1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Readers Respond: Sunscreens That People with Sunscreen Allergy Can Use

Responses: 104


Updated June 23, 2009

From the article: Sunscreen Allergy
Sunscreen allergy is relatively common, and patients I've diagnosed with it often say that they've had a hard time finding a sunscreen that they can tolerate. Most often, I recommend a barrier sunblock that contains titanium or zinc oxide, but a lot of people don't like these forms of sunblock because they don't rub into the skin. If you have a sunscreen allergy, have you found one that you like and that works well for you? Though what works for one may not work for all, sharing your tips may be helpful to others.
If you're still on the hunt for a sunscreen that works for you, share your other sun protection tips. Share Your Story

Neutrogena with Zinc Oxide

My son Josh can not use any other product than Neutrogena with Zinc Oxide, for babies. If he uses anything else, he ends up with a rash everywhere the sunblock was applied.
—Guest Jessica

Face Moisturiser with SPF 15

Nivea Moisturising Fluid SPF 15 is what I use on my face when going out in the sun and it does not cause any rashes and there is no sunburn (always wear a hat too). I recently changed the sunscreen lotion that I was using on the rest of exposed skin (arms, legs, upper chest) because of an itchy rash, but the new lotion Everyday Ombra SPF50+ is, I believe, also causing a red itchy rash, mainly on arms and hands.
—Guest Marion

SPF/SUN allergy

I am allergic to ALL sunblocks and the sun. After as little as an hour in the sun I break out in large blisters, hives and red swollen skin that burns and peels after a week or so. I don't know what to do. I am 26 and have been dealing with this since i was 12
—Guest Courtney

Sudden Rash Appearance

I suddenly developed a rash and after many doctors visits and allergy tests, I believe it is the sunscreen and then the sun action. I am also at a loss for what to use as I am in the worst category for skin cancer, having pale skin, blue eyes and bought up on a farm.

Sport Sunscreen Spray

I developed a reaction to spray on sport sunscreen -- the type resistant to water. Ended up having itchy red bumps where I applied it. My Doctor prescribed a strong steroid cream to get rid of the rash (works really well). He recommended I try a product called Cera-V in the future. I urge all to be very careful of using water resistant sunscreens -- they last longer on your skin and can be more irritating than regular sunscreens.
—Guest Nikki

banana boat

It was too late for me to know that banana boat sunscreen spf 50 wont do good for me. I play golf and applied it . But it gives me allergic reaction on my face and neck arms and legs. So sad that i go to school after 4 days since i have this allergies. The search is on again for the perfect sunscreen. I better see a dermatologist now. Learn my lesson
—Guest neslie

severe long lasting itch

I have tried all kinds of sunscreen. after about 2 days of application, I itch all over my body and it lasts for weeks. no rash, just incessant itching. Any suggestions?
—Guest eva


I use Aveeno body lotion with spf 15 daily. It works like a charm when I am dressed for warm days. Now when my limbs are covered and not exposed to the sun my upper arms and thighs are ablaze with redness. Back to regular body lotion without spf till next summer.
—Guest Joan


I use Aveeno body lotion with spf 15 daily. It works like a charm when I am dressed for warm days. Now when my limbs are covered and not exposed to the sun my upper arms and thighs are ablaze with redness. Back to regular body lotion without spf till next summer.
—Guest Joan


I have had treatment at my local hospital for a severe reaction to the sun. I often wondered if the chemicals in sunscreen may have aggrevated it. Since the hospital recommended Ultrasun my PLE (polymorphic light eruption) symptoms have been seriously reduced and I no longer get PLE in the UK and it has greatly improved my tolerance to the sun when I am abroad.
—Guest Sandy

Banana Boat

Expensive yes but what price do you put on your skins safety? Well no more banana boat for me or my family after allergic reactions, bumps like hives and welts, swollen eyes that look like i have done 10 rounds in a boxing match, tight red dry sore skin, feeling embarrassed to be seen in public with this mess on my face/body..... beware test the products first!
—Guest Not Happy

Burning Face

I can't use any sunscreen of any kind, or any products with SPF. If I use any moisturizer with any SPF, my face gets a chemical burn, skin peels off, my face hurts, stings, is drawn tight and itches - plus, of course, it looks terrible, too. Fresh aloe gel (buy a plant if you don't have one) relieves the pain and itch, and a bit of olive oil on my wet hands, then lightly pat onto my face eases the tightness. Takes a week or more to go away. They say sunscreen allergies are rare. I don't think so. I know several people who can't use anything with sunscreen in it. Best option, limit exposure to the sun between 10AM and 4PM, wear a hat with a brim to protect the face. Swim, garden and exercise in the earlier morning and later evening....

taking your advice

I've had trouble with Walgreen's imitation Neutrogena product. And of course, with their savings card I bought extra. Total waste. Arms breaking out. I found a product for my face, it is by Algenist and it is 50 SPF. I get it at Sephora. But it is $38 an ounce and I can't slather that on my arms! I will take the advice I'm reading here and maybe get out of the long sleeve shirts I've had to wear all summer! Thank you so much!

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

Share Your Story

Sunscreens That People with Sunscreen Allergy Can Use

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Allergies
  4. Skin Allergies
  5. Contact Dermatitis
  6. Sunscreen Allergy -- What Sunblock Can I Use if I Have a Sunscreen Allergy

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.