Use sunscreen/ sun-blocks with SPF 50 lotion when going out.

• Add vitamin D supplements to diet.

• Use cold comprehension on affected skin.

• One must prevent infection by leaving the blister intact and avoid scratching them.

•  Use lip balm with sunscreen.

• Wear sunglasses when going out.

• Keep fully hydrated.

• Drink green tea.

• Avoid artificial sweeteners.

• Eat beta-carotene rich food.

For more information, you can visit NHS and Wikipedia.


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