Lupus and Sun

The sun has always been honored in Ancient Civilisations. It is the god which gave birth to all things. We continue to workship, it going to expose us under his rays, forgetting intentionally or unintentionally the harm that it can bring if we do not take a minimum of precautions.

The sun is a friend or an enemi. We feel infrared the feeling of warmth that they give but not the ultraviolet which hide behind :

There are three types of ultraviolet rays :

  • UVA rarely gives sunburns but their action exerted in depth contributing to the premature wilting of the skin. They are responsables of some photoallergies,
  • UVB cause sunburns, skin aging and skin cancers,
  • UVC are the most harmul to skin cells, but they are normally retained by the ozone layer

The Effects of Sun

The sunburn is a burn, often superficial, due to exposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiation. If it is moderate, it results in redness with skin sensitivity and abnormal heat sensation which will give way later to tan the skin when the skin trying to protect itself against future attacks will produce melanin.

However, if the sunburn is important,  it will lead initially to a painful sensation, to phlyctènes (serious fluid-filled blisters) and, in a second step, to the removal of cells from the skin’s stratum corneum  (desquamation).

If the exposure to sun was too long, it can result a many disorders more and less serious, such as inflammatory condition of the skin, fatigue, fever, weight loss, cancer, tuberculosis.

For a person affected by autoimmune disease, a simple exposure can cause disturbances because the ultraviolet light increases the activity, not only of skin disease but also the internal systemic disease. This is valid for all skin types. The adverse consequences of the sun on the disease may not be immediate but occur after the summer season.


The best behavior that we can be recommended  is that of caution. It is not question to prohibit totally and permanently sun exposure or outdoor sport activity. Nevertheless, during flares, it recommended to avoid exposure to direct radiation (car drivers driving arm to the door,..) and reflected (water, sand, snow).

Some elementary rules must be respected :

*outlaw sunbathing and avoid unprotected exposure that encourages flares in Lupus,

*avoid outings during midday when UV radiation is maximal,

*beware of some insufficient protection as parasol or white T-shirts which provide only a low photoprotection,

*prefer tight woven clothes : coton, jeans, specialised clothes sold in sport shops,

*protect the face with a wide-brimmed hat or visor cap and wear long sleeves and trousers rather than shorts: think of sunglasses,

*use sunscreens maximum index which, to be effective, must be applied every 2 hours and after each bathing,

*ask advice from your doctor, pharmacist or contact the Organisation.