Summertime with Discoid Lupus
Last updated: July 2022
Summertime is not my favorite time of the year. This is always the worst time for me due to the sun becoming overwhelming on the body. The skin is the body's first line of defense when protecting ourselves. The heat is getting worse every year.
What is discoid lupus?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic skin condition of sores with inflammation and scarring favoring the face, ears, scalp, and even other body areas. It develops a red patch of inflamed lesions and has a scaly and crusty appearance. Sometimes it can pass as looking like an open wound. A small number of people with systemic lupus erythematosus also have discoid lupus. It can worsen if triggered by stress, infection, or trauma.1
Discoid lupus flare
The only flare-up I am suffering from right now is the butterfly rash and the rash on my back that I tend to keep peeling. I also suffer from rashes on my scalp as well. When peeling my scar, it will just bleed, peeling, and just keep doing that in repeat. I learned that even though we hate summers, we still have to protect ourselves. With the heat reaching temperatures like 90 degrees, we must also find every avenue to protect our skin. One thing that hurts me the most as a lupus patient is that my school doesn't allow me to wear hats or something over my head to protect my scalp, so that would be the worse area where my flare-ups are prone to inflammation. Skin biopsies reveal deposits of immunoglobulins, especially IgM, in the lesion and surrounding tissues. Lesions last for months, then resolve or atrophy to return. People with DLE often have unexpected hair loss, telangiectasias over the palms and fingers, urticaria, and Raynaud's phenomenon.
Tips for discoid lupus in summer
So everyone, it is time to remember:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, because it can provide protection against UV rays.
- Where sunscreen so it can protect your skin in case you do not want to wear clothes because It can be very hot.
- Remember, your medication can and will affect how your skin will react to the sun. It might be more sensitive to light due to adverse medication effects.
- Avoid the sun during heat peak hours and wear sunglasses. Seek shade wherever you can. Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat to help with protection on the scalp, face, and hair.
- I know we want to party and have a great time but always rest matters.
- Bathe in warm and not hot water and use mild cleansers that do not aggravate the body.
These factors have helped me prevent skin rashes for the last 7 years. I might have to learn the hard way, but I ended up focusing and finding ways to create a better lifestyle for myself. When being a mother and a wife and having to do all the running sometimes, I had to find a way to make the impossible happen.
Have there been things you have learned along your lupus journey that you wish had been explained to you by a healthcare provider earlier?