Sun Sensitivity, Sun Safety & Sjögren’s

Some people with Sjögren’s are photosensitive.  Sun exposure and sensitivity may cause rashes and flare-ups of disease, and ocular sensitivity. Sensitive to the sun or not, be sure to be pro-active and protect yourselves against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation rays – UVA and UVB.

  • Wear polarized sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.  The polarized glass will help reduce brightness for sensitive eyes.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat to shield your eyes and provide additional protection for your face.
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 on all exposed skin.
  • Read the label!  Be sure you are buying a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides UVA and UVB protection.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Re-apply, re-apply, and re-apply!!!  Re-apply sunscreen more often after sweating excessively or vigorous activity, even if the label says it is “waterproof or water-resistant”.
  • Wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave.  Wear ultraviolet light protection clothing if you are sun sensitive.
  • Avoid going outside between 11am and 4pm during the summer months, especially on sunny, humid days.
  • When possible, stay in the shade.
  • Remember to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Some medications increase the effects of the sun on the body causing people to burn more easily.  You should try to avoid the sun while on these drugs.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.