Lupus Photosensitivity and UV Light


Cover Up Your Skin to Avoid Lupus Rash

Because it is not always possible to avoid the sun entirely, people with lupus should protect themselves with clothing, too. Rashes caused by photosensitivity usually occur on parts of the body that are most often exposed to sun, including the face, neck, ears, and hands. Hats with large brims, along with tightly woven, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants can help provide maximum coverage from the sun.

People with lupus who work or spend a lot of time outside should consider wearing clothing that has built-in sun protection or using an umbrella made with special fabric designed to block UV rays. If you are fair-skinned and have light eyes and light hair, you should be even more careful when exposed to UV rays, because people with those features are more sensitive to the sun and artificial light than people who have darker hair and skin.

Be Aware of UV Rays Indoors

Many indoor offices and businesses use halogen and fluorescent light bulbs. Copy machines also have lighting mechanisms that emit UV rays that can cause lupus symptoms. Fortunately, there are shades, shields, filters, and tube covers available through several manufacturers that can offer protection from UV rays that aggravate your lupus. You can eliminate UV rays emitted by photocopiers by simply closing the cover of the machine while the copier is in use.

Remember that windows do not offer full protection from UV rays. Your lupus can actually be aggravated by harmful rays you receive through a car or building window, so it is best to protect yourself with window shades or films that block UV rays.

Check Out Your Lupus Medications

Many medications, including some used to treat lupus, can magnify the effects that sun has on a person’s body, making them even more susceptible to the hazards of UV rays. Make sure to ask your doctor whether or not your medications will increase your sensitivity to sun or artificial light.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 04, 2016



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