Exogenous agents implicated in or suspected of precipitating subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) and lupus erythematosus (LE) are reviewed. An illustrative case of environmentally induced SCLE is presented. A previously healthy 30-year male homozygous for the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) 308. A promoter allele developed SCLE after spending several hours removing fertilizer- and pesticide-containing hay from an agricultural barn in the springtime. The cutaneous eruption soon resolved, only to reappear 3 weeks later on the day the patient re-entered the barn. An environmental agent present in the barn, coupled with springtime ultraviolet light, likely triggered the disease in this immunogenetically susceptible individual.