lupus & sun sensitivity

Lupus and Sun Sensitivity!

Well,  Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that affects various organs of your body!  

There are many factors that can lead to flare ups  but one of the most crucial factors is Sun! 

Yes… 

Lupus is one of those autoimmune disorders that have negatively impacted  health because of the sun rays. Both UVA and UVB rays are harmful in case of SLE.  Not only exposure to UV rays causes rashes but it’s found to harm the autoimmune response and harm organs as well leading to flare ups. Exposure to UV rays might aggravate the symptoms leading to inflammation in case of lupus patients.  

Phew! So I need to stay home and avoid the sun in total?

Oh! No…..

Well it’s not possible to avoid sun rays completely as UVA rays can penetrate through glass and harm indoors as well. 

Sun Protection 

Physical protectors

Physical protectors other than the sunblock that you use,  Umbrella or hat or scarf should be used at all times to give extra protection in case of Lupus. 

You get UV protection clothes like T-shirts and Jackets. These tend to give that extra level of protection. They are full sleeves and come in various colors as well. Also always protect your eyes with sunglasses that come with UV protection and invest in specs that come with UV protection as well as blue light protection. These investments will go a long way in helping keep lupus at bay.

Sunscreen or Sun Blocks

Use a sunblock that is broad spectrum and minimum SPF 50+ PA+++ . You need complete protection that includes UVA and UVB as well as fluorescent light and IR. You need to wear sunblock as religiously as you take your medication. You should apply it indoors as well because UVA  rays can penetrate through glass so you won’t be protected from photosensitivity by just staying home; wear a sunblock as soon as you have your bath as well as 30mins prior going out.  Remember you need to be generous while you apply your sunscreen, minimum of 1 Tbsp for face and also apply on the body parts  that are exposed to the sun. Reapply it every 2 hours. 

Types of sunscreens or sunblocks available in market:

  1. Physical Sunblock
    Also known as mineral sunscreen these are great for sensitive skin and acne prone skin.
    They are made of minerals like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. The only con of this type of sunscreen is that they generally  leave a white cast. Mineral sunscreen sits on top of the skin and reflects the UVA & UVB rays off the skin.  They are a bit costlier than the chemical ones. However, these days you can find one with Micronized zinc oxide that leaves little to no white cast. You can easily find non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic ranges.
    Physical sunscreen lasts longer than chemical sunscreens, almost 6-8 hours and most of them are water resistant. 
  2. Chemical Sunscreen

They are the ones that are most commonly used and they are made with chemically derived sun blockers that help in blocking UVB & UVA rays by absorbing the rays and scattering them not letting them penetrate the skin, also the good part is they do not  leave white cast. You can easily find non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic ranges of sunscreen according to your requirement and skin type.
Also remember to wear lip balm with SPF 15+ everyday.

No matter which type of sunscreen you prefer to use, make sure you use one. 

Lupus is very tricky, though with some lifestyle changes you can make things work in your favor and avoid sun induced flare ups.

“I Hope these tips can help you live a healthy life ahead…”

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