Sun dangers to my skin have added up. Is your skin being protected or threatened by your lifestyle?
I began to realize how careless I have been. Careless about being aware of how my lifestyle was creating skin problems. When did I make this discovery?
Way too late to do any good. Now it is a rush for preserving what little is left. Where are you in this? Do you make better choices for your skin? For protecting yourself from too much sun?
When our family began to have more and more skin cancer issues, I decided to learn more about it. More than just warnings, and threats. It was time to get down to brass tacks and see what I could do to help my family.
First I found out about Sun Blocking Clothing. I realized that there was something besides more bottles of sunscreen in my future. I began to remember the lessons about skin layers.
About how our skin is in effect a body bag to keep us from losing an important part. For protecting our body and its working parts. Keeping out infection, and to keep us warm and cool us down.
There we all were frying ourselves! To as deep a brown as we could. All that sun exposure! That was not taking very good care of our skin.
Which Is More Scary? Skin Cancer? Lupus?
Skin cancer is a scary threat. And so is Lupus! We have heard a good deal of information about the connection between too much sun and skin cancer. But what about Lupus?
Skin cancer can be treated by cutting the diseased tissues out.
If you develop Lupus, you just live with it. Too much sun can cause your Lupus to become active.
I have had some small skin cancers, from a silver dollar-sized patch size down to leaving a scab the size of the end of a straw. A visit to the dermatologist and they are gone. Aggravating and painful and scary. But I feel fine in a few days, and all is well until I have another one develop.
With lupus? Don’t think it works quite like that.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system will mistake your body’s own tissues and react as if the skin is a diseased foreign invader. Your body will start trying to heal itself by attacking and getting rid of them.
Some people with lupus only deal with minor inconveniences. While others are left with significant lifelong disabilities.
If you are of African, Asian, or Native American descent, you are two to three times more apt to have Lupus than if you are white. Information is important for those most apt to develop this condition.
Nine out of 10 people with lupus are women. The reason for the gender thing is still being researched.
This disease usually occurs between the ages of 15 and 44, although it does develop in older individuals. Seldom does this condition completely go away so that you never deal with the symptoms again.
(Check This for a good visual of lupus.)
DLE or SLE Foms Of Lupus
The DLE form of Lupus usually is a skin-related issue. You will have issues with your skin that is exposed to the sun’s rays. Sunlight will trigger your reactions. DLE doesn’t normally affect your vital internal organs. There can be Discoid (circular) skin lesions. And there can often be scars remaining after the lesions heal up.
As with all scars, there will be irregularly shaped skin cells, not the smooth ones that lay flat and back as they were. Protecting your skin is important. Wearing long sleeve loose fitting shirts will help keep your arms, shoulders, and upper body protected from the sun. Sun blocking shirts can be lightweight for summertime.
SLE affects your skin and other vital organs. SLE can cause a butterfly-shaped red rash across the bridge of your nose and cheeks. This form of lupus leaves scars if it is not treated.
This form of lupus can also affect other parts of your skin other places on your body.
SLE can also affect your body internally. There can be permanent damage to organs. Lupus belongs in the immune system disorders with arthritis and rheumatoid- arthritis.
In most patients, lupus is controlled or maintained, not actually cured.
How Do You Get Lupus?
Research has found that lupus is the result of a combination of your genetics and your environment.
When you have a predisposition for lupus, coming into contact with an irritant in the environment can trigger the onset. The irritant that causes me problems is cedar blooms here in central Texas. Or enter a dusty room or cellar. Not to forget visiting where mold grows well.
We are dry enough, but we still have mold on sidewalks, some roofs. There can be enough mold clinging to the side of a house that walking by can make an attack of arthritis begin. Those with Lupus may also react.
Any number of irritants can cause lupus to become active. Like getting too much sun! Or getting too much sun while taking medications for other conditions at the same time. Asthma and arthritis are examples of what will cause your lupus to develop.
The actual cause of lupus in most cases, however, is never known making having a plan to prevent the condition difficult.
Lupus is often different for different people. Your symptoms may develop all of a sudden, and be almost incapacitating. Others may be milder and not affect your daily life much at all.
Your symptoms can be permanent. Or they can be temporary. May be mild one time, severe another time. The “flares” of your symptoms can be hard to predict, and hard to feel you are nailing down accurately when you visit with your Dr.
By logging the days and the severity of your flares, you will be better able to give your care provider a way to help you.
Remember, symptoms can happen quickly or develop slowly, be mild or severe, and be temporary or permanent.
Most people will have episodes when symptoms get worse (flares up) then get better or go away. You can feel that you are losing control of your own body. A word of caution here, some may have mild lupus, but for some, lupus can be severe and even life-threatening.
Lupus Symptoms of lupus can include many different parts of our bodies. Keeping a log of when you are experiencing a flare-up of Lupus can be any combination of any number of related, or unrelated issues.
Actual Symptoms Lupus Suffers Have
- Let’s start with Inflammation. This is most noticable in your joints. Your hands, feet, or it can even be around your eyes.
- Severe Fatigue (tiredness) is one of the most common symptons. This is a common symptom of autoimmune disorders.
- You may experience Skin and Hair problems. The flare-up may include rashes anywhere on yur body, but usually where you got sun on your skin. There can also be rashes, hair loss, mouth or nose sores. You may also have a butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and nose.
- Headaches and Pain, that may also include the joint pain. You may have some stiffnessin your joints. This can make you find that you are unable walk comfortabely.
- Confusion, and memory loss and dizziness are also common symptons of a flare-up.
- You may experience a Fever, that seems to have no infection. It is simply your body trying to deal with what it sees as problems in your body. So recording in a log all your symptoms is important. Usually the fever is a low grade, and comes and goes.
- Dry Eyes are an ongoing sympton that go with so many other problems that just make your uncomfortable, but not actually sick.
- Are you Sensitive to light? Even lower level lighting?
- Have you been experiencing Chest Pain when you try to breathe deeply?
- Do your Fingers and Toes turn white or blue? Have they felt numb when exposed to cold or during stressfull times?
Keeping a journal can help you help your Dr if you feel you may be experiencing Lupus symptoms. Get comfortable with the kinds of discomforts you are having. Make yourself aware so that you can know if you are needing medical help.
How Is Lupus Diagnosed?
Remember Lupus rarely goes away. It will usually get worse. You may get used to some of these symptoms and just live with them. That can allow the Lupus to go uncontrolled. Stay aware of what is happening in your body.
At this point, there is no single test that can determine whether or not a person has lupus. With technology making information easier to access, hopefully, we will see an improvement in what our Drs have to help us with.
If I knew that getting too much sun could predispose me to Lupus or any other autoimmune disease, I would do things differently. And now I know, and now I do things differently. Being aware of the difference sun block clothing can make enables us to change the future for the better.
Doctors Evaluate Information For You Treatment
Our doctors normally use several laboratory tests to help confirm a diagnosis of Lupus, or at least rule out other ailments. The symptoms are evasive and often in the past have been treated with indifference. However, there is more conclusive evidence that these conditions are related.
Using tests that help identify certain autoantibodies which will be present in the blood of lupus patients will be relied on to help in the diagnosis.
Your doctor may use other results such as a biopsy of the skin. There could be a biopsy of your kidneys also be ordered if other tests indicate the need. When our organs are affected our doctor will look at the entire picture.
Using your medical history, your symptoms, as well as test results are all important when determining if you have lupus. Your doctor will also use laboratory testing to monitor the progress of your disease if Lupus has been diagnosed.
By having the information from your daily log, you can help your doctor make the correct decisions for you. Every form of information has its place in the evaluation of your and your journey with Lupus.
How Do You Get Lupus? Do Sun Dangers Play A Part?
As with other autoimmune diseases, the sun dangers do play a part. By allowing our skin to be overexposed to the sun, we are pushing our bodies to flare up if we are predisposed to Lupus.
Wearing sun blocking clothing should be the first line of defense for those who are at high risk for Lupus. A sun hat, sunglasses, and sun blocking shirt will help you stay healthy.
Sunscreen is always important to stay safe in the sun, but clothing that does a good job of blocking the sun should be your main line of defense. You don’tt need to aggravate existing symptoms and make your condition worse.
The mental battle of staying positive when you are experiencing all the vague symptoms of an autoimune condition can surely affect your quality of lfe. While the symptoms are often mild, the damage is going on reguardless.
Your body can handle only so much inflamation before the symptoms will increase in severity. Having organ damage is the big danger. Kidneys are, along with the heart are vernable with autiminue diseases.
Become your own advocate to protect and take care of your body. Remember the daily log. It is worth taking the time for. I don’t write in my log everyday, just the days I fee yucky. Remeber to protect your skin with sun blocking clothing.
Sami’s Take On “Sun Dangers”
As more information is gathered, overexposure to the sun is proving dangerous. I grew up in a time when little caution was practiced reguarding the sun. We worshiped those beatiful tanned people, you know the ones who were often smoking cigaretts?
We learned earlier the dangers of smoking but have been slower to respond to the call for caution from too much sun. As the Ozone layer dissolves and we are burning quicker, we are creating problems.
As our society has moved to a time when modest dress is considered out of style, and we getting too much sun. Young people are busy in sports while in school, and staying active after school. Wearing sleevless tops and shorts, staying out in the hottest hours of the day.
These different behaboirs may not be extreme by themselves, but all added together make us get more sun on our skin than is healthy for us. Our bodies react in the ways they are programed with our DNA.
As long as the DNA stays intact, it can repare itself. However, sun exposure will cripple the ability to heal itself. Repeated exposure to the sun will destroy the skins DNA ability to continue to protect us.
Finding easy to use sun block clothing will be your best bet for continuing to stay healthy. Help your family learn while they are young about helping themselves.
- Chemical sunscreen ingredients most commonly used are:
The information is as near true and accurate as I can determine. However, it is presented for you to help you make better choices for a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Not to replace medical help.
Sun safety is a commen sense thing. Educate yourself and make sure you work with your Doctor for the care you need.