Photoexacerbation of cutaneous lupus erythematosus due to ultraviolet A emissions from a photocopier

Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Aug;38(8):1152-6. doi: 10.1002/art.1780380819.


This report describes a woman with systemic lupus erythematosus (LE) who worked as a photocopy technician and developed cutaneous LE of the hands, neck, face, and chest. Her skin lesions improved when she discontinued her employment. Testing of several photocopy devices showed emission of small quantities of ultraviolet A (UVA), but no UVB. Phototesting of the patient with UVA and UVB induced skin lesions that were clinically and histopathologically consistent with LE. Thus, the action spectrum of cutaneous LE may be within the UVB range, the UVA range, or both ranges of the solar spectrum, and repeated exposure to short bursts of light may induce clinical disease. This case suggests that occupational sources of UV light should be considered as possible exacerbating factors in LE.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous / etiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*