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Jul 5
Many people with lupus often experience photosensitivity or sensitivity to sunlight. While more than half of people who have been diagnosed to lupus, 40 to 70 percent experience an increase in their symptoms after exposure to UV light via sunlight or other means.

Symptoms that may appear in those who have lupus and have been exposed to sunlight include a rash that appears over the nose and cheeks, a rash that resembles hives, fever, joint pain, or organ inflammation. Like the general population, people who have been diagnosed with lupus may have photosensitivity in varying degrees.I found some more information here.

Scientists have not identified the exact chemical change that occurs in lupus patients' skin to cause the adverse reaction to sunlight. However, they believe the answer lies in proteins and genetic materials. Studies suggest that sunlight exposure causes the skin of lupus patients to express specific protein molecules on the skin's surface. The proteins react with antibodies, which draw white blood cells to the skin to attack the skin cells, thereby producing the rash. Recent studies suggest that skin cells in lupus patients may shut themselves off more readily than they should and that nitric oxide may be produced in the skin, which may cause redness and inflammation in the lupus patient.
May 22
I've dealt with photo-sensitivity since shortly before I was diagnosed with lupus. I've since learned that other medical conditions can cause photo-sensitivity such as porphyria and polymorphous light eruptions. However, this sensitivity is not just a reaction from disorders of the body, it can also be caused from medicine - both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as some herbs. Other causes are chemicals and some perfumes and dyes.

There are a number of ways I have learned to deal with this condition over the years. The most effective way to deal with photo-sensitivity, of course, is to prevent it from popping up in the first place. I usually cover up from head to toe, I wonder if people can instantly tell if I suffer from lupus. Dressing like that can easily cause overheating so I am partial to light, gauzy materials. But I have to be careful. I've found out the hard way that wearing sheer material is just as effective as not wearing any at all. Sunscreens can help some people too, as I've read on the message boards, but I don't like the feeling of heavy creams on my skin, especially in the heat, and I am always bound to miss a spot which instantly flares up in a rash.

Regardless of how hard I try to prevent the opportunity for sun to reach my skin, there are always circumstances beyond my control. My floppy hat could fly off while we're speeding along in the boat, or as I've mentioned above my clothing might be thinner than I thought it was or I could miss a spot with the sunscreen. I've spent a lot of time researching the internal ways to decrease symptoms. Along with my friends on the lupus boards, we've discovered beta carotene type vegetables, green tea extract, fish oil and Vitamin B3 are the best for prevention and reduction of symptoms, and now I make them a part of my daily routine. I try to be as environmentally conscious as I can be. When I flip on the light switch early in the morning, my supplements are pre-measured and ready for me to take so I can just flip off the lights and save even more money than I already do with my low cost and green energy service, which I was lucky enough to find at texaselectricityproviders.com. In no time at all, I'm out the door and on my way!

Dealing with photo-sensitivity is tough, but with a little knowledge, a little effort and a little time, I can have a totally normal (rash free) life.
Apr 1
Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare, genetic disease. In the United States, the condition is thought to occur in only one of every one million people. There is a higher incidence of the condition among those of North African and Middle Eastern heritage.

Xeroderma pigmentosum is an inherited disease. It is classified as an autosomal recessive disorder. In order for parents to pass xeroderma pigmentosum on to their children, both parents most have the gene responsible for causing the condition.

The most common symptoms of xeroderma pigmentosum relate to the skin. The skin is very sensitive to sunlight. Severe burns accompanied by blistering occur with only limited Sun exposure. Many with the condition also have very rough and dry skin as well as dark spots and patches on the skin. Those with xeroderma pigmentosum are at a very high risk of all types of skin cancer especially basil cell carcinoma.

There is no cure for this condition. In order to avoid complications, patients are advised to cover their skin and wear sun block. Many must stay out of the Sun entirely.
The information doesn't stop now. Keep looking: Teen Review - What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Oct 4
What types of skin are more sensitive to sunburn? People with fair skin and light colored hair and people on certain medications. The medications will increase the sensitivity to the sun. If you were out in the sun exposed to it you'll start to see a painful red skin color forming on your skin and if it is severe enough you might also get the chills and a fever.

If people are exposed to ultraviolet radiation and are immunological to responses from the sunlight, they can break out in a rash when they are exposed to the rays of the sun and this can happen too from fluorescent lighting. If you feel you are photosensitive you will get a pink or red skin with blotchy blisters or scaly patches, even raised blotches where the sunlight hit. Photosensitivity is a sun allergy. How you can end this from happening by staying out of the sun or protect yourself if you must be in the sun. Use hats, long sleeved shirts, SPF 30 all over your face or any part of your body that is exposed. This may help but staying out of the sun helps more.

If you feel that you are photosensitive, try beta carotene or steroids or ask your doctor to recommend you a treatment so you are not suffering from the painful burn. At times Hydroxychloroquine might be recommended.
Oct 2
Medications that are taken orally can occasionally have the side effect of making your eyes more sensitive to light, a phenomenon known as photosensitivity.
One medication that is known to make the eyes more susceptible to light is the group of tetracycline's which includes doxycycline and monocycline. These medications are commonly used by teens to help alleviate acne vulgaris yet have the side effect of commonly making the skin and eyes much more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. Another common medication, acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol, can cause one to be sensitive to light. Other typical antibiotics which are commonly prescribed for ailments such as strep throat including azythromycin can cause one to become photosensitive. Finally, there are sleeping medications which belong to a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines which are known to make the user more photophobic.
Overall, many medications that are commonly used by people do have the side effect of making one more photosensitive. While many will not actually notice the effects of the increased sensitivity to the sun, it is best to be aware of the possible sensitivity and to make sure that you take the proper precautions before going out into the sun. Keep looking, there's more: Coping with osteoarthritis in the workplace
Oct 1
Most people are sensitive to light from the sun and long term exposure does cause sunburns, skin damage, premature aging and skin cancer in just about anyone. However, someone who is photosensitive has skin that overacts immediately to even the slightest exposure to sunlight.

The most common symptom is a rash in the area that has received sunlight. The rash can be extremely irritating and cause a burning sensation, eventually developing blisters and sometimes scaly patches. Other symptoms that develop include hives and dermatitis. The amount of sunlight exposure it takes to cause a reaction varies from person to person.

The causes of photosensitivity can vary and how it is treated is different for each case. This makes it necessary to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor. In most situations it is a temporary condition, as it is often a side effect of a treatment the person may be undergoing. Some anti-depressants, antibiotics, and diuretics cause photosensitivity while the medication is being taken. It can also develop in those undergoing chemotherapy.

Some medical treatments that can help control the symptoms and give relief are:

Prescription beta-carotene, may lessen the reaction
Corticosteroid and antihistamine creams can help reduce discomfort
Taking medications such as diphenhydramine at night can help relive the itching

The ideal treatment is to avoid exposure to sunlight as much as possible. If going out in the sun is unavoidable, then protect the skin by wearing sunscreen and clothing that covers as much skin as possible.What's 1 more click? Your boss isn't watching... Drug-Induced Photosensitivity (Medication and Sun Sensitivity)
Sep 27
Photosensitivity occurs when one has an abnormal intolerance to the sun, making it appear as if light is more intense than it actually is. This feeling can be unpleasant and is usually temporary and can be caused by a variety of different things.
Many medications are known to cause one to become more sensitive to the sun's rays. Ranging from acne medicine to anxiety reducers, many medications will have a warning on them to remind the user to stay out of the sun because it will cause them to have a reduced tolerance to the light. Also, genetics can cause one to simply be more sensitive to the sun than others. Genetic differences between people can explain why some people are more susceptible to skin rashes caused by the sun while others will barely ever burn or get sun poisoning. Also, skin conditions can cause one to be more photosensitive. Rosacea, for example, is a common skin ailment in adults which can make one more sensitive to light.
Photosensitivity is something which is very common among the adult population and can be caused by many factors. Whether it be genetics or medication, light intolerance is common and usually not threatening.
Sep 23
Lynn swallowed the antibiotic the doctor prescribed for her painful sinus infection and headed out for an afternoon hike. Finally feeling better after several days on the medication, she enjoyed hiking in the bright sunlight.
That evening her arms and face itched; within a short time, a blistering sunburn covered her face and arms.
This is phototoxicity. The body's largest organ, our skin protects our internal organs from the environment. Normal skin is relatively resilient in resisting sun damage, generally reacting with mild pigmentation such as tanning or freckling. A photosensitive reaction is an extreme skin response to sun exposure.
There are two common photosensitive reactions: phototoxicity and photoallergy. In a photo-allergic reaction, intense itching and a rash upon exposure to sunlight appear one to three days after contact with certain chemicals, generally perfumes or cosmetics. A phototoxic reaction presents as severe sunburn within 24 hours of exposure to sunlight after contact with a chemical, usually a drug.
Many common drugs may cause a phototoxic reaction including antibiotics, diuretics, tranquilizers, diabetes medications and pain medications.
Since medications are often unavoidable, shunning direct sunlight during the sunniest part of the day and wearing sun-protective clothing are key strategies for preventing phototoxicity.