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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 4/11/2007 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
it almost summer and i was just wondering if it is safe to lay out and tan and stuff like that. i hate being pale!!! i have never really been sensitive to the sun before, but then again, i was just diagnosed with lupus in november of 2006. i know lupus symptoms can change for a person as time goes on so is it ok for me to be in the sun, or should i try to stay away from it?? thanks!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 4/11/2007 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Not every single person with lupus has sun sensitivity but I think a large number of people with lupus are sun sensitive. I wasn't sure if I was since I initially developed symptoms in the winter and I found out the hard way that the sun made me sick and made me flare. My best advice is to be very careful in the sun and try it in small amounts to see how you react. No matter what, you should wear a high count sunblock. I try to be outside early in the day(before 10 am) and later in the day(after 3 or 4 pm). I also have to stay in shaded areas and wear sunblock. Just know that if you do have sun sensitivity, the sun can make you really sick, so please be really careful. I hate being pale too, but I hate flaring worse. Sometimes I use some self tanning stuff if I am going swimming or am feeling especially self conscious - the tanning wipes work pretty well to add some pretty natural looking color and now there are lotions with self tanner in them.

You are right that symptoms can change or progress over time, so just be really careful.

Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 4/11/2007 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I used to love the sun but in the last few years (even before I knew about Lupus), I started feeling ill from being in the sun. One day, I had a bad case of vomiting and fatigue from being in the sun for only a couple of hours. Now I get rashes and fevers. I agree with hippi about being careful and maybe testing the sun out a little at a time and see how you feel and using an agressive sunblock. I too want to try out the self tanning lotions, I hear Jergen's Natural Glow (I think that's what its called) is a really good one.
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 4/11/2007 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I lived at the lake as a child (not really) but we were boating and camping a lot during the summer. As I got older I started having reactions to the sun such as headaches, fatigue and a rash, my first reaction I was about 15. It wasn't until I started learning about lupus that I was able to put it all together. Just be careful and see if you need to stay out of the sun with some of your meds. Take care

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac Disease (gluten sensitivity)2003, Raynaud's 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
Meds:Imuran, Plaquenil, Flexeril, Sulindac, Levoxyl, Folic Acid and magic mouthwash (as needed)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 4/11/2007 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks so much for the advice!! if i was going to test my sun sensitivity, how long after the exposure to the sun would i start to feel sick or does it vary from person to person?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 4/11/2007 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I think it varies from people to people. I went for a sun tan for few hours when I was teenager and then rash all over me (before I knew I have lupus). For me 15 mins to 20 mins is okay, but this is not under noon hour. Anything longer than that, I put sunscreen on. Having a flare is not fun at all. I am proactive in protecting myself from having a flare. If you are talking about tanning, I would not test myself at all. I rather be pale than be sick. There are also other cosmetic stuff you can put on to have the sun tan effect. When I had to drive long hours, I usually put my sunscreen on to protect myself.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 4/11/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   

  I agree the symptoms will vary from person to person after sun exposure. We never know what to expect with this disease. Like the others said, please be careful if you do try to experiment with tanning. I hope the sun doesn't cause you to have a terrible flare. Take care and keep us updated. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


 Co-Mod: Lupus Forum
 Lupus,RLS,RA,Asthma,Fibro,Sjogren's,Raynaud's,Divertic, Stroke,Atherosclerosis,Seizures,Sensory Polyneuropathy
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JOB 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 4/11/2007 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
No, matter how you are towards the sun........Please use sun screen. It is't a pretty if, you get skin cancer. so, please be careful.
Enjoy what you can today and leave the rest for another day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 4/12/2007 1:15 AM (GMT -6)   
i will definately be careful in the sun from now there anyone with lupus who is NOT sensitive to sunlight because *luckily* i have not had any bad experiences yet. anyways, i think ill be sticking to creams and spray tans!! i guess it healthier anyways :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 4/12/2007 5:05 AM (GMT -6)   

I just finished typing a super long reply to this post, but my computer went whacky, and now it's gone sad

Anyhoo, let me try it again - a bit shorter version:

In 2004, my Boyfriend and I went backpacking around the world.  At the time I was taking Plaquenil, Voltaren, Imuran, and Prednisone.  I was on very small doses of each because I was starting to feel better and was weening off of them.  My bf and I travelled some pretty sunny places such as Thailand and Australia.  Not once did I have a reaction to the sun, despite trying desperately to tan my pastey white body.  I felt good and never had a flare the entire time we were away.  Eventually, in 2006, I was off all meds - in remission, and feeling great! 


My boyfriend and I left in January/07 to go backpacking abroad again - this time, around SE Asia.  I brought one month worth of meds just in case I needed them, however I had been feeling so great for so long, I doubted I would ever need them.  We spent a good portion of February laying on the beaches, soaking up the sun.  Suddenly, out-of-the-blue at the beginning of March, I started to feel a bit stiff.  Day by day my joints were getting stiffer and sore and more swollen.  I knew what it was - it was a flare.  Thank goodness we were near a large city for me to go to to get labwork done and scripts filled.  Since March I have been in constant contact with my rheumy back at home.  Here I am on the other side of the world - suppose to be having the time of my life - and I'm feeling like poop.  Both my rheumy and I agree that the SUN is to blame.  I never thought I was sensative to the sun, but oops, guess I was wrong confused .  Although I have been put back on meds (Plaquenil and Voltaren) I'm still not feeling 100%.  I am determined not to let this ruin our trip - we're not even half way through our trip yet!  It's very frustrating, but what's even more frustrating is knowing that all the current pain and discomfort I'm in right now, could have probably been avoided had I been more careful with the sun.  Now, as my bf continues to tan on the beaches, I'll be the one in the shade.

Moral of my story:  It's better to be safe than sorry.  Just because you don't think you're sensative to the sun, doesn't neccessarily make it so.

Take care :-)



Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 4/12/2007 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Jen,I too was off my meds for a year and the poof. Back on all meds myself...It must be Great to be able to travel. I hope you will feel better soon and enjoy the time with you b/f. Can't wait to see your pictures.

Enjoy what you can today and leave the rest for another day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/12/2007 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I had never had a reaction to the sun until spring break this year at the beach. I used 30 sunblock the whole time and tanned very nicely. Two days after I got home I got the worse rash I have ever had on my arms, legs, and chest. I ended up having to take prednisone to get rid of it. It has really made me sad because I love to get out in the sun so much. I guess I am going to try some of the self tanning lotions and see how they work out. You may not be like me, but be careful.
UCTD, Hypertension
Meds:  Plaquenil, Naproxen, Hyzaar, Cymbalta, multi-vitamin
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  (Jer. 29:11)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 4/13/2007 4:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jen, I was just recently DX's but I'm sure I was sick for quite some time prior. Anyway I have never had a reaction to the sun as far as a rash or flare goes. (so far) The only problem I have had is I have to wear really dark sun glasses because I will get an instant headache if I don't . Somtimes I can't even look out the window from inside my house without it hurting my eyes. I love being outside too. I plan on trying to work on my yard when the weather gets better. keeping my fingers crossed I don't flare. I lived in arizona most of my life where it is sunny 320 plus days a year. So far so good. be carful and I hope you can enjoy the sun too.

God Bless
 Newly DX's Lupus.Possible CREST,COPD, high PB xanax,triam , Opana ER for pain, Evista for osteo,. oxygen Plaquanil400mil, . effexor. spiriva, xopenex.
Come ye, all that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest!

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