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Readers Respond: Sunscreens That People with Sunscreen Allergy Can Use

Responses: 106


Updated June 23, 2009

Allergic to sunscreen

I am allergic to every sunscreen out there but I love the beach, I walk regularly and I love the sun especially in the summer time. I have tried the ones with low SPF, hypo allergenic ones and the vanicream. But I turn bright red, I get tiny bumps, my body aches and burns for days. Any other suggestions, currently I either get burned pretty bad, stay indoors or I wear long sleeves…
—Guest DAW

My sun problem

Started 3 yrs ago when At a beach in SC (41yrs) had always been an avid beach goer , outdoors playing golf and tennis. This day I reapplied sunblock several times to my chest, and arms - I also used several differenent sunblocks. At on point a 20,30or 50 SPF That afternoon at the beach I kept applying because I couldn't understand how my arms were feeling like they were burning, now I'm in the shade with my long sleeve white shirt on. I found myself gently tapping my arms. We got home and I'm gently it hint my chest and arm, which are now burning hot and huge red welts. Miserable. I chucked it up to possible bad sunscreen since 1was older. It was miserable and lasted a week. Even being out in the heat aggravated it. It ONLY happened exactly where I had put the sun block. The following year, the same thing happens the 1 time I need to put sun Block on.Now away with my family and it has finally hit me that this is an allergy- now that my chest/arms r burning hot &welted again. Help!!
—Guest Kellyg

Caution: Not for Sensitive Skin

Words of Wisdom (unfortunately after the fact)...if you have sensitive skin, check in with a dermatologist to find out if Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+ would be safe for you to use on your skin. Sorry to say, I had an allergic reaction hours after using this with red blotches and hives that is extremely painful and requires aggressive medical attention. This allergy reaction also caused my eyes to swell up. Honestly, I look like a "burn" victim. This was the result of using this product.
—Guest Laurie712

Allergic reaction.

I'm allergic to a sunblock called Bananaboat. Recently, I just bought a sunblock from Mentholatum and I'm allergic to it as well. :( In both cases, rashes broke out. :( Any suggestions for better sunblock that might not cause allergic reaction?
—Guest Rach

Severe allergy to most sunscreens

I developed a severe photo allergic reaction to most sunscreens after using a sunblock 50 almost 20 years ago. This is a major problem because I am outdoors a lot. Also perplexing because I always used lower spf sunscreens up to 20 or 30 for years with no reaction until I used the stronger formula on vacation once and had a severe reaction. Now I can't even use face lotion with spf 15. Aside from those with zinc or titanium dioxide I have only found one (so far) Coppertone Dry oil #4. I know it is a low spf but it prevents burns well for me. It only has two active ingredients and is pretty water and sweat resistant. I have been testing various sunscreens that add one or two ingredients and have a spreadsheet of the brand and type and ingredients and whether I have a reaction to try and isolate the offending ingredients.
—Guest Jonathan


My 11 year old son is allergic to every sunscreen out there. We have tried cheap to expensive to hypoallergenic. His doc sent him to a dermatologist that told me to try Vanicream Sunscreen. It's hypoallergenic, Broad Spectrum, SPF 30, and has Titanium and Zinc in it. This worked. You can buy it online or possibly Walgreens, not sure about Walgreens though. I also found one other one called Blue Lizard, made with Titanium and Zinc, that is Broad Spectrum, Hypoallergenic, for Sensitive skin that also works on him. I ordered both online. Good Luck everyone and maybe with any hope these may work for you or your children.
—Guest Gwen


I used Neutrogena Helioplex 100 SPF sunscreen on my face and I've noticed that whenever I put it on it burns. About ten minutes or so after I put it on I noticed the bumps, But I thought it was my skin peeling. Now I have tiny bumps all over my face that are extremely itchy.
—Guest guest mj

Equate SPF 50

OMG got severe rash wherever I applied.. First time when I got this I went to urgent care doctor said I got polymorphous light eruption.. So I avoided gng out in sun.. Today I used equate sun screen and got similar rash.. Very very itchy... I'm gonna try going out in sun again and check...
—Guest Niveda

Coppertone sport spray- hit or miss?!?

My son has a severe octocrylene and fragrance allergies. We use Coppertone sport spray on, but the recipe they use changes all the time. For a while, we could only get 30 spf with no octocrylene in it, then it was the 50. Now it is back to the 30. We have to look every time we buy it. Sometime 2 bottle of the same spf sitting on the shelf are not the same. One will have 4% octocrylene and one will be octocrylene free.
—Guest jason kern

The only sunscreen I'm not allergic to

The first time I noticed that I was alleggic to sunscreen was when I was 8 and we were at Disney World. I used sunscreen on my legs,arms.back, face and broke out really badly. I had tiny very itchy bumps on the areas where the sunscreen was applied. So about a year ago when I was 18 my aunt and I went to Walmart and asked the lady that worked there what she recommended since I broke out and she said Aveeno is a good sunscreen protection. I used it and it i didn't break out from it at all.
—Guest D"wayna

Banana Boat Kids SPF 50

PABA free, hypoallergenic, water resistant. Sounds great? Nope. Welts/ rash on face, neck and arms (only where i used it). Not on shoulders though as they are covered by clothing. Sun reacts to it and its itchy and looks like bites on arms. Been a few days now. Never again. I suspect the parabens and other salicates in it. Heads up... terribly uncomfortable eapecially face and arms. I expect another week or so... *sigh*
—Guest P.A.


—Guest ANITA

LA Roche-Posay

I had the same problem until my dermatologist suggested I try LA Roche posay products. I use their Hydraphase UV spf 30. With no reaction. Took me a long time find a sunscreen that didn't cause itchy little bumps. Try it.
—Guest Jaymee

Allergic to PABA?

I'm allergic to PABA in sunscreens. My face is especially sensitive. When I was in Aruba and visited the Aloe Vera plant I learned all their sunscreens are PABA free. I've never had a problem with these products, even on my face.
—Guest Tina T

Allergic to the sun and also sunscreens

I'm still wondering why this happened to me. It started about 5 years ago when I had rashes after exposing to the sun during a hiking event. Back then I thought it was caused by not applying a sunscreen. So the next time I opted for sunscreen and in within seconds of applying it, rashes was all over the affected area and started to itch. The rash would last up to 2 weeks. It happens everytime, and it is very frustrating.
—Guest Cindy

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Sunscreens That People with Sunscreen Allergy Can Use

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  5. Contact Dermatitis
  6. Sunscreen Allergy -- What Sunblock Can I Use if I Have a Sunscreen Allergy

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