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Genetic photosensitivity disorder is the general term used to describe a group of diseases that are characterized by extreme reactions of the skin when exposed to the UV light in radiation or exposure to sunlight.

The skin is equipped to handle the sun’s rays with the help of a cell called melanocyte. Melanocytes produce the skin pigment melanin. It will help the skin from getting burned by the sun’s UV rays.
However, in photosensitivity, there is inflammation when the skin is exposed to the sun. When inflammation occurs, erythema or redness of the skin will appear which resembles a sunburn.

The following are some examples of photosensitivity skin disorders:

Solar Urticaria

This condition will cause the formation of hives – large, red bumps that are often times itchy after a few seconds sun exposure. Additionally, people who had solar urticaria will also experience dizziness, weakness, headaches, and wheezing if affected the skin area is large.

Xeroderma pigmentosum

Xeroderma pigmentosum or XP is a genetic skin condition that usually affects children at an early age. The condition is characterized by extreme sensitivity from the sun’s UV rays. The most affected area of the skin is the eyes and skin exposed to the sun. Freckling formation is common in children while dry skin and pigmentation in adults, hence the name xeroderma which means ‘dry skin’ and pigmentosum ‘changes in skin color’.


Rosacea is a common skin disorder that will cause redness of the skin on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. The neck, chest, and scalp are also common in severe cases. If left untreated the disease can cause the formation of red bumps and pus-filled pimples. The severity of the symptoms will depend from one person to the other, in such instances where some affected individuals will have constant symptoms while others will have recurrent or fading symptoms.


Pseudoporphyria is a skin disorder that causes the formation of rashes, blisters, scars, and fragility on the skin. It is caused by extreme UV radiation and some medications. The lesion can sometimes take months before it heals with permanent scars. By wearing protective clothing when up and about and changing medications can greatly decrease the symptoms of the disease.

Polymorphic Light Eruption

Polymorphic light eruption or PLE is a skin disorder that involves the development of lesions on the skin when exposed to sunlight for 30 minutes or more. PLE often develop in the spring and harden by the summertime. The rash appears to have small pink or red dots found on the arms, legs or chest and sometimes would also resemble insect bites.

To learn more about the different Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders, please visit:

If you think you are suffering from Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).