Being in the sun makes me ache & get a rash- Lupus?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/5/2010 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I have been dx'ed with fibro & RA. I have noticed that when I got outside and am in the sun, I get all achy afterwards. I noticed this last summer & thought it was the fibro because being in the humidity makes my joints ache. But recently I have noticed that when I go outside in the sun, my face feels like it is burning afterwards. I took my kids to a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and it turned out to be in direct sunlight for 2 hours. When I got home the skin on my face felt as it if was burning, although it wasn't hot if I touched it with my hands. I had a butterfly rash on my face and on my chest, and I thought it was sunburn but when I woke up next day it was gone. Also, on the lower part of my right cheek was a mottled patch of white skin when I had the rash. After we got home I literally collapsed on the couch and was achy & stiff & dozed for about an hour and was sore the rest of the night. I had a couple other times when I went out recently & had the burning sensation.
  I have also had a low-grade fever and major fatigue for about a week and a half now. I am taking Plaquenil but I don't know if thats causing it. I have talked about the possibility of lupus with my rheumy and had tests that were negative years ago. I also have had sores in my mouth that appeared after I had gone to the beach for a week (2 summers ago) and a period where I had nosebleeds for a couple months.
  Does this sound like Lupus to you? I know that the humidity can bother my fibro & the damp weather bothers my RA but the burning sensation is new. Is this the "sun sensitivity" that the Lupus articles talk about? Does going out in the sunlight make you achy & tired too? Thanks! I'm just trying to get some answers!
Diagnoses: Depression/Anxiety, PTSD, Hypothyroidsim, High Blood Pressure, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Sjogren's
Meds: Celexa (once a day), Buspar (2x a day), Levoxyl (once a day), Metoprolol (once a day), Lyrica (3x a day), Plaquenil (2 times day), Clonazepam to help me sleep for the moment until I find something else.
Allergic to: Sulfa, Ceftin, Augmentin, and Synthroid (probably the filler).

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 5/5/2010 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
This does sound like something Lupus would do - however I'm pretty sure both RA & Sjogren's can do this as well. The plaquenil does have a "Less common side effects which may be tied to plaquenil include skin rashes, hair thinning, and weakness." - I'm betting its an RA reaction.

Whichever it is, the sun causes auto-immune diseases to over-protect us, thus producing swelling, redness, pain, rash -- a skin-based inflammation. Once you've gotten the skin irritated, more sun on the affected area, especially in the next few weeks, definitely causes a burning sensation where the sun hits. I would get the exact same symptoms given the level of sun exposure you describe.

I would add "sun" to your list of allergies :(

I think we have a list of protective products, including clothing, in the "Lupus Resources" topic at the top. If not let me know & I'll dig out the info & put it there.

You might also check to see if any of your other meds have sun reactions as side effects.

I would just wait till my next rheumy visit and let them decide, but if there are no signs of healing get thee to the Dr!

Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/5/2010 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I also get a major headache and head pounding when i am out in the sun. Sometimes it only takes 10 minutes.:(
lupus, sjogren's

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 5/7/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Moggy, the sun can be very dangerous for those of us with ai diseases. If you have to be outside, cover up, use a UV rated umbrella, and listen to what Lynnwood said. Large rimmed hats are our best friend. My rheumy insists that I use sunscreen every day.
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

plaquenil, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, lunesta, cymbalta, vitamin D, Calcium, Multi Vit.

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