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The pool is opening in a couple weeks. I've got some SPF 85... Should that be good enough, or should I get a nice big t-shirt to swim in?
 

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Hi,

Here's one of the links about sunscreens just so you can check if yours is adequate enough. They must block both UVA & UVB rays to be effective.

http://www.thelupussite.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71142

If you do a search then you will pull up tons of info about it from past discussions. Unfortunately if we do a search for you as Lyn has done the link does not come up with pages of info :(

It will all depend on how the sun affects you. You will still be getting exposure on your head and face in the pool, enough to wreak havoc if you are sensitive to sunlight. Bear in mind that it's not just rashes that can occur, there can also be invisible damage done internally. Many people report a worsening of symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, rashes etc. A first-time or worsening of internal organ involvement can often be traced to sun exposure too in some patients.

Here's a bit more info:

http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/web...ew_aboutdiagnosis.aspx?articleid=94&zoneid=15

love
Lily
 

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Hi :)

I think also it does depend to an extent how severely sun sensitive you are. Obviously the sunscreen is essential and if you're doing OK with that then I'd say that's fine. Remember to reapply very frequently.

For myself however, there is no way I can go anywhere near water, sunscreen or no as I am very photosensitive - I would actually have to wear one of those "coverall" type swim suits that look like light diving suits!

Katharine
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gah! That's terrifying! I didn't realize it was that serious. Is it safe to go swimming in the evening, when the sun is less intense, while still wearing sunscreen?
 

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Er, if you are referring to what I said... it is not necessarily that serious - it just is for me.

Some people will do fine with just sunscreen. Obviously avoiding peak sun times is always best in any case.

Katharine
 

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Hello

It is well worth googling for detailed info about UV risks and protection. The Cancer sites are often the most thorough. In fact everybody should be taking these precautions because of the huge risk of contracting some form of skin cancer. It is a serious public health issue. Photosensitivity can develop in lupus.

DermnetNZ has some good advice and links to other useful medical sites.

Just one or two points to remember. UV is ambient not just coming straight down. It reflects from shiny light coloured surroundings. Water reflection can intensify the amount of UV exposure about 70%

Wearing sunscreen is only one factor, staying indoors and protective clothing are just as important. Sunscreen has to be broad spectrum, protecting against UVA as well as UVB The SPF indicates only UVB. Above a certain level the SPF is irrelevant. Sun screen has to be applied sufficiently and renewed very regularly especially if you are active and in water.
When fabric is wet it loses some of its light protective qualities because the weave becomes looser

Inform yourself and take care - this is one of those things we are responsible for doing for ourselves

:)
Clare
 

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I would get a t-shirt and a hat. The spf 85 just means that you have to reapply it every 85 minutes. You have to have something that block uv and vb rays. If you are planning on spending a lot of time in the pool it might be worth a trip to a dermy to get a really good protection.

I hope you have fun in the pool and you might as the weather gets warmer consider night swimming it is so relaxing.
 

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Actually SPF factor is not measured like that Tammy ;)

Wikipedia explains it far better than I can :)

Sun protection factor

The SPF of a sunscreen is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen — the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen offers against UV-B (the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn). The SPF indicates the time a person with sunscreen applied can be exposed to sunlight before getting sunburn relative to the time a person without sunscreen can be exposed. For example, someone who would burn after 12 minutes in the sun would expect to burn after 120 minutes if protected by a sunscreen with SPF 10. In practice, the protection from a particular sunscreen depends on factors such as:

  • The skin type of the user.
  • The amount applied and frequency of re-application.
  • Activities in which one engages (for example, swimming leads to a loss of sunscreen from the skin).
  • Amount of sunscreen the skin has absorbed.
The SPF is an imperfect measure of skin damage because invisible damage and skin aging is also caused by the very common ultraviolet type A, which does not cause reddening or pain. Conventional sunscreen does not block UVA as effectively as it does UVB, and an SPF rating of 30+ may translate to significantly lower levels of UVA protection according to a 2003 study. According to a 2004 study, UVA also causes DNA damage to cells deep within the skin, increasing the risk of malignant melanomas.[8] Even some products labeled "broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection" do not provide good protection against UVA rays.[9] The best UVA protection is provided by products that contain zinc oxide, avobenzone, and ecamsule. Titanium dioxide probably gives good protection, but does not completely cover the entire UV-A spectrum, as recent research suggests that zinc oxide is superior to titanium dioxide at wavelengths between 340 and 380nm.[10]
Owing to consumer confusion over the real degree and duration of protection offered, labeling restrictions are in force in several countries. In the EU sunscreens are limited to SPF 50+ [11], indicating a SPF of 60 or higher, and Australia's upper limit is 30+ [12]. The United States does not have mandatory, comprehensive sunscreen standards, although a draft rule has been under development since 1978. In the 2007 draft rule, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed to institute the labelling of SPF 50+ for sunscreens offering more protection. This and other measures were proposed to limit unrealistic claims about the level of protection offered (such as "all day protection").
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunscreen#Sun_protection_factor

Hope this helps. It's more complex than it first appears.

love
Lily
 

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Wanepoetic, just to give you my experience in water. I love to surf and so spent a bit of time in the waters of Ireland last October (I was diagnosed then). I was in a wetsuit but my face and head where exposed. And to be honest, I came out of that week pretty pain free :) I think I was a bit achy and tired, but I think that may be more down to the fact that I slightly over did things :roll:

My Lupus has got worse since then so not too sure how I'd fare now in the water. But will find out in October when I head down to Devon again :)
 

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I agree with the suggestion to wear a hat and sunscreen. I'm so tired of thick heavy creams on my face and body, and it's only May! Like I've posted before, I'm on the hunt for some good UPF clothing. There's definitely more selection this year (compared to previous years), but I wouldn't mind something a bit more fashionable! :lol:

Having said all that, can someone recommend a good facial sunscreen? I've been using Neutrogena and Ombrelle, but they either sting or clog my pores.
 

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I've got a L'oreal factor 50 tinted facial sunscreen that's very nice. The tint gives a nice healthy glow and has meant I have abandoned using foundation. I think there is also a non-tinted version. I tried using the Sunsense facial but it made my skin feel tight.
 

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I have to use sun factor 50 in the months of April to October :( and still have to cover up when out in sun. BUT Already Got my Skin rashes (arms, nose, cheeks and chest) and I did try and cover up as much as possible... so I thought :(

Sheila x
 

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sunscreen

I like Clinique's Super City Block for the face. It's non-oily, doesn't cause breakouts on my super-sensitive, oily skin, and isn't chalky or excessively tinted. I use it all year round.

On my arms, I use Blue Lizard sunscreen. I am pretty happy with it, but it does occasionally leave white marks on my car armrests or on black clothing. But, I can wear it on a sunny, sunny day and suffer no ill effects!
 
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