lupus sun protective clothing

Understanding Lupus Sun Protective Clothing

What It Does and Where to Get It

Lupus is a chronic, long-term autoimmune disease that can cause pain, inflammation and fatigue throughout the body. Like other autoimmune diseases, the immune system of people with lupus - the part of the body that’s supposed to stop you from getting unwell - attacks healthy tissue in your body.

According to the Lupus Foundation America, 9 out of 10 people with lupus are women.

Lupus affects the skin, joints and even internal organs like your kidney and heart. Because lupus affects the skin, some people with autoimmune diseases are super skin-sensitive and can’t suffer from burns or prolonged periods in the sun.

Therefore, people with lupus who enjoy outdoor activities need to cover up - both with a strong SPF and clothing that protects them from sun exposure - when they go outside.

If you, or somebody you know, has lupus, here’s our guide to lupus sun protection fashion that can help you feel safer in the sun.

Protective Clothing for Lupus

To protect yourself from the sun, you’ll need clothing that covers as much of your body as possible while staying cool. So no woolly sweaters in the summer!

When convenient, protect yourself from the strongest UV rays of the day, so avoid going out between 10 am and 4 pm. If you want a day at the beach or a hike, however, avoiding the sun when it’s at its strongest won’t always be possible.

In this case, you’ll need the right clothing. Opt for sweatpants, leggings, long skirts and long-sleeved T-shirts. You might want to size up or buy an option that’s a little looser to ensure that you don’t overheat in the sun if your clothing is too tight.

You can buy clothing that’s specially created to protect your skin from UV rays whilst still staying cool. Lululemon and Decathlon sell clothing that promises UV protection power, with some items even specifying which SPF they’re equivalent to.

On a budget? No problem. You can even find UV-protective clothing on Amazon for a much more budget-friendly price. Some items are even specially created for being by the pool or going in the water.

Other Ways to Protect Yourself In the Sun

Wearing protective sun clothing for lupus is just one way of ensuring your symptoms don’t flare up because of a day spent in the sunshine. Here are some others.

Wear SPF

Everybody should be wearing SPF every day - especially on your face - but it’s particularly crucial for lupus sufferers. Look for the highest SPF available - it should have a protection factor of 50 at the very minimum.

Keep topping up your sunscreen every couple of hours, and if you go swimming or sweat, reapply your sun protective cream immediately afterward.

Stay in the Shade

If you’re participating in an outdoor activity or going for a walk, one of the most straightforward ways to avoid sun damage to your skin is to stay in the shade. Whether you hide under a tree with your book or erect an umbrella if you’re chilling on the beach, creating some shade for yourself is ideal.

Protect Your Head and Face With a Cap

For extra protection for the skin on your face (which is one of the most sensitive parts of your body), consider wearing a hat or cap. Even if you’re sitting in the sun for a prolonged period, wearing a hat that casts a shadow over your face can save this delicate part of your skin from getting burned or irritated.

Stay Hydrated

While not necessarily a way of protecting your skin, staying hydrated is an important measure to take when you’re in the sun or heat for long periods. People with lupus are more prone to feeling unwell, and their vulnerability can leave them sensitive to heatstroke, sunstroke or feelings of sickness and nausea after spending too long in the heat.

Aim for a minimum of two liters of water per day and avoid alcoholic drinks, which can dehydrate you further.

Wear a Wetsuit

Lupus sufferers shouldn’t have to miss out on a day by the beach. If you plan on hitting up the sea, this can remove your sunscreen, so consider wearing a wetsuit instead of a bathing suit for maximum protection.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, with our guide on lupus sun protective clothing, you’ll have more confidence the next time you’re spending a day by the beach or attending a friend’s BBQ.