solar urticaria

Last reviewed 01/2018

Solar urticaria has an equal incidence in males and females.

Onset may be sudden and may be life-threatening. It is induced by exposure to UVA and visible light wavelengths.

Treatment options for solar urticaria include:

  • non-sedating antihistamines such as fexofenadine and cetirizine
  • other options include absorbent sunscreens, restriction of UVR at the relevant wavelength (it can be useful to photo-test patients to assess which wavelengths trigger their symptoms and how easily the urticaria is provoked (3)), maintenance of a non-responsive state with natural or artificial light exposure and immunosuppressive therapy e.g. plasmapheresis


  1. Ferguson J.Photosensitivity disorders.Medicine International (1992);102:4282-4.
  2. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2002;3(4):239-46.
  3. Primary Care Dermatological Society. Solar urticaria (Accessed 30/7/14)