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Everyone has sun-sensitive skin. It’s the reason we tan and sunburn. It’s why freckles, age spots, and skin cancers appear.

Some people are born more sun sensitive than others. People who have an extreme sensitivity to sunlight are born with a rare disease known as xeroderma (zer-o-der-ma) pigmentosum (pig-men-toe-sum). They must take extreme measures to protect their skin from ultraviolet (UV) light. Anything that emits UV light, including the sun and some lightbulbs, can damage their skin.

When people with xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) go outdoors during daylight, they need to cover up. Dermatologists recommend that they wear clothing which offers maximum protection from UV light. To protect their face and eyes, they should put on UV-protective sunglasses, goggles, or a face shield. Beneath this outer protective layer, they have on sunscreen, which is necessary should any skin become uncovered.

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