Living well with lupus

What is photosensitivity?

Photosensitivity is the term used to describe sensitivity to the ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight and other light sources, such as indoor fluorescent light. Photosensitivity can cause rashes, fever, fatigue, joint pain, and other symptoms in people with both cutaneous (skin) and systemic lupus. UV rays are especially intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., at higher altitudes, and in or around the snow and the water. Excess exposure to UV rays is a common trigger for increased disease activity (flare) of both cutaneous lupus and systemic lupus.

Medically reviewed on July 11, 2013