Medical Definition of Polymorphic light eruption

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Polymorphic light eruption: Polymorphic light eruption is a common skin reaction to sunlight that occurs most commonly in people with fair skin. Polymorphic light eruption results in small red raised spots and blisters on the skin within four days after exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as from sunlight. The term polymorphic means that the skin reaction may take many different forms, although the small raised red lesions are most typical (for example, itchy, small bumps on the skin). Polymorphic light eruption is most common on the arms, but the legs and chest may also be affected. Involvement of the face is rare. Polymorphic light eruption is also termed polymorphous light eruption.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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