Could antioxidant-rich sun cream be the key to combating Polymorphic Light Eruption (PLE)? Sun allergies affect over 15% of the population and PLE is the most common of all sun allergies.
It is caused by an immune reaction and is more common in those with fair skin. It tends to affect more women than men, normally starting in the late teens to early 20s.
What is PLE?
Polymorphic means ‘possessing various forms’ – it can present as blisters, small red bumps or red patches. Most commonly the rash affects the arms, lower legs or chest and is usually accompanied by itching or burning. PLE should not be confused with prickly heat which is an altogether different condition caused by suppressed perspiration that becomes trapped under the surface of the skin.
Although the precise cause is not yet known, it is likely that Polymorphic Light Eruption is an allergic reaction to substances formed in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. These substances are thought to be proteins that have undergone oxidative changes caused by UV-induced free radical activity.
Antioxidants - a welcome addition for PLE sufferers
Antioxidants in sunscreen offer hope for the many sufferers of Polymorphic Light Eruption. Several clinical trials have shown positive results when sunscreens are mixed with topically applied antioxidants.
It appears that the antioxidants may be reducing the formation and activity of free radicals to such an extent that they do not react with skin proteins to form the allergens responsible for triggering this condition.
Interestingly, the same trials demonstrated that sunscreens without antioxidants offer little or no protection against PLE.
Watch our short video to discover more ways to help prevent PLE
Antioxidant-powered sun creams
Green People has incorporated this research into its organic sun cream range. A synergistic blend of antioxidant-rich plant extracts from Green Tea, Rosemary and Edelweiss is included in all of Green People’s sun lotions.
These extracts contain a range of active ingredients called flavonoids that have a powerful antioxidant action against free radical activity, prevent oxidative changes and ultimately protect the living cells. These factors combine to protect your skin from a UV-exposed allergic reaction.