Sun Safety Myths

Protecting ourselves from the Sun is very important.  These myths are not true:
A beach umbrella keeps you safe from the sun.
Not true. A large percentage of ultraviolet (UV) light bounces off the sand onto your skin, even if you’re under an umbrella. Water and snow have the same reflective effect.
 Building a "base" tan protects against sunburn.
There is no such thing as a "safe" tan that will offer protection later. Exposure to UV rays increases your lifetime risk of skin cancer and other skin damage.
"Self-tanning" products help protect against sunburn.
These products may be perfectly safe and may be a good way to make yourself appear tan without having actual sun exposure. But be aware that the dyes in self-tanning lotions and sprays don’t offer complete UV protection. 
Only the people with cutaneous lupus, or with systemic lupus and photosensitivity, need to worry about UV protection.
No matter how lupus affects you, you need to be aware that certain medications can make you unusually reactive to UV light. Called "chemical photosensitivity," this can result in sunburn or rash after even brief sun exposure. The drugs known to cause this type of skin sensitivity are antihistamines, diuretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics, including tetracycline or"sulfa" drugs. Sunscreens offer only limited UV protection for anyone taking these medications.

(Lupus Now Magazine 2005)


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