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July 1956

Photosensitivity in Various DermatosesLupus Erythematosus, Urticaria Due to Light, and Polymorphic Light Eruptions

AMA Arch Derm. 1956;74(1):40-42. doi:10.1001/archderm.1956.01550070042007

We are in agreement that photosensitivity is not the cause of lupus erythematosus, but there is some disagreement as to whether sunlight precipitates or aggravates the various types of lupus erythematosus. The following points may be of interest in evaluating the effects of the sun on patients with this disease. The onset of lupus is not uncommon after a severe sunburn. In temperate climates the seasonal incidence is strikingly high between March and July and lowest in December. The lesions are most often initially and predominantly on areas most exposed to the sun. It is estimated that discoid lupus is three times as common in persons with light-colored skin. Light-colored skin absorbs about as much ultraviolet light as dark skin reflects. To offset the above observations, lupus is more commoner in temperate zones than in the tropics. Kierland and co-workers, in an analysis of 154 cases of all types

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