Photosensitivity occurs when skin experiences a reaction to sunlight. Skin normally resists sun damage because of its natural pigmentation, but some herbs can weaken the skin's natural protection and cause photosensitivity. The reaction appears as inflammation of the skin with symptoms of redness that look similar to sunburn.
Botanical essential oils used for aromatherapy may cause photosensitivity, according to "The New York Times." If there is concern regarding a potential photosensitive reaction, particular oils should avoided, including lime, lemon, orange, bergamot, grapefruit, ginger, cumin and angelica root. The reactions to essential oils may include redness, hyperpigmentation and blistering.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is an herb frequently used for treating depression. The herb can cause oversensitivity to sunlight. Light skin is particularly vulnerable to the reaction. Treatment with the herb should include a cautious approach to sun exposure. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests wearing clothes that provide ample coverage, using sunscreen, and avoiding sunlamps and tanning beds.
Kava is an herb that confers relaxing effects, but when consumed, it may cause photosensitivity, according to UMMC. The herb is often used for treating nervous disorders and stress. For centuries, Pacific islanders have used kava in a ceremonial drink that provides effects similar to alcohol.
Yohimbe comes from the bark of an evergreen tree native to Zaire. The herb contains a compound called yohimbine that affects the body's hormones. Uses of the herb include treating sexual problems for men and women, improving athletic performance, balancing blood pressure and helping depression. Ingesting the herb may cause sensitivity to sunlight. When under treatment, caution should be used when exposed to the sun.
Burdock Root for Acne
Chamomile & Aloe Skin Care
Anise Seed Cautions and Side Effects
Aloe Vera Gel As a Wrinkle Reducer
Chamomile Essential Oil Benefits
Brazilian Pepper Wood for Cooking
Herbs For Saunas
The Difference Between Retin A & Renova
Can Borage Oil Help Acne?
How to Use Rubbing Alcohol on Red Bumps ...
Toxicity of Peppermint Oil
Side Effects of Certain Dri
Chasteberry for Acne
Why Does the Tanning Bed Make You Happy?
What Is Aloe Good For?
The Best Facial Moisturizers for People ...
How do I Speed Up the Reversal of Face ...
Negative Side Effects of Paba
How to Get Rid of Aftershave Allergies
Jojoba Oil Benefits
Based in Richmond, Va., Tara Carson has written articles for editorial and corporate online and print publications for more than 10 years. She has experience as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Northwest Christian University and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and nutrition from Virginia Commonwealth University.