This summer go out, have fun, be active, but follow the following rules.
GOOD SUN SENSE
1. Avoid sun between 9 am and 3 pm if possible.
2. Wind and high altitude increase your ultraviolet radiation.
3. 80% of ultraviolet rays get through on a cloudy day. It does not have to be sunny or warm to get a sun burn.
4. Snow, concrete, water, and sand reflect an additional 85% of the UV radiation.
5. Glass blocks out only UVB completely. Adding a tinted filter will block out UVA as well.
6. Tanning parlors are dangerous today but even worse for your tomorrows.
WEAR SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Trying to avoid activities between 9 am and 3 pm and still being active may physically limit you. The use of sun block on your back, legs, and arms is much more difficult and less effective than sunscreen on the face. There is now a FDA approved fabric with an SPF 30 + manufactured by Solumbra (1-800-882-7860). They make a line of outdoor clothing and cover-ups using this fabric. The use of pants, top, and three inch brimmed hat will completely protect you outdoors from both UVA and UVB for the entire day without concern of application problems, being waterproof, or sensitivity to the product.
USE A SUNSCREEN
That leaves you to choose a sunscreen to use for application to the face and hands, and to the whole body when swimming. The factors to consider in choosing a sun block are:
1. Use a broad spectrum sun block that blocks both UVB and UVA.
2. Use a minimum of SPF 15.
3. For the face and chest, use a product which is noncomedogenic (does not block pores) and is hypoallergenic.
4. Always use a water-proof sun block if you are going in the water or are excessively sweating.
5. Apply a sun block 15-30 minutes before going outside, reapply it every two hours, and put it on liberally.
6. Use a PABA-free product if sensitive. Use a chemical free sun block (containing Titanium dioxide) if very sensitive or if one is younger than 6 months of age.
Remember, have fun and embrace a physical outdoor life, but always use good sun sense, sun protective clothing, and sun block.
The less sun your lupus and skin get, the healthier you will be.
~Lupus In Color~