Anytime spent battling Lupus is a major challenge for most of us. However, summertime with Lupus has proven to be especially complicated in comparison to the remainder of the year.
Needless to say, the sun is especially hot in the summer. Photosensitivity is an extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other light sources. This is especially common in people with Lupus and a few other autoimmune diseases.
Photosensitivity is a major symptom of Lupus. It can cause skin rashes, fever, fatigue, joint pain, and other symptoms that make summertime unbearable for many Lupus warriors.
The link between the sun and lupus flare-ups is thought to be a set of inflammatory protein molecules called cytokines, which are activated when ultraviolet light hits the skin. The skin inflammation that results can create a chain reaction of other symptoms.
Personally, I have experienced major Lupus flares in the summer. I have an extreme sensitivity to sunlight in my eyes which makes it impossible to look directly in the direction of the sun.
I also get bad skin rashes on my face over the nose and cheeks. The white Vitiligo patches of skin on my legs spread more quickly in the summer as well. The exposure to the sun also trigger flu type symptoms that include extreme fatigue, low grade fever, and painful joints all over.
In conclusion, do your best to avoid the sun at all costs. These symptoms will undoubtedly occur during other times of the year but will generally worsen in the summer. The effects of Lupus flares in the summer will last far longer than the joys of outdoor summer activities.
Doctors say a UVA and UVB sunscreen is just one component of a multi-prong approach to limit the extent of Lupus symptoms while outdoors. Other strategies include sun-protection clothing, applying a sun-protection coating to car windows and staying indoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m whenever possible.