Cure JM Foundation 2017 Conference Breakout Sessions

Ways to Manage Sun Exposure: Presented by Moise L. Levy, MD, Chief, Pediatric Dermatology, Dell Children's Medical Center, Physician-in-Chief, Dell Children's Medical Center

UV-exposure can exacerbate JM and help bring on other problems, such as lupus and other issues, so UV protection is important for everyone.

Below is a recording of the session:

Here are some comments and issues brought up during this important session:

UV Sensitivity

  • The amount of UV sensitivity varies by patient, so one child with JDM might tolerate more or less sun than another
  • Some medications can make you more sensitive to UV, such as some acne medications, antibiotics, and others. Check with your pharmacist and be sure you know if a medication is going to increase your child’s sun sensitivity. You might then choose a sunblock with a higher SPF factor.

UV-protective clothing can be quite effective 

Applying Sunblock

  • Parents and siblings should also put on sunblock. Children will model their parents.
  • Be sure to reapply often as instructed on the sunscreen, at least every 40-80 minutes, perhaps more often if your child is more sensitive.
  • Reapply more frequently if you are sweating or in-and-out of the water.
  • No sunblock is waterproof.
  • Apply an ounce or so of sunblock, ideally apply 20 minutes before you go outside and ensure full coverage with enough sunblock.
  • Sunblock sprays can be OK, but you need to apply enough and you don’t want the spray being inhaled by the child
  • Sunblock sticks can work well


  • SPF – what does that mean? Sun Protection Factor, so SPF 30 is approximately 30 times longer that skin can be exposed to sun without burning.
  • Broad Spectrum means protects against UVB (the shorter rays that cause burns) and UVA (the longer rays that penetrate into skin and don’t cause burns but do cause photo-aging)

Sunblock Ingredients

  • Some sunscreens could cause an allergy (red and itchy skin). Allergy is usually caused by ingredients that end in “ones” and not “ates.”
  • Dr. Pachman indicated that titanium and zinc oxide ingredients can cause fewer “allergies”
  • Some in the public have concerns about nanoparticles getting into the body,

Oral sunscreen and sunscreen to be inserted under the skin

  • These are new but in Dr. Levy’s opinion not ready for general use yet but perhaps coming in the future

Q&A from the audience

Ask your physician about checking Vitamin D levels annually.

  • Some kids could have sensitivity to UV light. Check with your physician (sometimes this can be mitigated with light-covers).

Kevin McKeever, Cure JM Father, offered his tips and tricks having dealt with sun protection and JDM for many years:

  • Clothes - UV protection clothes can make sun protection easier and can be good for the whole family
  • Hats - Hats with UV protection are important. Be sure that the back of your neck is covered, the brim is long enough and wide enough, and that the ears are covered. Purchasing “Sun Protection Hats” can be helpful as the brims are bigger and the coverage is more full on the back and sides.
  • Sunblock - Review the ingredients with your physician to be sure you are adequately protecting your child. Remember full coverage of sunblock and reapply often.

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