Solar urticaria, is a type of skin response after exposure to the sun. There is an abrupt onset of redness, swelling and itching in light exposed areas. The light waves that trigger solar urticaria are usually within the range of 400 to 700 nm (visible light) and 320 to 400 nm (UV A). Patients often have to completely avoid outdoor activities which severely impacts their quality of life. Although most patients can adequately treat their disease with antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors (Singulair). Some patients do not adequately respond and need a 3rd line agent such as Xolair (omalizumab), phototherapy, azathioprine, cyclosporine or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Xolair is approved for the treatment of severe persistent asthma and chronic idiopathic (spontaneous) urticaria. We previously discussed solar urticaria or sun allergy, but now we have more data to present.
A recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, titled Omalizumab for the Treatment of Solar Urticaria: Case Series and Systemic Review of the Literature, looked at recent data.
They found that that monthly Xolair injections resulted in clinical improvements in all patients with solar urticaria and complete remission in most. No adverse effects were reported. All patients failed to control their disease with conventional medication. The dose range of improvement of Xolair ranged from 150mg to 600mg a month. Patients who initially failed to improve on standard doses of Xolair benefitted from higher monthly dosages.
Although Solar Urticaria or sun allergy is a relatively rare disorder, it can be severely debilitating for those who have it. If conventional allergy medication such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Benadryl don’t work, in addition to Singulair, seek out care with an allergy doctor or allergist who may be able to get treatment with Xolair for you. Although it is not currently indicated for Solar Urticaria, more and more literature does show it to be helpful.