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I'm confused. I have been told to avoid the sun, but wasn't told exactly why. How much exposure does it take for something bad to happen? And exactly what does happen, anyway? If I wear a good sunscreen and a hat, will I be all right outdoors? Sorry for so many questions, but I live in Texas, so avoiding the sun is like avoiding the air.
 

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There are two broad reasons to be concerned about the sun if you have lupus: (1) rashes which can develop and (2) harmful systemic effects from the sun. If you've never had rashes as part of your lupus, then you may not need to worry about that. But most people with lupus, though not all, will notice worsening systemic effects from spending time in the sun. These effects can range from worsening fatigue, to more joint pain (that general flu like feeling), to worsening cognitive function and even more problems with kidney functioning from being in the sun.

In extremely basic terms... The sun causes skin cells to react, some even die off after being in the sun particularly after long time or in short order if out during peak sun hours. Those with healthy immune systems are easily able to handle these changes and these dying cells are swiftly and efficently escorted out of the body. But in people with lupus in particular, the changes the sun brings about causes havoc & can cause our lupus to flare.

Not everyone reacts, but a very clear majority do. Even if you don't react now noticeably, you very well may in the future or you could be causing damage you aren't aware of by being out in the sun too much.

A little sun is good for you, and probably necessary. Helps produce Vitamin D for example, but you only need 10-15 minutes a day on hands/face to process all the vitamin D you need.

It's best to minimize sun exposure for all these reasons & more (like preventing skin cancer!). Hope this helps...
 

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not everyone with lupus is sun sensitive. I find that my degree of sun sensitivity fluctuates wildly - sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not. Like all other symptoms with lupus, this one fluctuates for me.

It is sensible for everyone to take precautions in the sun (stay out of the midday sun, use a hat, sunscreen etc etc). Overtime you will figure out how the sun does (or doesn't) affect you, so meanwhile just be sensible. I do things like going for a swim late afternoon with no problems, but I'd never go to the beach during the mid day period, etc.

Just be sensible and you will figure it out.

best of luck with it all - btw, if you were hideously sun sensitive you would probably know about it already. Too much sun makes me feel ill, it is very obvious.

cheers

raglet
 

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:sunny: :sunny: :sunny: that was actually
my first symtom a rash on my arms
due to the sun. for a couple of years after
that i was exposed and no rashes at all
i get the rash of and on. and i find that when its very
hot and humid i also get the rash without sun exposure,
thats really odd. hopefully with the plaquenil i wont get
this annoying rash any more. i always used ice on mine
to relieve the itch, it works wonders.:p :p
 
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