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Side Effect: Sunlight Sensitivity (Photosensitivity)

What is Sunlight Sensitivity (Photosensitivity)?

Sunlight sensitivity, also known as photosensitivity, is a more severe reaction of the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The skin becomes more easily irritated and patients may experience sunburn-like symptoms after brief exposure to sunlight.

What does Sunlight Sensitivity (Photosensitivity) look like?

Who gets Sunlight Sensitivity (Photosensitivity)?

Photosensitivity is a known side effect of certain chemotherapy treatments, including radiation therapy which can cause photosensitivity in the treated area. The majority of cancer therapies can cause photosensitivity to some extent, but some treatments that particularly carry a higher risk include:

How to prevent Sunlight Sensitivity (Photosensitivity)

How to treat Sunlight Sensitivity (Photosensitivity)

The treatment of sunlight sensitivity in patients with cancer depends upon the severity of the symptoms.


1. Sibaud V. Anticancer treatments and photosensitivity. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2022;36 Suppl 6(Suppl 6):51-58.

Deutsch A, Leboeuf NR, Lacouture ME, McLellan BN. Dermatologic Adverse Events of Systemic Anticancer Therapies: Cytotoxic Chemotherapy, Targeted Therapy, and Immunotherapy. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book 2020:40:485-500.

Created: May 19, 2024 Updated: May 19, 2024