Sun Allergy, a Major Inconvenience in Daily Life

April 30, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. invader 
[in-VEY-der] (n.) – a person or thing that enters a place by force in order to do harm
Example:  Body invaders, such as viruses, may cause fever.

2. outgrow [out-GROH] (v.) – to lose something (like a trait, behavior or condition) as a person grows older
Example: Laura outgrew asthma when she got older.

3. susceptible [suh-SEP-tuh-buh l] (adj.) – likely to be affected or harmed
Example: Stress makes people susceptible to colds and other illnesses.

4. slather [SLATH-er] (v.) – to apply or spread in great amount
Example: The woman slathered lotion on her body to prevent her skin from becoming dry and itchy.

5. wear off [wair awf, of] (phrasal v.) – to slowly disappear or decrease
Example: George began sneezing again after the effect of the drug wore off.

Read the text below.

An allergy to the sun, called polymorphous light eruption or PMLE, reportedly affects 5% to 20% of the world's population.

People with PMLE develop itchy red bumps and blisters on their skin and may even have a headache when exposed to the sun. This allergy arises when the body's immune system releases antibodies as the skin treats sunlight as an invader.

Usually, people who got PMLE when they were young outgrow the sickness through increased sun exposure. However, those who got the sickness later on are likely to have it for the rest of their lives. Women are also more susceptible to PMLE than men, and the condition can sometimes be hereditary.

Dr. Chris Adigun, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, pointed out that skin color has nothing to do with sun allergies. Any person and not only those with light skin can have PMLE.

Although its symptoms are rarely serious and disappear within hours, PMLE is a big inconvenience to people who suffer from it. Chelsey Madore, a makeup artist from California, said she has to change her lifestyle because of her sun allergy. She always has to be careful even with ordinary activities like walking through the park.

According to Dr. Adigun, the best defense against PMLE is prevention. The dermatologist advised people with sun allergy to slather on sunscreen lotion with zinc oxide or titanium [tahy-TEY-nee-uh m] oxide. Dr. Adigun also stressed the importance of clothing, which unlike lotion, won't wear off.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think would be the worst thing to be allergic to? Please explain your answer.
·         In your opinion, what is the best way to prevent or treat allergies?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree or disagree with the saying “Prevention is better than cure?” Why or why not?
·         How can we prevent ourselves from getting sick?


April 30, 2013